Picture of Jon Bath

Jon Bath PhD

Associate Professor and Department Head, Art & Art History

Department Head of Art & Art History
Faculty Member in Art & Art History

Murray Building 191.3

Research Area(s)

  • Creating digital interfaces that respond to the best practices of the past
  • Analyzing the relationship between form and content in various media forms
  • Using interdisciplinary design strategies to meet the needs of communities

About me

*Please note: I am not currently accepting graduate students. The U of S does not offer graduate degrees in Art History or Design.*

My field of specialization is the intersection between the visual arts, digital humanities, design, and the creation and use of textual objects. Although all of my degrees are in English Literature studies, I focus very little on literature per se, and instead study the visual appearance of books, and other textual forms including video games and mobile applications, and how these forms relate to the way these texts are received and used by various communities. I am also deeply invested in ensuring that research outputs created by artists and scholars are available and beneficial to the publics we serve.

Current Projects

Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE; http://inke.ca)

I am the co-lead of the Community Cluster. Funded by a SSHRC Partnership grant, INKE is a North American-based research network with the goal of fostering open social scholarship: academic practice that enables the creation, dissemination, and engagement of open research by specialists and non-specialists in accessible and significant ways.

Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship (LINCS; http://lincsproject.ca)

I am the Building Knowledge Research Theme lead. Funded by a CFI Cyberinfrastructure grant, LINCS is building the infrastructure to convert and interlink Canadian research datasets on cultural identities and cultural heritage, making them accessible as Linked Open Data for the benefit of scholars and the public. 

Shared Spaces (http://sharedspaces.usask.ca)

I am a member of the Digital Design Team. Funded by the Canada Council Digital Strategy fund, Shared Spaces is exploring how Augmented Reality (AR) can create opportunities for connection through art, both by making art accessible anywhere and by providing additional content that is often personal in nature. The Shared Spaces app can be downloaded from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

A History of Boring Typography: Book Design from the Renaissance to the Kindle

This in-progress monograph examines the continued influence of book design principles dating back to before the printing press on the design of contemporary reading interfaces, including e-readers, websites, and mobile operating systems. The first half of the book is based on my PhD dissertation, Blowing the Crystal Goblet: Transparent Book Design 1450-1950 (dissertation available here).

Recently Completed Projects

Post-Digital Book Arts (PDBA; http://pdba.usask.ca)

I was the PI for this SSHRC Insight Development Grant funded project that examined both the book arts as they have been impacted by the digital revolution, and the incorporation of digital technologies into the book arts in order to make digital artists’ books.

Feminist War Games?: Mechanisms of War, Feminist Values, and Interventional Games

I was one of the co-editors and contributed a chapter to this collection of essays published by Routledge in 2020. Focusing on the ways that games, both digital and table-top, can function as narratives, arguments, methods, and instruments of research, the volume demonstrates the impact of computing technologies on our perceptions, ideologies, and actions. Positing that feminist values can be asserted as a critical method of design, as an ideological design influence, and as a lens that determines how designers and players interact with and within arenas of war, the book addresses the persistence and brutality of war and issues surrounding violence in games, whilst also considering the place and purpose of video games in our cultural moment.

The Humanities and Fine Arts Digital Research Centre (DRC; https://library.usask.ca/drc/)

I oversaw the DRC from its creation in 2007 until it moved to the U of S Library in 2019, including serving as Director from 2011 to 2019, and Co-Director from 2019 to 2021 during its transition to the Library.


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Selection of Publications (by Year)

  • Jon Bath, Michael Peterson and the Shared Spaces Team. "Building with the community: Developing digital tools for engaging with the arts in Saskatchewan". Pop! Public. Open. Participatory, 2 (2020)
  • Jon Saklofske, Alyssa Arbuckle and Jon Bath, eds.. Feminist War Games? Mechanisms of War, Feminist Values, and Interventional Games. London: Routledge, 2019.
  • Jon Bath, Elly Cockcroft. "Toxic pacifism: the problems with and potential of non-violent playthroughs" In Feminist War Games? Mechanisms of War, Feminist Values, and Interventional Games, edited by Jon Saklofske, Alyssa Arbuckle, and Jon Bath, 182-192. London: Routledge, 2019.
  • Jon Bath. "Artistic Research Creation for Publicly Engaged Scholarship". KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 3, 1 (2019)
  • Jon Bath, Alyssa Arbuckle, Alex Christie, Constance Crompton, Ray Siemens, and the INKE team. "Futures of the Book" In Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • Harvey Quamen, Jon Bath. "Digital Humanities Databases" In Doing Digital Humanities: Practice, Training and Research, edited by Constance Crompton, Richard Lane, and Ray Siemens, 145-162. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • Bath, J, Scott Schofield and the INKE team. "The Digital Book" In Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book, edited by Leslie Howsam, 181-195. Cambridge UP: Cambridge, 2015.
  • Brent Nelson, Jon Bath, Robert Imes and the INKE team. "Small Books, Small Screens: From the Phylactery to the Cellphone". Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 51, 2 (2013)
  • Bath, J. "Tradition and Transparency: Why Book Design Still Matters in the Digital Age". Scholarly and Research Communication 1, 3 (2012)
  • Brent Nelson, Jon Bath and the INKE Research Team. "Old Ways for Linking Texts in the Digital Reading Environment: The Case of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible". Digital Humanities Quarterly 6, 2 (2012)
  • Alan Galey, Jon Bath, Rebecca Niles, Richard Cunningham, and the INKE team. "Imagining the Architectures of the Book: Textual Scholarship and the Digital Book Arts". Textual Cultures 7, 2 (2012): 20-42.

Teaching & Supervision

art history artist books design digital humanities electronic art graphic novels media history video games visual culture

Selection of Courses Taught (by Year)

  • 2011 - University of Toronto, BKS1002: Book History in Practice
  • 2011 - Eng 801: Bibliography and Textual Criticism
  • 2012 - Eng 801: Bibliography and Textual Criticism
  • 2013 - INCC898: The Book as Object
  • 2013 - Eng 801: Bibliography and Textual Criticism
  • 2014 - INCC898: The Book as Object
  • 2015 - ARTH251: Art of the Internet
  • 2016 - ARTH498: The Book as Object
  • 2016 - ARTH251: Art of the Internet
  • 2017 - INCC401: Digital Culture Capstone
  • 2017 - INTS111: Design and Society
  • 2017 - ARTH120: Art and Visual Culture I
  • 2017 - ARTH251: Art of the Internet
  • 2018 - ARTH451: The Book as Object
  • 2018 - INCC401: Digital Culture Capstone
  • 2018 - INTS111: Design and Society
  • 2018 - ARTH120: Art and Visual Culture I
  • 2018 - INTS111 01: Design and Society
  • 2019 - ARTH121: Art and Visual Culture II
  • 2019 - ARTH451: The Book as Object
  • 2019 - INTS111 02: Design and Society
  • 2019 - ARTH120: Art and Visual Culture I
  • 2020 - ARTH121: Art and Visual Culture II
  • 2020 - ARTH251: Art of the Internet
  • 2020 - ARTH120: Art and Visual Culture I
  • 2020 - ARTH250: Intro to Visual Culture
  • 2021 - ARTH121: Art and Visual Culture II
  • 2021 - ARTH251: Art of the Internet
  • 2021 - INTS111: Design and Society


book design digital humanities interface design media history research creation typography