Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies


Dr. Carole Färber

Second Advisor

Dr. Bernd Frohmann


Broadly speaking, this thesis explores the practices used by employees of a Western Canadian genomics research facility to build four-dimensional models of the human body; models which will be used to study genetic diseases. Usiiig actor-network theory as both a theoretical and methodological foundation, I consider the ways in which both the social (human) and the technical (nonhuman) actors that comprise the genomics research facility work together to construct these models. The work is divided into two sections. First, I investigate the setting of the genomics research facility. I argue that the genomics research facility constitutes a heterotopic site of cultural production. Second, I question what the genomics research facility produces. Ultimately I argue that by using fully immersive virtual environments, and building generic and extendible virtual models of the human body, employees at the genomics research facility are able to produce complex, multiform narratives of biological processes.



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