Research Awards:

Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge, “Exploring Affect and Digital Media in the 2019 Canadian Election,” University of Ottawa ($43,000) 2019-20

SSHRC Insight Grant, “Affective Media, Social Movements, and Digital Dissent: Emotions and Democratic Participation in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era” (2019-2022); (submitted October 2017; again, October 2018; awarded March 2019) ($127,000)

McLuhan Centre for Technology and Culture Working Group: “Affect and Algorithms,” (2018-19)  ($7500)

SSHRC Connections Grant, (2018-19)”Affect, Propaganda, and Political Imagination: New Directions of Interdisciplinary Research Symposium, to be held June 7-9, 2019. ($12500)

Visiting Scholar, University of California Berkeley, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, winter/spring 2015.

Principal Investigator, Social Science and Humanities Research Council Grant, “Sociable Media in the Hands of Young Citizens: Evolving Forms of Participatory Democracy,” 2010-2013, $75,000.

Insight Development Grant, Catherine Burwell, University of Calgary, PI; and M. Boler, Co- Investigator.“Youth, Bytes, Copyright: Investigating Young Canadians’ Encounters with Digital Copyright” ($57,000)

Social Science and Humanities Research Council Symposium Grant, SSHRC Aid to Conferences and Workshops Grant, awarded July 2010; (Applicant Matt Ratto, Megan Boler Co- Applicant) SSHRC award: $20,150, to organize “DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media,” international conference organized by Megan Boler and Matt Ratto, hosted by Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (November 2010).

Co-Investigator, Social Science and Humanities Research Council Standard Research Grant, Teaching and Learning High School Philosophy in Ontario Schools, with Trevor Norris, PI. $145,000 [2010-2015]

Co-Investigator, Digital economy trading zones: interactional expertise and the role of public, private, and academic values, Social Science and Humanities Research Council (PI Dr. Matt Ratto; Megan Boler, Co-Investigator) (2010-2014)

Co-Investigator, “Voices from digital natives: informal learning and sociable media in child and youth cultures” (PI: Dr. Jason Nolan, Ryerson University; Co-Investigators M. Boler, A. Bal, Ryerson University; J. Jenson, York University), Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Standard Research Grant, $143,040

2010 Critics Choice Award, American Educational Studies Association, for M. Boler, Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (Cambridge: MIT Press).

Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. $5000 for a Working group for 2008-09 on Media and its Publics.

University of Toronto Excellence Awards in Social Sciences and Humanities, $5500 to fund Angela Kalyta, senior undergraduate Sociology major, to work through summer 2008 on Dr. Boler’s SSHRC Project “Rethinking Media, Democracy and Citizenship.”

Principal Investigator, Social Science and Humanities Research Council Grant, “Rethinking Media, Democracy And Citizenship: New Media Practices And Online Digital Dissent After September 11.” 2005-2008 ($122,000) (Megan Boler, Principle Investigator)

 Canadian Council on Learning, Ontario Media Literacy Project, (Megan Boler, Co-PI with Dr.Mark Lipton, Guelph University and Dr. Kari Dehli, OISE/UT). $40,000 

Banff Center for the Arts, Wired Writing Studio, October-March 2006-07

Nominee, TVOntario Big Ideas Award for Best Lecturer, 2005

Outstanding Paper Award, “Qualitative Meta-Analysis for Social Justice: the Creation of an Online Diversity Resource Database,” Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Atlanta, GA (co-authored with A. Potts, David Hicks, an Peter Doolittle)

 Diggs’ Teaching Scholar Award, Recipient, 2002, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Invited Participant, Duke University Franklin Center Summer Institute on Globalization, Women, and Development, July 2002, Durham North Carolina

Boler, M. (2001) International Institute of Information Technology, Virginia Tech, Research Grant to produce Critical Media Literacy in Times of War website ($50,000)

 Smith, Linda, Megan Boler, and Graham Smith. Marsden Fund Award (The Royal Society of New Zealand) (1997-2000) Maori Education Youth First: Taking Kids’ Talk Seriously ($500,000)

Boler, M. University of Auckland Staff Research Grant, Emotional Literacy in Australian Educational Policy, 1997 ($3000)

Boler, M. University of Auckland New Staff Research Grant, Emotional Literacy in U.S. Educational Policy 1996 ($11,000)

 Phi Beta Kappa–Northern California Association, Distinguished Scholar, ($2500 fellowship) 1991 Phi Beta Kappa, Mills College, l982

Research Projects

1. Safeguarding democracies: An interdisciplinary synthesis of digital media studies and the politics of emotion to understand identity, belonging and trust in the “post-truth” media landscape

This SSHRC-funded 2017 Knowledge Research Grant projects on addressing a rapidly changing global context. PI: Megan Boler.  Research Assistant: Elizabeth Davis.


Pundits and scholars are scrambling to make sense of the overtly emotional rise of right-wing populism in global politics. One clue lies in the shifting relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and media, and democratic values and civic participation. Key to these shifts is the “post-truth” era, where objective facts influence public opinion less strongly than appeals to emotion and belief.

This project will develop a framework and research agenda for understanding the relationship between emotions, ICTs and politics. It will draw on digital media studies and the growing field of “affect studies,” to examine collective emotion, the evolving media landscape, and the interplay between emotion and information warfare.

Through this project, the researchers hope to generate knowledge that will help position Canada as a leader in protecting democratic values and institutions from the threats posed by these developments.

“The pressing question of citizens’ trust in the processes and institutions of democracy urgently requires a deepened understanding of the role of emotions in forming political identities and social movements.”
—Megan Boler

2. Social Media in the Hands of Young Citizens, SSHRC-Funded Research Project 2010-2013

This SSHRC-funded project explored how Occupy Movement activists engaged the participatory, interactive aspects of Web 2.0 and conversely, how the exponential rise of social media shape youth political engagement.

In November 2011, Dr. Boler and her research team conducted 50 interviews of Occupy Toronto participants, and Dr. Boler had the opportunity to observe and conduct interviews with 20 activists in California and New York affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy SF, and Occupy Oakland. The team conducted critical discourse analysis of interviews, resulting in the following publications:

Boler, M. and J. Phillips. “Entanglements with Media and Technologies in the Occupy Movement.” The Fibreculture Journal Special Issue: Entanglements–Activism and Technology (2015)

Boler, M. “Truth and Sensemaking in Digital Dissent,” Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media, ed. Chris Atton (London: Routledge 2015)

Boler, M. and C. Nitsou, “Women Activists within the Leaderless Occupy Wall Street: Consciousness-Raising and Connective Action in Hybrid Social Movements,” in McCaughey, M.(ed), Cyberactivism and the Participatory Web, NY: Routledge (2014)

Boler, M. “Occupy Patriarchy: Will Feminism’s Fourth Wave Be a Swell or a Ripple?” In Women in a Globalizing World: Transforming Equality, Development Diversity and Peace, ed. Angela Miles, Inanna Press (2013)

Megan Boler, “Occupy feminism: Start of a fourth wave?”, May 29, 2012

Megan Boler, “Occupy 2012 and Beyond”

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