Henry Adam Svec grew up on a cherry farm in Southwestern Ontario and studied English literature at Mount Allison University. Now he writes songs and fiction, makes performance art, and collects Canadian folklore. His performance projects often blend a variety of forms and traditions, including singer-songwriter stage banter and field phonography. His most recent, Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada, explores the possibility that he has built an artificially intelligent database of Canadian folk music in Dawson City, Yukon. He has been artist in residence at The Banff Centre, Roberts Street Social Centre, the Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, and the University of New Brunswick; and his work has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and several times on CBC Radio.
Svec's creative work feeds into his scholarship and teaching. He completed a doctorate in media studies at the University of Western Ontario (2013), and his work on the media-theoretical dimensions of the American folk revival--on Alan Lomax's phonographic cybernetics, on Pete Seeger's strategic dissemination, and on Woody Guthrie's embodied social media--has appeared in the Canadian Journal of Communication, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Fibreculture Journal. His first book, American Folk Music as Tactical Media, was published in 2018 by Amsterdam University Press.
Dr. Svec is based in Jackson, Mississippi, where he is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Millsaps College. Current research projects are investigating (a) the materialist analysis of digital celebrity, (b) the concept of imaginary media, (c) the Canadian painter Greg Curnoe, and (d) the late curator Mary MacDonald.