Control room

Karen Skardzius

Ph.D, MA Professor
250 753-3245


  • Intersectional feminist approaches to understanding digital media and culture
  • Affordances and design of social media platforms
  • Creative industries and digital labour


  • Game Studies 
  • Media Literacy
  • Social Media/Platforms
  • Popular Culture


  • BA, Honours University of Guelph (Sociology)
  • MA, Queen’s University (Sociology)
  • PhD, York & Ryerson University (Communication & Culture)


Karen is interested in the areas of social media, digital labour, digital games, and the communities that emerge when these areas mingle. Some of her most recent scholarship examines the ways marginalized communities engage with and navigate digital technologies and social media. As a feminist scholar, her teaching philosophy is rooted in intersectional feminist thought and practice. She tries to always approach teaching from a position of empathy and understanding that everyone has different life experiences and brings to the classroom their own knowledge, challenges, and goals. Designing courses with an intersectional framework in mind means that her course syllabi and teaching strategies reflect the diversity of not only who generates the knowledge we all learn and benefit from, but how that knowledge is produced.

Selected Research

de Castell, S. & Skardzius, K. (2019). Speaking in Public: What Women Say About Working in the Game Industry. Television & New Media 20(8): 836-847.

Skardzius, K. (2018). “Playing with Pride: Claiming Space through Community Building in World of Warcraft” Pp. 175 – 192 in Woke Gaming: Digital challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice. Kishonna. L. Gray, and David. Leonard (eds). University of Washington Press.

Selected Presentations

Skardzius, K. (2020). Monetizing Relationships: Streaming alone with all of your friends. Paper presented at AoIR 2020: The 21st Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers. Virtual Event: AoIR. 

Skardzius, K. 2018. What Can Affordances Tell Us About Live-Streaming on Twitch?. Presented at Re-figuring Innovation in Games Conference: October 25th, University of British Columbia, Canada.

de Castell, S. & Skardzius, K. 2018. Public Speech: Listening to Women in the Videogame Industry. Presented at Association of Internet Researchers: Transnational Materialities: October 12th, Montreal, Canada.

Skardzius, K. 2018. Examining the Affordances, Constraints, and Conventions of Through a Gendered Lens. Presented at Going live: Exploring Live Digital Technologies and Live Streaming practices (preconference to Association of Internet Researchers annual conference): October 10th, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Skardzius, K. 2018. The Women of Twitch: The Affordances of Live-Streaming Digital Games. Presented at Digital Games Research Association Conference: July 25th, University of Turin, Italy.