23rd Jan

First Year Research Introductions

AND Start of Term Get-Together

We met some brand new fresh-out-of-the-box PhD students (hello John and Joe) and heard from some slightly less new but still fresh-faced PhD students who told us about their intended research projects.  Followed by the kind of intense and joyous discussion that only wine, sandwiches and Indian snacks can induce.  Thanks for a great evening everyone!  Recordings can be found on Study Direct.  Summaries below:

Lizzie ReedThe place, production and potential of the queer family

Juan RamosThe US Spanish Language Telenovela

Rachel TavernorFrom Spectatorship to Solidarity: visualising protest movements in the British media

Tanya KantProblematising personalisation: interrogating the relationship between end users and online personalised media

Maki IseriAgainst Flexibility: Limitation of the Body Politics in Queer Theory and the Experience of Debility

The following notes will give a general impression of the research introductions.  They are taken from one person’s notes in the seminar so they are not a full representation of what was said.  To find out more, please get in touch with the researcher whose work is described – they will be more than happy to fill in the gaps!

Lizzie ReedThe place, production and potential of the queer family

-Position of the queer family – where in society do we find them?  Where/in relation to what are they situated?

-Potential of the queer family – radical ideal.  Current theory has become too disconnected from the everyday lived experience

-Production of the queer family – how the queer family is constructed in the media.  What stories are told?

-Definition of queer family as queer-identified adults raising children in domestic situations.  This narrow definition intenionally chosen for its position against or in relation to the hetero-normative ideal.  This is the only type of queer family recognised by mainstream society.  Only recognised ‘outside’ groups can challenge the hegemony.

Juan RamosThe US Spanish Language Telenovela

-US-created Spanish telenovelas.  Most important manifestation of Latin American popular culture.

-Serialised melodramas with a beginning, middle and end.  Average 120 episodes.  Usually daily.

-Imported Mexican telenovelas in USA since 1960s.  USA-produced since 1990s but primarily since 2000s.

-Often ignored in discussions of USA television genres.  Considered a foreign genre, even though they are USA-produced.

-Transnational and globalisation issues.

Rachel TavernorFrom Spectatorship to Solidarity: visualising protest movements in the British media

-motivated by question about the images chosen to illustrate charity ad campaigns.  Do images reimpose colonial domination?

-Proposes that images are not passive.  They can be interactive – e.g. by inspiring activism

-Explanation and outline of case studies

-Tracking how visuals are shared across social media.  Which images are shared, which are static?

-How does the call for solidarity (with subjects of charity ad campaigns) interpolate the subject?  And the audience?

-Can new narratives be made using participatory projects?  Grass-roots forms of media production

Tanya KantProblematising personalisation: interrogating the relationship between end users and online personalised media

-motivated by society’s obsession with the personal.  Conflict between the personal and ubiquitous technology.

-algorithmic personalisation.  Relevance as determined by algorithms.  Demographics inferred from cookies.

-means there is no single experience of the Internet. Question for publics/public sphere?

-how do users deal with the personalisation process?  How do they work around it, engage with it, reject or oppose it?

-outline of case studies

-why are users so concerned with private data?

Maki IseriAgainst Flexibility: Limitation of the Body Politics in Queer Theory and the Experience of Debility

-body politics.  Combining queer studies and disability studies.  Capability, mobility and sustainability of the body.  Focus on bodily flexibility

-existing studies stress the similarity of queer and disability studies.  New focus on what is presupposed by queer theory.  What is discouraged or excluded by queer theory?

-Relationship between bodily flexibility and neoliberalism.  How queer and disability studies have similarities in neoliberal capitalism.

-representation of paralympic athletes in fashion magazines

-both the similarities and contradictions of queer and disability studies must be considered

Followed by:

Welcome party

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