Our funded research and initiatives address political and cultural engagement, critical animal studies, media and migration, digital media and everyday life, media, gender and health, media scandals, celebrities and cultural industries, mobile socialities, media audiences, urban creative collectives, and visual cultures. Research is organised in four intersecting themes:
Media engagement, democracy and cultural citizenship
Media engagement is a multidimensional phenomenon that can be analysed in order to understand the ways citizens and audiences engage and disengage with media that matters to them in the context of their lived experiences. Research in this area strives to understand the connections across reason and emotion, and why people connect or disconnect with politics, culture and the doing of citizenship. To probe the meaning of engagement opens up our horizons of understanding with regard to how the political and cultural spheres intersect through the parameters of civic engagement and democracy.
Media industries and creativity
The creative industries are mashing up genres, mixing technologies, and working in creative hubs where there is a cross fertilisation of skills and ideas. Research in this area focuses on co-creative labour and working spaces, visual cultures and grassroots creative communities, the talent and celebrity industries, and mixed genres and modes of storytelling for cross platform content. Such co-creative labour can generate new expressions of symbolic meaning and value within the creative industries, but there are also tensions regarding the socio-political consequences of these forms of mixed media and creative collaboration.
Gender, health and society
Gender representations in the news, media health and wellbeing, invite critical questions of power relations and empowerment in the media and society. Research in this area focuses on gender equality and journalism, health and everyday media practices, public health and misinformation in online rumours for anti-vaccination, media scandals and victim recognition. Another area of research in this theme analyses media, death and dying, including storytelling, the paranormal and alternative health for mind, body and spirit.
Audiences, popular culture and everyday life
Media audiences and everyday life addresses the movements, combinations and connections between media, social relations and life experiences. We map and evaluate the patterns and tracks people now make as they roam the digital media landscape. We analyse how popular culture connects with whole ways of life. Research in this area re-thinks the very category of ‘audience’ and the perspectives and methods used to understand media engagement and experiences in a rapidly changing environment.