Associate Professor, Department of Communication

2000 – BA (hons) Communication, concentration Criminology, University of Ottawa
2003 – MA Communication, University of Calgary
2009 – PhD Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

DMS, 55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 11118

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2728

Work E-mail:

Patrick McCurdy


Twitter: @pmmcc

Drawing from media and communication, journalism as well as social movement scholarship, Professor McCurdy’s research and teaching is interested in media as a site and source of social struggle. His research has studied the mainstream and social media movement strategies of social movements including the global justice movement and the Occupy movement. He has also examined the implications of living in a media saturated and media event oriented society covering topics ranging from WikiLeaks to the rise and consequences of celebrity activism. Professor McCurdy also has an interest in media and international development and has published, supervised and has professional experience in this area. From 2004 to 2009 he worked as a Research Associate in London, England at BBC Media Action, formerly known as the BBC World Service Trust, which is the BBC's international development charity.

Currently Professor McCurdy is working on the SHHRC-funded Mediatoil project ( which is examining the evolution of oil sands advertising and campaigning from 1970 until present day. Of particular interest are the varied and interwoven communication strategies pertaining to the Alberta oil sands employed by government, civil society and industry in the battle for the public imagination. Other projects Professor McCurdy is currently working on include a project investigating discourse about public service broadcasting and the CBC, a project on Eurovision and media practices as well as an edited book on protest camps following up his 2013 co-authored book Protest Camps (2013, Zed).

Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

Selected publications


Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F. and McCurdy, P. (2013) Protest Camps. Zed Books: London. Project website:

Edited Books

Brevini, B., Hintz, A. and McCurdy, P. (eds). (2013) Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism & Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Cammermats, B., Matoni, A. and McCurdy, P. (eds). (2013). Mediation and Protest Movements. Intellect: Bristol.

Selected Book chapters

Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F., and McCurdy, P., "Protest Camps", Making Things International, Vol 2: Catalysts and Reactions, Mark B. Salter, University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

McCurdy, P., (2013). "From the Pentagon Papers to Cablegate: How the Network Society Has Changed Leaking", Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism & Society, Brevini, B. Hintz, A. and McCurdy, P., Basingstoke, Palgrave. pp. 123-145.

McCurdy, P., Power, G. and A. Godfrey (2011). When theory meets practice: Critical     reflections from the field on press freedom indicators. In M. Price and S. Abbot (Eds.).  Critical reflections from the field on press freedom indicators. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 47-66.

Selected Articles in refereed journals      

McCurdy P, Frenzel, F. and Feigenbaum, A., "Protest Camps and Repertoires of Contention", Social Movement Studies, 14(1), forthcoming, 2015.

McCurdy, P. and Uldam, J., "Connecting participant observation positions: Towards a reflexive framework for studying social movements", Field Methods, 26, 40-55, 2014.

Frenzel, F., Feigenbaum, A., and McCurdy, P., "Protest camps: an emerging field of social movement research", Sociological Review, 62(3), 457-474.

Uldam, J. and McCurdy, P., "Studying Social Movements: Challenges and Opportunities for Participant Observation", Sociology Compass, 7(11), 941-951, 2013.

McCurdy, P., "Conceptualizing Celebrity Activists: The case of Tamsin Omond", Celebrity Studies, 4, 311-324, 2013.

Feigenbaum, A., McCurdy, P. and Frenzel, F., "Towards a Method for studying Affect in (micro)Politics: The Campfire Chats Project and the Occupy Movement", Parallax, 19(2), 21-37, 2013.

Engelbert, J. and McCurdy, P., "A threat to impartiality: Reconstructing and situating the BBC's denial of the 2009 DEC appeal for Gaza", Media War & Conflict, 5(2), 101-117, 2012.

McCurdy, P. and Engelbert, J., "Straitjackets and flak jackets: the BBC, ‘boundary work’ and the failed 2009 DEC Appeal for Gaza", Observatorio (OBS*), 6(2), 27-49, 2012.

McCurdy, P., "Social Movements, Protest and Mainstream Media", Sociology Compass, 6, 244-255, 2012.

Engelbert, J. and McCurdy, P., "Capitalising on the plasticity of impartiality: the BBC and the 2009 Gaza appeal", Critical Discourse Studies, 8, 183-201, May 2011.

McCurdy, P., "Theorizing Activists' Lay Theories of Media' ; A case study of the Dissent! Network at the 2005 G8 Summit", International Journal of Communication, 5, 615-638, 2011.

McCurdy, P., "The 'story' in a risk society: A case study of the BBC and the ' riskiness' of journalism", Journal of Media Practice, 12(2), 173-188, 2011.

McCurdy, P., "Breaking the spiral of silence - Unpacking the 'media debate' within Global Justice Movements: A Case Study of Dissent! and the 2005 Gleneagles G8 Summit", Interface: A journal for and about social movements, 2(2), 42-67, 2010.

McCurdy, P., "Inside the media event: Examining the media practices of Dissent! at the Hori-Zone eco-village at 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit", Communications- European Journal of Communication Research, 33, 293-311, 2008.

McCurdy, P. & Power, G., "Journalism education as a vehicle for media development in Africa: Opinions from the field", Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 28, 127-148, 2007.

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