Writing & Research



This innovative new reader brings together twenty-five articles – both previously published and original contributions – to critically examine the production and interpretation of images across a variety of disciplines. Readings have been organized into eight thematic parts that function as case studies, using concrete examples to stress the real-world implications of images and visual communication. An accessible introduction to each section helps students develop visual literacy skills and prepare for the readings that follow, while coverage of ‘images in action’ throughout offers analysis of visual communication in different fields, including anatomy, law, cartography, museology, and photojournalism. Engaging and accessible, Visual Communication and Culture: Images in Action is essential reading for students interested in learning about the impact of images on society.

Oxford University Press, 2012.


What do contemporary police procedures tell us about criminality?

Capturing the Criminal Image traces how the act of representing—and watching—is central to modern law enforcement. Jonathan Finn analyzes the development of police photography in the nineteenth century to foreground a critique of three identification practices that are fundamental to current police work: fingerprinting, DNA analysis, and surveillance programs and databases.

University of Minnesota Press, 2009.


Journal articles

“Timing and Imaging Evidence in Sport: Objectivity, Intervention, and the Limits of Technology,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues 40.6 (2016): 459-476. PDF.

“Anatomy of a Dead Heat: Visual Evidence at the 2012 US Olympic Trials,” The International Journal of the History of Sport, 31.9 (2014): 976-993.  PDF. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor and Francis in The International Journal of the History of Sport on 14/04/2014, available online:   http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09523367.2014.907795

“Surveillance Studies and Visual Art: An Examination of Jill Magid’s Evidence Locker,” Surveillance and Society 10.2 (2012): 134-149. PDF

“Powell’s Point: Denial and Deception at the U.N.” Visual Communication, 9.1 (2010): 25-49. PDF

“Photographing Fingerprints: Data Collection and State Surveillance,” Surveillance and Society 3.1 (2005): 21-44. PDF

Book chapters

“Seeing Surveillantly: Surveillance as Social Practice.” Eyes Everywhere: The Global Growth of Camera Surveillance. Eds. David Lyon, Randy Lippert and Aaron Doyle. New York: Routledge, 2012, 69-78. PDF

“Powell’s Point: Denial and Deception at the U.N.” Visual Communication and Culture: Images in Action. Ed. Jonathan Finn. Don Mills: Oxford, 2011, 200-217.

“Potential Threats and Potential Criminals: Data Collection in the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.” Global Surveillance and Policing: Borders, Security, Identity. Eds. Mark Salter and Elia Zureik. Devon U.K: Willan, 2005, 139-156. PDF


Editor, “Amodern 3: Sport and Visual Culture.” Special Issue of the journal Amodern, 2014.  http://amodern.net/issues/amodern-3-sport-visual-culture/

Book review. Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon. Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation. Cambridge: Polity, 2013. Canadian Journal of Communication, 39.3 (2014): 497-499.

Book review. Ludmilla Jordanova. The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Visual Studies, 24/03/2014. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1472586X.2014.887303

Book review. Neil Gerlach. The Genetic Imaginary: DNA in the Canadian Criminal Justice System. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. Theoretical Criminology, 10.3 (2006): 390-392.

Book review. Penny Cousineau-Levine. Faking Death: Art Photography and the Canadian Imagination. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s, 2003. Canadian Journal of Communication, 29.3/4 (2004): 413-414.

“Nation, Culture and Identity in an Opium Den.” Exhibition catalogue for Karen Tam’s Pagoda Pads: Opium Den. Robert Langen Art Gallery, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2011.

Columnist, canadianinterviews.com, 2010.

  1. “Should There be an Ethics of Looking?”
  2. “What do our Photo Albums say About us?”
  3. “CCTV on Campus: A Façade of Safety.”
  4. “The Affective Power of Photographs”
  5. “CCTV Doesn’t Work: So why do we use it?”
  6. “Seeing Surveillantly”