Catherine Burwell

Associate Professor

PhD - Media and Culture in Education

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

MA - Literature and Gender Studies

University of York (U.K.)

BEd - Secondary English Language Arts

University of Toronto

BA - English Literature

McGill University

Contact information


Office: 403.220.5976

Web presence



Main Campus : EDT344

Research and Scholarly Activity

Research areas

  • Media studies and literacy
  • Popular culture studies
  • Secondary English language arts curriculum and instruction
  • Cultural studies
  • Social justice and equity in education
  • Gender studies


Catherine Burwell’s interdisciplinary research explores the pedagogical implications of youth digital culture. Her most recent work examines young people’s shifting attitudes to copyright, and their influence on contemporary modes of cultural production. Dr. Burwell is also interested in emerging conceptualizations of media education, digital literacy and participatory culture. Her work has been published in education, cultural studies and communication journals.

Recent Projects:

Critical Media Literacy in a Post-truth Era (Principal Investigator). Funded by Alberta Advisory Committee for Educational Studies.  2018 - 2020.

Youth, Bytes, Copyright: Investigating Young Canadians’ Encounters with Digital Copyright (Principal Investigator). Funded by SSHRC Insight Development Grant.  2014 - 2017.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Catherine sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Literacy Research and is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies. She currently serves as the University Liaison for the English Language Arts Council, a specialist group within the Alberta Teachers' Association.

Catherine is also a member of the following associations:


Catherine Burwell worked as a secondary school English and Media Studies teacher with the Toronto District School Board for more than 10 years before undertaking a Ph.D. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her doctoral research examined young people’s digital literacy practices. She has taught courses on popular culture, gender equity, and youth and globalization at Brock University and the University of Toronto. In 2011, she joined the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.



  • University of Calgary Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award, 2018
  • University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award, 2017
  • University of Calgary Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award (Honourable Mention), 2017
  • Werklund School of Education Leadership in Education Award, 2017
  • Werklund School of Education Teaching Excellence Award, 2014