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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.

The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) is a part of RMIT.

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DERC Directors

DERC Members

DERC Postgraduate Members

DERC Research Associates

 

DERC Directors

Heather Horst (Co-Director) is a Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. She has been researching mobile communication, transnational migration and digital media practices and has published widely in anthropology, media and communication journals. Her books include The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (with Daniel Miller, Berg, 2006) and Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media (with Mizuko Ito, et al., MIT Press, 2009) and an edited volume with Daniel Miller, Digital Anthropology, to be published with Berg in late 2012. She is currently carrying out research on mobile media and communication in the global south on three projects:  an IMTFI-funded project on Money, Migrants and Mobility on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic with Erin Taylor (University of Lisbon), the PACMAS Baseline Study with consortium partners University of Goroka and UNITEC, and ARC Linkage 'Mobilising Media for Sustainable Outcomes in the Pacific' with Jo Tacchi and Domenic Friguglietti. Contact: heather.horst@rmit.edu.au Webpage: http://heatherhorst.org

Larissa Hjorth (Co-Director) is Associate Professor in the Games Programs at RMIT University. She is an artist and digital ethnographer who researches gendered customising of mobile, social and gaming communities in the Asia–Pacific. She is the author of Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific (London, Routledge, 2009) and Games & Gaming (London, Berg, 2010). Hjorth has co-edited three Routledge anthologies, Gaming Cultures and Place in the Asia–Pacific region (with Dean Chan, 2009), Mobile Technologies: from Telecommunication to Media (with Gerard Goggin, 2009) and Studying the iPhone: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone (with Jean Burgess and Ingrid Richardson, 2012). She is currently CI on two ARC grants (one linkage, the other discovery). Contact: larissa.hjorth@rmit.edu.au. Webpage: http://www.larissa.hjorth.net

DERC Members

Victor Albert is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. He is an ethnographer with a broad interest in the relationship between people and organisations, whether they be governmental, business or civil society. Victor has conducted long-term fieldwork in Greater Sao Paulo, Brazil, and has also carried out research for local government in Australia. Contact: victor.albert@rmit.edu.au

Yoko Akama undertakes practice-led research to explore the role and agency of design within a ‘messy’ people-centred project context. Her research interest focuses on human-centred design practices of exploring design artefacts, language and processes, and their role as ‘scaffolds’ in facilitating the communication and engagement among people. Her current research project with the Bushfire CRC explores design research methods to explore and strengthen community resilience in mitigating bushfire risks. She is an active member of the Service Design Network Australia and Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability network. Contact: yoko.akama@rmit.edu.au

Marsha Berry is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Marsha supervises postgraduate research students across a range of topics concerned with new media arts, narrative, design and mobility. She has been researching relationships between narrative and mobile media for a number of years and has numerous publications in international journals, and has won international competitive research grants. Her art practice includes poetry, video art and new media. She has explored notions of memory, place and displacement through video art, photography and poetry. Marsha’s current research investigates the implications of the complex connections between geo-placed community narratives including poetic expressions for mobile and location based media. As a part of this project, she runs a website that pins poetry to place http://poetry4u.org. Contact: marsha.berry@rmit.edu.au

Shelley Brunt is a Lecturer in the BA (Music Industry) programme, and the Media programme. She is primarily involved with academic courses, and coordinates the 2nd year BA (Music Industry) students. Brunt’s research and publications concern ethnomusicological approaches to popular music and cultural studies. Her research trajectory began in the discipline of ethnomusicology, focusing on expressions of identity, community and gender in a televised Japanese popular music song contest—an ongoing study since 1999, which has been funded by competitive research grants. More recently, she extended her background in ethnography and performance analysis to the area of media studies, and is examining televised ‘posthumous duets’ (where a living singer is paired with a deceased singer generated by digital means). She is also exploring the educational role of digital musical instruments, and in 2010 was co-awarded an e-learning grant to create an online Central Javanese gamelan. Brunt’s fields of interest also include the cultural function of urban music festivals, and has published writing on Wellington’s Cuba St Carnival (NZ). Her current research projects involve the industry of ukulele festivals, and the instrument’s resurgence in popular music in Australia and New Zealand. Contact: shelley.brunt@rmit.edu.au

Helen Dickson is a lecturer at RMIT University within the Bachelor of Arts (Animation and Interactive Media) (BAAIM).  Helen specialises in design and has 15 years of experience within the education environment in graphic design. Helen has also worked in the design industry as consultant and manager. Helen's research interests are in motion graphics, 2D Animation and Kinetic Typography. Her ongoing research practice exploring visual themes relating to image and typography. Contact: helen.dickson@rmit.edu.au

Sheree Gregory studies the intersections between gender, work/family, and digital technologies. A Research Fellow and Lecturer (RMIT and Swinburne), she joined the RMIT Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work following a post−doctoral ARC project at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, and is Co-Convenor of the Work and Labour Studies Thematic Group of The Australian Sociological Association. Dr Gregory is co−editor of two monographs, Women and Work, (RMIT Publishing 2007, 2005). Her work explores ideas and assumptions underpinning the roles and issues of men and women in families, parenting and work. During her PhD she contributed to the implementation of a part−time work policy in an organisation where she conducted ethnographic fieldwork and liaised with the former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Sheree publishes in key scholarly journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice; Work, Employment and Society; Media International Australia. Her research has featured in media outlets in Australia and the United Kingdom. She publishes the blog Boy Girl Modern World. Among her interests are documentary film making.Contact: sheree.gregory@rmit.edu.au.

Tania Ivanka lectures in Communication Design at RMIT, focusing on Interaction and Service Design methods as a strategy for embedding socially responsible and sustainable design practice into undergraduate curricula. With grounding in permaculture (a method of systems thinking and design of spaces for sustainable food production and living) Tania's research interests include building resilience within the urban landscape, guerrilla gardening, community gardening, and ‘permablitzing’ (a social network for retrofitting gardens for food production). In 2009 Tania completed her Master of Design (Communication Design) by research, investigating the cultivation of a sustaining design practice embedding sustainability into both work and life practice. This postgraduate research included mapping as visualisations of her research projects as systems of both material and cultural production. Contact: tania.ivanka@rmit.edu.au

Seth Keen teaches New Media at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a MA (by Research) and is currently in candidature on a practice based PhD (Communication). Seth works with video to explore the nexus between documentary practice and new media technologies. His practice is interdisciplinary across media, art and design. He produces video works for exhibition, broadcast, screening and online publication. Interested in social and environmental change, Seth collaborates with organisations on the design of frameworks to create web interactive documentaries, audio-visual archives and tools. In collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam, Seth helped facilitate and research the Video Vortex conference series, a critical forum on online video. Contact: seth.keen@rmit.edu.au Webpage: http://www.sethkeen.net

Danielle Kirby is a researcher across the fields of Communication and New Religious Movements, with a specialisation in the intersection of contemporary alternative religion, narrative, and digital media. Danielle has published on topics such as online religion and virtual community, remix and art in alternative religion, and the status of the text in contemporary online religion. Her forthcoming book, Fantasy and Belief: exploring the relationship between fiction, media, and alternative religion, will be in print in 2012. Contact: danielle.kirby@rmit.edu.au

Jennifer Lade is an artist and a senior lecturer at RMIT in the area of digital art and games. She has an underlying interest in the integration of virtual sensory experiences and the corporeal world. Her recent exhibited work has combined photo media and narrative text. Her teaching interests are focused on hybrid physical and virtual creative practice in the development of avatar / characters and games environments relating to specific locations. Contact: jennifer.lade@rmit.edu.au

Tania Lewis is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication and a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow. She worked as a medical practitioner in NZ before retraining in the humanities. She has taught in media studies and cultural studies and has conducted research and published across a wide variety of areas. She has held Research Fellowships at the University of Melbourne, Monash and La Trobe University and has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Her recent research has focused on lifestyle, consumption and modernity; global TV formats (with a particular focus on reality and lifestyle TV in Asia); ethical consumption; and cultural approaches to sustainability. Tania is a Chief Investigator on an ARC grant-funded comparative study on lifestyle television across different national contexts, ARC DP1094355, ‘The role of lifestyle television in transforming culture, citizenship and selfhood: Australia, China, Taiwan, Singapore and India’. The project is funded for four years 2010 -2013; the other CIs are Fran Martin (U Melbourne), Wanning Sun (UTS), Ramaswami Harindranath (U Melbourne) and John Sinclair (U Melbourne). Contact: tania.lewis@rmit.edu.au

Glenda Mejía is a Lecturer/Co-ordinator of the Spanish Program in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. Her research interests are focused on place and representation of women in Latin American cinema and media ethnography. She has also done research on Sociolinguistics (identity and language). She conducts research among Spanish-speaking people in Australia and in Cuban, Colombian and Mexican Cinema. Contact: glenda.mejia@rmit.edu.au

Daniel Miller is an Adjunct Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University (2013-2016) and Professor of Material Culture in the Department of Anthropology at University College London, UK. He has published over 30 books including Digital Anthropology (with H. Horst, eds, Berg, 2012), Tales from Facebook (Polity Press, 2011), Migration and New Media: Transnationalism and Polymedia (with M. Madianou, Routledge, 2011), The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (with H. Horst, Berg, 2006) and The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach (with Don Slater, Berg, 2000). Other recent books include Blue Jeans (with S. Woodward, University of California Press, 2011), Consumption and Its Consequences (Polity Press, 2012) and Stuff (Polity Press, 2009). Professor Miller has received numerous honours in recognition to his contribution to anthropology, including the Henry Lewis Morgan Lectures (the most prestigious lecture series in Anthropology) and the Rivers Memorial Medal awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is also an Elected Fellow of the British Academy. He is currently carrying out research on a five-year study of social networking sites funded by the European Research Council. Contact d.miller@ucl.ac.uk

Adam Nash is internationally recognised as one of the most innovative and influential artists working in virtual environments, realtime 3D and mixed-reality technology. Based in Melbourne, Australia, he is an artist, composer, programmer, performer and writer. Nash’s work explores virtual environments as audiovisual performance spaces and sites for data/motion capture and generative audiovisual environments. His work has been presented in galleries, festivals and online in Australia, Europe, Asia and The Americas, including peak festivals SIGGRAPH, ISEA, ZERO1SJ and the Venice Biennale. Nash was the recipient of the inaugural Australia Council Second Life Artist in Residence grant and has been artist in residence at Ars Electronica FutureLab. Awarded an Australia Council Connections Residency in 2009, Nash founded SquareTangle with colleague John McCormick and went on to establish the Australian Centre for Virtual Art with Christopher Dodds, which runs labs and workshops for existing and emerging artists to explore virtual media. Nash was shortlisted for the National Art Award in New Media at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in 2008 and has a PhD from the Centre for Animation and Interactive Media at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a Lecturer in Computer Games and Digital Art in the School of Media and Communications at RMIT University. Contact: adam.nash@rmit.edu.au

Sarah Pink is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work brings together academic scholarship with applied research. She joined RMIT in 2012 as Professor of Design/Media Ethnography, from Loughborough University in the UK. She is the author or co/editor of 12 books and the author of over 100 peer refereed journal articles and book chapters. One of her next co-edited volumes focuses on Media, Anthropology and Public Engagement. She will be convening the Digital Interventions seminar series at RMIT, to explore how digital media are implicated in producing change. Sarah’s current digital media ethnography is currently focused in two areas. First, as part of the LEEDR project based at Loughborough University UK, she works on everyday digital media practices and energy consumption in families. An early publication from this work can be found in Sociological Research on-line. Second, with Larissa Hjorth in the DERC, she is developing research about and writing on camera-phone photography and locative media. Sarah is also a global authority on digital visual and sensory ethnographic methodologies, bringing an innovative strand of methodological expertise to the DERC. See Sarah talking to Sage publications’ Patrick Brindle about her work on visual ethnography here. See Sarah talking about the first person perspective in digital ethnography here. Contact: sarah.pink@rmit.edu.au.

John Postill is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication and a member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University.  He is currently co-editor of the Anthropology of Media series (Berghahn) and on the editorial board of Anthropology Today published by the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is a member of the Association of Internet Researchers, the European Association of Social Anthropologists and the Media Anthropology Network. Contact: john.postill@rmit.edu.au. Webpage: media/anthropology

Dominic Redfern is a video artist. Redfern creates video works at the intersection of site, screen and identity. While he maintains a strong performance based practice, in recent years Redfern’s work with identity has increasingly focused on narratives of place and subsequently upon the discourse of natural history. In 2011, Redfern will exhibit in a solo show in Sweden and group shows at home and abroad and also travel to La Rochelle to undertake a project at its prestigious natural history museum. Recently Redfern’s work has been seen at venues including the Tate Modern, WA’s PICA, the Perth International Arts Festival, as a finalist in the 2010 ReelDance awards and at Sydney’s Performance Space. Redfern is the chair of the board at WestSpace Gallery and works as a senior lecturer in video art and as the studio coordinator for Media Arts at RMIT University. Redfern is currently involved with Hjorth in an ARC linkage, Spatial Dialogues, in sites across Melbourne, Shanghai and Tokyo. Contact: dominic.redfern@rmit.edu.au

Kristen Sharp is an academic researcher, with a particular interest in contemporary art in urban spaces, collaborative practices in transnational art projects and contemporary Asian art. She is currently working on a collaborative project located in Melbourne, Shanghai and Tokyo investigating the role of art in public discussions on climate change. Sharp has published her work in a number of academic books and journals, and is currently editing a book on art and city cultures. Sharp is the Coordinator of Art History and Theory in the School of Art at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Contact: kristen.sharp@rmit.edu.au

Supriya Singh is Professor, Sociology of Communications at the Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University. Her work focuses on the sociology of money and banking; migration, remittances and the transnational family; user centred design of information and communication technologies; and methodological issues relating to qualitative research. She heads the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre at RMIT Business, the Community, Development and Migration Program at the Global Studies Research Institute, and co-leads the Asia@RMIT initiative at RMIT University. Her books include Globalization and Money: A Global South Perspective (forthcoming), Marriage Money: The Social Shaping of Money in Marriage and Banking, The Bankers: Australia’s Leading Bankers Talk about Banking Today, Bank Negara Malaysia: The First 25 Years, 1959-1984 and On the Sulu Sea. At Smart Services CRC, Supriya is researching ‘The Gender of Mobile Money’ with Heather Horst; ‘Big Data – Bad Data, Good Data?’ with Margaret Jackson, Clive Morley and Heather Horst and ‘Mobile Banking for Remote Indigenous Communities’ with Vinita Godinho and Heather Horst. With the Community, Development and Migration Program, she is developing research on ‘Personal Dimensions of Globalization: The Bangladesh Tragedy’. Asia@RMIT will be considering the theme ‘What can Australia learn from Asia?’ over the next three years with a focus on different Asian regions. Contact: supriya.singh@rmit.edu.au

Jo Tacchi is a Professor and Deputy Dean in Research in the School of Media and Communication. She is an expert in media anthropology and communication for development (C4D). She has gained over 3 million dollars in research funding and has led three large ARC Linkages, two of them situated in Asia. Finding a Voice (LP0561848) worked with a network of nine local researchers across India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Tacchi’s early media ethnography remains one of a few fully-fledged ethnographic accounts of media audiences. Tacchi’s recent publications include Radio and Affective Rhythm in the Everyday (2009) and Radio in the Home (in press). Contact: jo.tacchi@rmit.edu.au

Paul Emerson Teusner is a casual teacher in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. His primary interests lie in the place of religion in mediated cultural settings, the creation and development of global diasporas, and the formation of the cultural identity of the “digital native” – where new media technologies are not just tools, but are constitutive in identity. He recently completed his PhD, Emerging church bloggers in Australia: Prophets, priests and rulers in God’s virtual world, in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Contact: paul.teusner@rmit.edu.au

Laurene Vaughan is an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University and Research Leader within the RMIT Design Research Institute. Between 2005 -20010 she was Project Leader and researcher within ACID (the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design). Originally coming from an art and design education background with a major in sculpture, Vaughan has melded a career of practicing artist, designer and educator in Australia and internationally. Within her practice Vaughan endeavours to explore and present comment on the interactive and situated nature of human experience, particularly the ways that we create and articulate the experience of place. For the past 5-years she has been investigating the historical and cultural evolution of vernacular artefacts: their making and their meaning. She enjoys identifying the unexpected within our everyday lives and then re-presenting them through images, words and artefacts. Contact: laurenekv@gmail.com

Shaun Wilson is an artist, film maker, writer and curator who focuses on the relationships between memory and place. One of the key aspects of his work is to understand how memories can effect the places we inhabit and move through but moreover, how the recording and historisation of memory can change, or be 'forgotten' over time by way of selective editing. Wilson plays out these ideas through miniatures, video art, and cinema to examine how our sense of memory and history can change according to the mode by which we articulate its delivery. He has exhibited widely inter/nationally including key exhibitions including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Museum of Contemporary Art Fenosa Union, National Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, and the Seattle Centre on Contemporary Art. He holds a PhD from the University of Tasmania (2005) and is Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communication at RMT University. Find out more about his current project 51 Paintings here. Contact: shaun.wilson@rmit.edu.au

Emma Witkowski joined RMIT as a lecturer in the Games Program in 2013. She received her PhD in Game Studies in 2012, taking a qualitative exploration of networked high performance play, considered through a lens of sociology and phenomenology, sports and game studies. She has been working in the field of computer game cultures since 2005, the same year she co-founded the Danish state and privately funded initiative Letzplay, a project aimed at increasing women’s and girls access to ICT’s and computer gaming knowledge. Her current research looks at various aspects of computer game cultures, from issues in competitive e-sports to the computer game playing practices of young men in juvenile facilities. She has written and presented on topics such as gender and games, e-sports competitions, Mega-LANs, serious leisure, exer-game running aesthetics, and the phenomenology of high-performance networked teams. Contact: emma.witkowski@rmit.edu.au Webpage: emmawitkowski.com

Jeremy Yuille is an interaction designer, digital media artist and academic with a background in digital art, music, performance and architecture. He has a Bachelor of Design Studies from the Architecture department of the University of Queensland and a Masters of Design from the Spatial Information Architecture Lab at RMIT University. Yuille is a co-founder of the Media and Communication Design Studio at RMIT, where he undertakes collaborative research projects, supervises postgraduate students, and holds interaction design studios. He is also a certified scrum-master, and has been a director of the Interaction Design Association. Contact: jeremy.yuille@rmit.edu.au

DERC Postgraduate Members

Jennifer Anayo is a PhD candidate with the school of Media and Communications at RMIT University. Her project's working title is: ‘Capacity, Communication and Mediated Futures in the South Pacific: Niue, Youth and Expression of Home, Culture and Self.’ This project is interested in the impact of media and communications on the Youth of Niue; on identity, agency and imagined futures. Jennifer has a background in Industrial and Graphic Design and recently completed her Masters of Applied Anthropology with Macquarie University. She aims to take an ethnographic approach to her study of the communicative ecology of Niuean Youth, and within this, identify opportunities for Design response.Contact: jennifer.anayo@gmail.com

Ben Calder is currently undertaking his Honours degree at RMIT, through the School of Media and Communication. The working title of his thesis is "Clicktivism: Toward an Understanding of Emerging Paradigms of Political Participation Amongst Young Australians". He hopes to explore ways existing formal political structures might change to reflect and accomodate the differences in the way young people are participating politically. Having studied Law before commencing Honours, Ben hopes to bring this knowledge into his research by examining the work of law reform bodies, looking at how they are engaging with young people. Contact: ben.perrin.calder@gmail.com

Mark Eby has been working as an independent filmmaker for over 15 years and is a PhD candidate with the school of Media and Communications at RMIT University. The working title of his project is ‘Coming to a Haus Piksa near you: A case study of film production and distribution in Papua New Guinea’. It will establish a collaborative process through action research with indigenous communities and aspiring PNG filmmakers that might serve as a model for sustainable film production in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region. He grew up in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea and throughout his life has lived and worked alternately in the U.S. or in Papua New Guinea. In his career he has specialized in documentaries about performance, culture and social awareness issues in the United States, Africa and the Pacific. He has a MA degree from UCLA and has been a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow with the UCLA National Dance/Media Project, has received a grant from the National Initiative to Preserve America's Dance (NIPAD), and was the cinematographer on the award-winning PBS documentary American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii. His films and photographs have been featured in exhibitions at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands, and numerous film festivals. Currently he works as a lecturer, researcher and filmmaker at the Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea. He is the lead researcher on two PACMAS Innovation Grants funded by ABC International Development and AusAID. The first, ‘Haus Piksa Film Advocacy Program’ maps the village cinemas in remote communities of the PNG Highlands. It will distribute video edutainment DVDs produced locally to impact on attitudinal change around HIV and AIDS in PNG communities. The second, ‘Love and Violence: Melanesian youth produce a film for regional distribution’ is aligned with his PhD project. He is part of the Mobilising Media for Sustainable outcomes in the Pacific Region ARC Linkage project. Contact: markeby@azbri.com

luke gaspard is a PhD candidate in the school of Media and Communication at RMIT University. The title of the project as it stands is '"Entertainment of the Moment": How the Internet and Cross-platforming is Changing Children's Consumption of and Engagement with the Televisual'. Having won academic prizes at both Masters and undergraduate level from the University of East Anglia and University of East London in fields as varied as Television & Film Studies and Journalism, he is now undertaking funded research in an area where audience, children, new media and television studies intersect. Having enjoyed successful careers in the IT industry constructing physical networks and in band-management exploiting those networks, his current professional practices lie in education as a qualified classroom teacher with experience of teaching in the UK, Spain and now Australia. Contact: lucas.gaspard@gmail.com

Patrick Kelly is a PhD candidate and sessional teacher at RMIT's School of Media and Communication. His practice-led project "Detour Off the Superhighway" explores media, aura and filmic practice, and saw him giving up media and communication technology in stages over 80 days. He has presented papers at the London Film and Media Conference, RMIT's Beyond Slowness in the Cinematic Image symposium, Place Research Network Symposium and the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium as part of the This Is Not Art festival in Newcastle. He has participated in the National Young Writers Festival and been on the steering committee of RMIT's Digital Cinema Symposium. As a freelance writer, he has had articles published on ABC's The Drum, M/C Reviews and in The Lifted Brow. In 2009, he achieved First Class Honours in Film & Television Production at QUT in Brisbane. Patrick's research investigates the role of creative ethnography and auto-ethnography in documentary film practice. Contact: patrick.kelly@rmit.edu.au

Sheba Mohammid is interested in interdisciplinary and transformative strategies for C4D. She leads coordination of the National Knowledge Network of Trinidad and Tobago, LEARN.TT. She has been named an Emerging Leader for the Digital World (EU/ACP Programme/DiploFoundation), and has served as ICT policy specialist, digital inclusion coordinator,e-Learning practitioner and e-participation expert in organisations ranging from government to NGO's and academia. She has designed and implemented e-learning initiatives for audiences in over 50 countries across the world. Sheba is Director of Policy and Implementation at the Global Social Media Impact Study and served as a Research Expert on the EU Internet Governance Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Programme and Commonwealth Fellow and ACP Fellow to the IGF where she has presented and moderated panels on Media Literacy and ICT4D. As Coordinator-Digital Inclusion on assignment at the Ministry of Science and Technology/ICT Policy Specialist at the National ICT Company Ltd, she has had responsibility for major considerations in enabling Digital Inclusion and creating an enabling Policy & Legislative Environment in a small island developing state. Sheba focuses her research on Human Behaviour and the Internet and design of improved applications. She continues to be intrigued by participatory creation and plays with new media in her crowd-creation experiment cre84good.com. Contact: shebamohammid@gmail.com

Marion Muliaumaseali’i is a MA/PhD candidate with the school of Media and Communications at RMIT University. Her project's working title is "Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change and Information Communication Technology on Samoan Tradition and Culture". This project will explore how the impact of climate change has influenced the need for new markets and ICT's in rural Samoa and how it affects the village's communicative ecology and Samoan tradition and culture. In 2012 Marion was selected to be part of the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) to do a baseline study for Tuvalu, Samoa, Kiribati and Micronesia.14 Pacific islands were researched to gain a better understanding of the current state of media in the Pacific, and its relation to the broader development goals The project is funded by the Australian government aid agency AusAID, and Phase Two (November 2011 to June 2015) is managed by ABC International Development. Contact: pasifrika@gmail.com

Josh Nettheim has played at journalism, unreal mathematics and professional activism, but his real calling is performance. Josh has been devising and performing in some capacity for the last twenty years. In between works, he's also managed careers in fundraising, hospitality and arts management, completed his Bachelor of Performing Arts (Monash) and is currently co-running his own theatre company. He is the recipient of several academic awards for his performative and theoretical works at Monash. Josh hopes to unite his eclectic background by investigating liveness, immediacy and how they relate to physical performance and media in his honours work at RMIT. Contact: satyricalenterprise@gmail.com

Nic Velissaris's work looks at the intersection and overlap between narratives and gameplay. Traditionally audience members have engaged in two types of experiences: Passive and Participatory Experiences. Passive experiences are a receiving experience; we sit, we watch and then react. Most (but not all) passive experiences tell narratives that tend to be linear with a definite start and end. Participatory experiences in contrast are experiences that we as audience members help to create. We have control, we shape the story, and we form the experience. Participatory experiences can be considered interactive stories and are not necessarily linear and don’t always have a definite ‘ending’. In fact they can be considered go on indefinitely. What happens when we combine these two experiences into a new form? This form, called a Transitory experience will incorporate narrative and gameplay into a framework that allows for new experiences to be created across multiple mediums, with or without technological assistance e.g. video game hardware. Contact: s9506879@student.rmit.edu.au

Joshua Wong is a PhD candidate in RMIT's School of Media and Communications as well as a member of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. His research interests lie in the intersection of games, religion, and empathic or affective computing. Currently, he's part of a YAWCRC research project that examines how mobile gaming can affect the emotional well-being of young people. His particular focus is on exploring how video games can involve spirituality and religion as part of the process towards better mental and emotional health. Contact: dizzcity@gmail.com

Zhia Zariko is a small fish in a big pond, a country girl studying her PhD in Media and Communication at RMIT. The working title of her project is ‘Click Here for Walkthrough: auto-ethnographies of video game narration and play’. Fascinated by the video gaming experience both professional and personally, she wishes to explore how narrative and story inflect the experience of embodied play that is unique to video games. An active member of eclectic cultural recreation and pop culture enthusiast – or more colloquially known as an avid cosplayer – Zhia seeks to combine her enthusiasm for video gaming, stories and analysis with her education in literature studies within her project. Contact: zarikoz@gmail.com

DERC Research Associates

Tripta Chandola is an ethnographer based in Delhi. She completed her PhD in 2010 from Queensland University of Technology and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2011-2012). Building upon research on a DFID-funded study on ‘Information society: emergent technologies and development communities in the (global) South’ (2003-2005) in rural and urban Delhi with Professor Jo Tacchi, Dr. Chandola's thesis explored the everyday interaction and engagement(s) of the residents of a slum settlement in Delhi with their middle-class neighbours through the politics of sound and highlighted how soundscapes are not an apolitical considerations of the background, but are in fact invested with the context's social, cultural and moral codes. Over the past decade, she has conducted research in diverse areas including the Open source movement in India; piracy cultures (in Nehru Place, one of South Asia's biggest hardware and software hub); media practices; the politics of marginalisation and violence in the transforming materiality of Delhi and television practices in Singapore with Dr. Tania Lewis as part of the larger 'Lifestyle in Asia' project. She is currently working on a book of essays titled, The Right to Love, and Other Essays, drawing on her decade-long research engagements in/with Govindpuri to be published by Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. Contact: tripta@gmail.com

Fran Edmonds is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne (http://public-cultures.unimelb.edu.au/). Her fellowship is funded by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne. Fran is an interdisciplinary researcher, whose current work focuses on the use of digital technology by young Aboriginal people in southeast Australia. In 2012, she completed a study on the use of mobile phones and social networking by Aboriginal youth in Victoria, resulting in the publication 'Keeping in Touchable’. In 2013, Fran is working on a digital storytelling project with the Aboriginal community. This involves exploring the creative capacity of digital technology to support contemporary Aboriginal culture, especially its capacity to assist in reconnecting and engaging Aboriginal young people with their community’s cultural practices. Fran received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2008, which focused on working with Aboriginal artists and curators to research the practice and knowledge of southeast Australian Aboriginal art since colonisation in 1834. Prior to her PhD, Fran worked as a consultant historian/anthropologist on a number of native title claims throughout the country, as well as teaching in remote Central Australian Aboriginal communities. Contact: edmondsf@unimelb.edu.au

Narmala Halstead is an anthropologist with regional expertise on Guyana, the Caribbean diaspora and migrant localities in New York. She has also conducted research on migrants in London and on Portuguese migrants in Wales, UK. Her work included a project on different sites of publicness and personhood. Her research explores belonging, cultural change and violence, spanning everyday accounts as well as larger issues on 'open borders', global citizenship and the state. Her work has developed insights on people's encompassment of foreign identities as forms of inhabiting the 'centre' which also engage with and shift notions of alternative modernity.Her work has explored cultural displays by those who also had non-distinctive identities and considered issues of status, identity and forms of socio-political violence in various settings. She is currently developing a project on cities, digital technologies, citizenship and belonging which draws on her work in media anthropology. She has also carried out work on skype technology and belonging. Contact: n.halstead@uel.ac.uk

Dean Keep is a lecturer in Digital Media at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. Dean's research interests include the use of emergent digital media technologies and network cultures in promoting and facilitating the production of hybrid narrative forms. Dean is currently a Phd candidate at the School of Art at The Australian National University in Canberra. His creative practice (photography and video) explores the nexus between place and memory in relation to the still and/or moving image. Dean has consulted on government funded digital storytelling, mobile filmmaking and interactive documentary projects. Dean is currently making a transmedia documentary about Australian post-war architecture/design histories with a particular focus on the role of design in shaping the Australian collective memory and relationship to space and place. Contact: dkeep@swin.edu.au

Kathi R. Kitner, a cultural anthropologist and Senior Research Scientist with Intel Labs’ Interaction and Experience Research (IXR) group since 2006, has primarily worked in the area of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD), researching how the social constructs of gender and class act as a conduit for different types of technology usage and adoption.  Her work spans cultures and geographies, from Mexico to Chile, and India (with Jo Tacchi) to South Africa, looking at the intersection of new technologies and media and both rural and urban economic development schemes. Her most recent work is located in Uganda and South Africa, where Kathi is presently leading anthropological and design research to develop new understandings of vibrant data, urban experiences and mobile technology use in informal economies.  Previous to her position at Intel Corporation, she has focused on the uneven process of globalization, tourism and resilience in Venezuela and the Yucatan; pathways to heroin addiction in Miami, and social impact assessments in United States and Caribbean fishing communities. Kitner holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the University of Florida.  Contact: kathi.r.kitner@intel.com

Tamara Kohn is a senior lecturer in Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her current research and teaching interests include trans-cultural communities of embodied practice,the body and senses, food, death, mobility and identity, and fieldwork ethics. She is a Chief Investigator on a new ARC grant on Sonic Practice in everyday life in Japan (2013-2015) as well as working with another research group on digital commemoration. Publications include "Crafting Selves on Death Row" in Douglas Davies and Chang-Won Park (eds), Emotion, Identity and Death (2012), The Discipline of Leisure (co-edited with Simon Coleman, 2007/2010), and 'Facebook and the Other: Administering to and Caring for the Dead Online (with Bjorn Nansen, Michael Arnold and Martin Gibbs) in Hage, G. and R. Eckersley (eds.) Responsibility, Melbourne University Press, 2012. Contact: tkohn@unimelb.edu.au

Jessica Noske-Turner is a PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology. Her thesis continues an ongoing interest in media, communication and development through exploring approaches to evaluating the impacts of media assistance. In particular, she is considering evaluation practices in relation to the Cambodian Communication Assistance Project being managed by ABC International Development and funded by AusAID. Jessica completed her Honours degree (Bachelor of Communication (Media) (Honours)) at RMIT University with a project and exegesis exploring collaborative documentary practice with Indigenous and Jewish communities. Jessica was a research assistant for the State of the Media and Communication Report, a 14-country baseline study across the Pacific region. She is part of the Mobilising Media for Sustainable outcomes in the Pacific Region ARC Linkage project. Contact: jessica.noske-turner@rmit.edu.au.

Stefan Schutt is the Research Program Leader at the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, Victoria University. Stefan's research interests revolve around digital technologies and how people interact with them. He is particularly interested in young people's use of technology, and the intersection of technology, narrative and identity. Since 2001 Stefan has run virtual world, games, mobile phone and web projects for VU. Stefan is the co-founder of The Lab (www.thelab.org.au) a technology club for young people with Asperger's Syndrome, and creator of the Lewis & Skinner online signwriting document archive (www.lewisandskinner.com). Before this Stefan ran the VicHealth-funded Avatar and Connected Lives projects, which researched the use of technology by disadvantaged young people. These projects received national awards in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Prior to VU, Stefan worked as an Internet producer, coder, interaction designer and project manager, and before that as a copywriter and musician. He also established and ran Australia’s first Computer Clubhouse, an international skills initiative for disadvantaged young people. Stefan's PhD at RMIT's Centre for Animation and Interactive Media involved the creation of a web-based system for the publishing and sharing of personal life stories. Contact: Stefan.Schutt@vu.edu.au

Jolynna Sinanan has just started her post doctoral research position in Anthropology at University College London (UCL), which is part of a larger project on social networking. The research is funded by the European Research Council, and the core to the study is the tightly integrated comparative work of seven simultaneous ethnographies, each taking place in a small town environment in their respective countries. She is also currently co-authoring a book 'Webcam' as part of a joint project between the Anthropology department of UCL and the School of Media and Communication at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) with Professor Daniel Miller (who has previously written several books on digital media and material culture in Trinidad). The aim of the study is to provide the first in-depth, systematic research on webcams and to understand the extent of their use in transnational and other relationships. Contact: sinananj@unimelb.edu.au

Erin B. Taylor is a cultural anthropologist and a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) in Lisbon, Portugal. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Sydney, Australia, in June 2009, with a thesis on the relationship between poverty and residents' use of material things, including the houses and communities in which they live. Erin's research at the ICS examines relations between people living on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She is interested in how residents of either side of the border view each other as similar to or different from each other, and the effects of history, culture and economy on their perspectives. Erin is also working with Dr. Heather Horst on a project called 'Mobiles, Migrants and Money: A Study of Mobility in Haiti and the Dominican Republic is funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at the University of California, Irvine. Some objects from the research are currently on display in the Citi Money Gallery in the British Museum. Erin is the editor of the book Fieldwork Identities in the Caribbean, an editor and author on the website PopAnth: Hot Buttered Humanity, and blogs regularly on her own website, http://erinbtaylor.com. Contact: erin@erinbtaylor.com 

Verena Thomas is Director of the Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Technology Sydney and has a background in documentary filmmaking. Her current research projects operate at the intersection of media practice and research with the goal of building capacity for production and research in the Pacific region. Her research interests include visual and arts-based research approaches and communication for development and social change. Contact: Verena.Thomas@uts.edu.au

 

Pauline van Romondt Vis is a Ph.D. student at the Social Sciences department of Loughborough University, UK. She did her master's degrees in Media studies (2004) and Qualitative Research Methodologies (2007). Her current research focuses on the development of creative methods and the negotiations this entails for researchers in their daily research activities. More info: http://bit.ly/10UBqQY. Contact: P.J.C.Van-Romondt-Vis@lboro.ac.uk