My research has three main themes:
- Literary Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction
- Journalism Ethics
- Education and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
Literary Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction
My research examines issues of ethics and methodology in these two genres and the links between them and the field of ethnography. My main contribution to the field is a re-examination of the magazine work of Edna Staebler in the 1960s, which I argue is an important but overlooked example of early literary journalism in Canada written by a woman. I was pleased to serve as a judge for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction between 2012 and 2022. I have presented my research at annual meetings of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies (Paris, 2014; Toronto; 2012) and the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (Washington, DC, 2018; Chicago, 2012).
Gillespie, Bruce. (2019). “The Ethnographic Impulse” in Dow, W. and Maguire, R. (Eds.). The Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism. New York: Routledge.
Gillespie, B. (2016). “Edna Staebler and the Lives of Women” in Sue Joseph and Richard Lance Keeble (Eds.), Profile Pieces: Journalism and the “Human Interest” Bias. London: Routledge.
Gillespie, B. (2015). “The Works of Edna Staebler: Using Literary Journalism to Celebrate the Lives of Ordinary Canadians.” Literary Journalism Studies, 7(1): 58-75.
Gillespie, B. (2012). “Building Bridges between Literary Journalism and Alternative Ethnographic Forms: Opportunities and Challenges.” Literary Journalism Studies, 4(2): 67-79.
Gillespie, B. (2012). “‘Why’s This So Good?’ No. 29: Andrea Curtis and the rhythm of mercy.” Nieman Storyboard. Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
My interest in exploring ethics in journalism comes from my career as a journalist, before I entered the academy, and my years spent teaching and mentoring early-career journalists. I am particularly interested in the relationship between journalists and their sources, which was the focus of my MA thesis, and ethical and methodological transparency. I have presented my research at The Truth in Journalism Conference (Ottawa, 2022), the Press Freedom in Canada: A Status Report on the 30th Anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms conference (Toronto, 2012) and the Qualitatives conference (Brantford, 2010).
Gillespie, Bruce. (2021). “The Case for Using Informed Consent in Journalism” in Price, L.T., Sanders, K., and Wyatt, W.N. (Eds). The Routledge Companion to Journalism Ethics. New York: Routledge.
Gillespie, B. (2017). “Media Whining or Democratic Crisis? How Institutional Secrecy is Contextualized in National Newspapers” in Lisa Taylor and Cara-Marie O’Hagan (Eds.), The Unfulfilled Promise of Press Freedom in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Education and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
Primarily, I am interested in how professional programs, such as journalism and user experience design, bridge the gap between theory and practice for student success. Recently, I have been working with colleagues on research about how to build and nurture grassroots SoTL communities and create a culture of scholarly-informed teaching. I have presented my research and/or led workshops at annual meetings of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Bergen, 2018; Atlanta, 2019) and the Canadian Communication Association (St. Catharines, 2014; Waterloo, 2012; Montreal, 2010; Ottawa, 2009), as well as the World Journalism Education Council Online Conference (2022) and Toward 2020: New Directions in Journalism Education conference (Toronto, 2014).
Gillespie, Bruce. (2022). “Using Digital Storytelling and Game-Based Learning to Increase Student Engagement and Connect Theory with Practice.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 10(April). DOI: https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.10.14.
Gillespie, B. (2012). “Clickers in the classroom.” J-Source. The Canadian Journalism Project.