The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) fosters cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research, especially in relation to the Asia-Pacific region. Through research and critical engagement, we collectively seek to push the boundaries and possibilities of ethnographic practice in, through and around digital media. DERC is a research centre in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, affiliated with the Design Research Institute. Read more about digital ethnography. Sign up for our mailing list.

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David Romero Martin Seminar: The Role of the Body as Interface for Experience. Contributions from Art and the Agoraphobic Paradigm

Date: November 18th, 1:30pm -3:00pm

Venue: Room 12, Level 3, Building 13

The body can be considered as a complex interface that mediates the experience between the subject and the world. It constitutes a trans-disciplinary challenge, posed by the very nature of bodily-mediated experience. The role of the body is particularly felt by agoraphobic people, as agoraphobia problematizes the nature of the bodily experience between the subject and the world, with threatening sensations of the body as dissolving into the environment, which challenges its boundaries and sense of unity. This talk is based around themain research question: which is the role of the body as a mediator-interface between the subject and the world? The hypothesis is that by analyzing the queries and challenges from the point of view of agoraphobia new light is brought to the role of the body in the relationship between subject, world and perception. Art, in connection with other fields, can be a method to externalize this perspective and share the experience of the world by agoraphobic subjects, and to offer this explorations to the transdisciplinary debate about the body. In this sense, it can be useful to any field in which the body is crucial such as neurology, psychiatry, anthropology, design, technology, geography and philosophy, among others. Based on the case study of agoraphobia as open to different queries, this talk has 3 objectives: (1) to deepen the role of the body in the mediation subject world; and (2) to review subjective art experiences that mirror, access and provoke shifts in bodily perceptions and body schema that can open new horizons to perceive, grasp and understand the experience between subject and world (3) offer an analysis of the particularities of the role of body in this mediation of experience. This analysis of different applied methods and means that have been developed to access, grasp and share these experiences in art, especially in recent trandisciplinary practices, can show the potential of the case of agoraphobia as a paradigm for further research..







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Featured Project: Transmedia Literacy: Exploiting transmedia skills and informal learning strategies to improve formal education

CI: Professor Carlos A Scholari, RMIT: A/Prof. Heather Horst & Professor Sarah Pink

Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation actions, 2015-2017

The aim of the Transmedia Literacy project is to understand how young boys and girls are learning skills outside the school. The construction of those cultural competencies and social skills will be at the centre of the research. Once the informal learning strategies and practices applied by young people outside the formal institutions are identified, the team will ‘translate’ them into a series of activities and proposals to be implemented inside school settings. The Transmedia Literacy Project will also produce a Teacher’s Kit that will be designed to facilitate the integration of transliteracies in the classroom.

In short, the Transmedia Literacy project will:

  • Contribute to a better understanding of how teens are consuming, producing, sharing, creating and learning in digital environments
  • Create a map of transmedia skills and informal learning strategies used by young boys and girls that identify how these may correspond with the formal education system.
  • Go beyond the identification of skills/strategies and propose a Teacher’s Kit that any teacher could download, adapt and apply in the classroom.
  • Conduct research and develop these toolkits in 9 countries across three continents.
  • Integrate an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers.

The Transmedia Literacy project involves an interdisciplinary group of 25 researchers with sound experience in fields such as: media literacy, transmedia storytelling, user-generated content and participatory culture, traditional and virtual ethnography, and pedagogy and innovation in education. The research will focus on specific skills (i.e. transmedia content production and sharing, problem solving in videogames, etc.) in 9 countries across three continents (Australia, Colombia, Finland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, and Uruguay).

The research will focus on teens (12-18 years old), an age characterized by a short but intensive use of media and digital technologies. Most of the teenagers who will participate in the study have been using digital technologies for a few years, and see new media as part of their ‘natural environment’. Many teens would be considered advanced users. The aim of this study is to map transmedia practices and informal learning strategies teens use through an ethnographic approach which integrates survey responses, interviews, focus groups, and participant observation.

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Featured Publication: The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media

Edited by Gerard Goggin and Larissa Hjorth

The last decade has witnessed the rise of the cell phone from a mode of communication to an indispensable multimedia device, and this phenomenon has led to the burgeoning of mobile communication studies in media, cultural studies, and communication departments across the academy.

The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media seeks to be the definitive publication for scholars and students interested in comprehending all the various aspects of mobile media. This collection, which gathers together original articles by a global roster of contributors from a variety of disciplines, sets out to contextualize the increasingly convergent areas surrounding social, geosocial, and mobile media discourses.

Features include:

  • comprehensive and interdisciplinary models and approaches for analyzing mobile media;
  • wide-ranging case studies that draw from this truly global field, including China, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as Europe, the UK, and the US;
  • a consideration of mobile media as part of broader media ecologies and histories;
  • chapters setting out the economic and policy underpinnings of mobile media;
  • explorations of the artistic and creative dimensions of mobile media;
  • studies of emerging issues such as ecological sustainability;
  • up-to-date overviews on social and locative media by pioneers in the field.

Drawn from a range of theoretical, artistic, and cultural approaches, The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media will serve as a crucial reference text to inform and orient those interested in this quickly expanding and far-reaching field.



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