Citizenship lab another first for York


York has the first high-tech Citizenship Studies Media Lab in the world. The new lab was launched at York Jan. 15 in Room 214 Calumet College following a symposium organized by Engin F. Isin, York professor of social science and Canada Research Chair in Citizenship Studies.

Located in Calumet College, whose mission is to integrate technology and arts, the new Lab accommodates 15 users and will serve as a research and training ground for graduate students. Information collected from various countries around the world on citizenship issues will be collated, classified and interpreted in a collaborative environment that deploys the latest technologies. The lab will also be a clearinghouse for disseminating this material via Web publishing and database services.

Isin is elated about the inauguration of the Citizenship Studies Media Lab. “The plural nationalities characteristic of the 21st century are forcing a revision of the modern liberal idea of citizenship in the nation state,” he said. “Citizenship is increasingly a transnational matter in a world of mass, global migrations and globalization, and it is now widely accepted that countries have to accommodate some forms of differentiated citizenship.”

He lists the following benefits the media lab will provide to his area and York, in general.

  • It will become a headquarter of activities that is recognized not only at York University but also nationally and internationally.
  • It will provide doctoral and postdoctoral students a training ground for their research activities, which will enhance synergies, collaboration and exchange.
  • It will give outside researchers, journalists, and policy makers in governmental and non-governmental organizations a point of attraction where they can physically or virtually converge to seek further information on citizenship studies and related matters.
  • It will include a searchable registry and/or database of the following: research centres and organizations in citizenship studies in Canada and elsewhere; researchers along with their expertise, knowledge and area of study in Canada and elsewhere; current and past citizenship debates, struggles; and a knowledge base (documents, articles, legislation, publications) on citizenship studies.

For further information and to see more photos of the lab, check the following Web site: Details are also available at the Media Relations Web site: