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DERC

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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Design + Ethnography + Futures workshop 4: Speculative design through food

Date: 22nd September 2014, 2-5pm

Venue: RMIT Design Hub, Pavilion 1 (level 10)

RVSP: yoko.akama@rmit.edu.au

Eating keeps us alive, but also necessitates the death of other organisms. In our urbanised living, many of us are removed from the birth and death of the majority of the things we eat. But what if we could design a 'zero food miles' system filled with organisms that we could grow and kill ourselves, in our own homes? Join us for a workshop with chef and ex-DERC member Helen Addison-Smith, where we work, think and eat our way through speculative food design. She will lead us through a 3hr workshop through making, sharing and eating food as a way to explore some of the deeper questions that confronts as well as motivate what we do. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, challenge your personal boundaries through intimate eating, and learn from an 'ethnography of ingestion' that may offer new ways of thinking and doing! Please bring something alive and also edible to share.

As with all of our Design + Ethnography + Futures workshops, this is not a 'how to do design ethnography' methods workshop or one that seeks to impart knowledge. We invite you to enter it with as few pre-conceived ideas as possible, including expectations for this workshop to achieve predefined outcomes. What you make and take away is therefore, entirely up to you+us. As such, we invite you to try and be comfortable with the random, experimental, improvisatory nature of uncertainty and let the process of discovery unfold ;-)

This event is supported by the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, Design Futures Lab and the Design Research Institute.

Lynn Schofield Clark on Radio National

Lynn Schofield Clark, our Visiting Fellow to DERC, appeared on Radio National's Life Matters program on Thursday 6 March, talking new media and families. Listen to the audio on demand.

PhD Scholarship available

 EOI closing date: 30 March 2014

This three-year scholarship is for a PhD candidate who will conduct ethnographic field research for a study of the moral and cultural economy of the mobile phone in Fiji. S/he will spend at least 12 months over the three years of candidature in Fiji documenting and analysing the relationships between consumers, companies, and state agents that take shape around mobile phones, digital media and infrastructures. The candidate will carry out research based on his or her specific expertise and research interests while also contributing a key component to a broader comparative study with Papua New Guinea funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant The Moral and Cultural Economy of the Mobile Phone in the Pacific. The candidate will also become a Postgraduate Member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre.

Eligible candidates will have a BA with Honours or MA/MsC (Research) in Anthropology, Sociology, Media, Communication, Science and Technology Studies, Informatics/Information or other related discipline. Candidates must be willing to undertake ethnographic fieldwork in Fiji and be willing to learn the language of their fieldwork site. Pending final approval, the Scholarship will include a tax-free stipend of $24,653 per year for three years (July 2014 to June 2016) and project-related research expenses. Please note that all applicants will need to apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT University to be eligible for the scholarship. Application details, including details and deadlines for RTS placement for Australian and New Zealand citizens and possible tuition fees for International candidates, can be found here.

 

Initial expressions of interest, including a CV and 500-word initial project proposal should be sent before 30 March 2014 to Dr. Heather Horst with the subject line PHD Scholarship EOI

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Website for ethical consumption project launched

The website for the ARC Discovery Project ‘The rise of ethical consumption in Australia: from the margins to the mainstream’, which is led by DERC's own Tania Lewis along with Kim Humphery, is now live at http://ethicalconsumption.org/. This project will be the first of its kind to examine the rise and impact of ethical consumption in Australia.

Most excellent ARC Discovery Grant outcomes!

The two directors of DERC have both been awarded ARC Discovery Grants for two separate innovative and exciting research projects. Along with Professor Robert Foster, Heather is undertaking research that will historically and ethnographically document the broad social consequences of new digital technologies in the Pacific region. You can find out more about this project here. Along with Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson, Larissa is studying how mobile game consumption is reflecting, and being shaped by, complex social and technological practices integral to contemporary life. You can find out more about this project here.

That's DOCTOR Patrick Kelly to you

DERC is very pleased to announce that we have perhaps our first DERC PhD. Patrick Kelly's practice-led project "Detour Off the Superhighway" explored media, aura and filmic practice, and saw him giving up media and communication technology in stages over 80 days.

DERC at EPIC2013

The Digital Ethnography Research Centre had a strong presence at EPIC2013, the leading conference for ethnographic praxis in industry (see http://epiconference.com/2013/), which was held in London 16-18 September. DERC Research Fellow Erin Taylor presented her paper with DERC Director Heather Horst entitled "From Street to Satellite: Mixing Methods To Understand Mobile Money Users" during the opening conference panel. Adjunct Professor and DERC member Daniel Miller gave a keynote entitled "Attaining Humanity" and DERC member Jo Tacchi represented the centre during a workshop entitled "Skills and relationships: defining the training of future practitioners" with participants from Microsoft, Swisscom and Canonical.

Geelab interview with Tom Boellstorff

ARC Linkage Grant success!

We are very pleased to announce that members of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre were the recipients of two Australian Research Council Linkage Grants.

The first project, 'Evaluating communication for development: supporting adaptive and accountable development', is led by DERC Member Prof. Jo Tacchi and is a partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund and Eidos Institute Ltd. (CIs/PIs: Tacchi, Prof Jo A; Rogers, Prof Patricia J; Obregon Galvez, A/Prof Rafael A; Pavarala, Prof Vinod; Muirhead, Prof Bruce D. $606,462.00)

The second funded project, 'Locating the mobile: intergenerational locative media practices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Shanghai', is led by DERC Co-Director A/Prof. Larissa Hjorth and is a partnership with Keio University, Tokyo, Fudan University and Intel Australia Pty Ltd. DERC Co-Director Dr. Heather Horst and DERC member Prof. Sarah Pink are also CIs on the project. (CIs/PIs: Hjorth, A/Prof Larissa; Horst, Dr Heather A; Pink, Prof Sarah; Bell, Dr Genevieve; Zhou, A/Prof Baohua; Kato, Dr Fumitoshi, $232,160.00)

We look forward to supporting DERC applications in future rounds!

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Research centre to push digital boundaries.