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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What's On

Engaging with religion and the Internet in Indonesia: an autobiographical journey

July 15

In this talk Leo reflect on the relationship between religion, academic discourse and the Internet through his own research trajectory. To this end, the discussion focusses on two projects conducted at my Leo’s home institution: (1) the Indonesian Interfaith Weather Station (IIWS) - an early warning system for interfaith relationships - and (2) the Internet as a religious public sphere in Indonesia.

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The Art of Play

July 3 - September 6

In The Art of Play, audiences are invited to consider connections between contemporary and older forms of playful media. Drawing from a three-year ethnography into Australian households and their use of mobile gaming as part of broader socio-cultural practices, The Art of Play seeks to connect the histories of play by exploring the entanglements between online and offline, and past and present.

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Featured Project: Mobilising Media for Sustainable Outcomes in the Pacific Region

Heather A. Horst, Jo Tacchi & Domenic Friguglietti

Funded by the Australian Research Council (LP120200705), 2013–2016; RPIS Grant, 2012; ABC International, 2012-2015

This project will research Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives in the Pacific region. Partnering with ABC International Development (ABC ID), the study represents a unique opportunity to research and inform the design, implementation and evaluation of development programs with implications for the region and Australian development initiatives globally. Development in the region is a priority for Australia as we provide half of all global Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Pacific island countries, over $1.16 billion in 2011-12, constituting almost 25 per cent of total Australian development assistance.

Photo by ABC International, 2011

The Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) is a regional program run by ABC ID with support from AusAID. It aims to contribute to improved and sustainable development outcomes through strengthening media systems, and increasingly through C4D approaches. ABC ID and AusAID recognise the need to seek localised solutions within a regional approach, a need that this project responds to. ABC ID draw upon the latest thinking in innovative, qualitative approaches to researching and evaluating C4D to add more nuanced understanding to this survey work and capture the important particularities of the region. Bringing together the recent survey research with our approach to C4D and the importance of understanding ‘communicative ecologies’, our partnership will research and inform the PACMAS scheme to facilitate deeper understandings of the region leading to more effective development assistance.

Researchers involved in the project include Jennifer Ananyo, Mark Eby, Sheba Mohammid, Jessica Noske-Turner & Marion Muliaumaseali’i.

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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