Michael Arntfield


Michael Arntfield is a professor at Western University where he specializes in digital and emerging media, investigative journalism, true crime writing, and forensic linguistics, lexicology, and stylometry. He has also previously served as a professor of criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University, and am now affiliate faculty with the Centre for Research in Forensic Semiotics at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Further, he has over 15 years’ experience as a police officer across myriad areas of specialization: major crimes, robbery, arson, criminal intelligence, and crime prevention, as well as writing search warrants, production orders, and other judicial authorizations for these and other specialized investigative units. Known as the ‘Profficer’ among his students, this unique background has now enabled him to venture into both commercial and academic publishing, as well as professional consulting and network television development and production.

His PhD, also from Western, is in digital media and was focused on the role of what’s known as technological determinism in dictating crime trends, as well as institutional responses to crime, press reportage of crime, and ultimately the public fear of crime. He is especially interested in the nexus between digital spaces and delinquency; specifically, the confluence between social media and psycyhopathy. Much of his current research is in this same area, including a new large-scale and federally-funded project on cyberbullying titled Syntax & Cyberbullying: A Linguistic Etiology of Offending. The principal focus of the early stages of this project includes the assessment of linguistic relativity and victimology in online environments, and how textual content can elicit such dramatically different responses among victims of electronic harassment. Preliminary results also suggest a paraphilic, or devious fantasy element, to cyberbullying which could fundamentally alter our understanding of victim-offender encounters online.

Related Events

Ian Hamilton & John Goldbach: In Conversation with Mike Arntfield

November 5, 2017 at 11:00am

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