Professor Anna Reading
Professor of Culture and Creative Industries
Head of the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries
King's College London
2.05 Chesham Building
London WC2R 2LS
Tel +44 (0) 207 848 7092
Research Interests and PhD supervision
Anna has played a leading role in the developing field of cultural and media memory studies especially in gender and cultural memory. Anna was a Lecturer in the Department of English Literature at The University of Lodz, Poland (1988-9); a freelance journalist and playwright (1990-2) and a Researcher at the Centre for Communication and Information Studies, University of Westminster, UK. (1992-5). At London South Bank University, UK (1995-2011) Anna founded and was Director of the Centre for Media and Culture Research (2009-11). She was Professor of Communication and a Member of the Institute of Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney, Australia (2010-12), returning to the UK to join the Department of CMCI at King's College London in January 2013.
Anna has a BA Honours, First Class, in English and Politics (1987) and an MA in Women’s Studies (with Distinction) both from the University of York, UK (1988). She trained and worked as a freelance journalist in Poland and the UK with a PG Dip Periodical Journalism (1991) from the London College of Printing, UK, before completing a PhD in Communication with a thesis on Socially inherited memory, gender and the public sphere in Poland at the University of Westminster, UK (1996).
Anna’s interdisciplinary research examines broader questions of social and cultural continuity and transformation with an emphasis on:
- Digital methodologies, materialities and knowledge practices
- Cultural heritage and collective memory rights
- Gender and memory
- Cultural memories of nonviolent struggle
- Cultural memories of the holocaust and genocide
- Mobile and social witnessing of terrorism and atrocity
Anna’s current research seeks to develop a new epistemology for cultural memory studies using dynamic methods of digital analysis to understand the immersive and connective ecologies of media memory. She contributes to public debates on how digital knowledge practices are changing the witnessing and commemoration of genocide, atrocity and terrorism. She publishes widely on gender, Roma and Jewish ethnicity and media memory, as well as the memory practices associated with mobile and social technologies.
Anna is currently writing Gender, Memory and Digital Media: Globital Memory Wars (Macmillan Palgrave); co-editing a special issue of Media Culture and Society on Mediated Mobilities with Dr Emily Keightley at the University of Loughborough, UK and researching the cultural memories of activism and nonviolent struggle for an edited collection Powerful Times: The Cultural Memory of Nonviolent Struggle (Macmillan Palgrave). She is also investigating the globalised materialities and political economies of digital memory as part of a larger international research project on Mining Memories with colleagues at the University of Western Sydney and University of Queensland.
Anna has led a number of funded research projects including: a multi-associate Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council/Technology Strategy Board Developing New Digital Distribution Networks for Film. AUS £186,00 (2010-12); a pilot study Diasporic Communities, Digital Cultures and Social Work Policy and Practice (£10,000) working with Professor Keith Popple, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University; and Time and Memory in British Theatre a Russian Federation, Ministry of Education grant working with Tanya Nikitina, University of Moscow examining new digital media archives of performances at the Royal National Theatre UK for £15,500 (2009) (£10,000) working with Professor Keith Popple, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University; and a Russian Federation, Ministry of Education grant working with Tanya Nikitina, University of Moscow examining new digital media archives of performances at the Royal National Theatre UK for £15,500 (2009).
Anna welcomes PhD projects in the following areas: gender, ethnicity and cultural memory, including work on museums, monuments and heritage; memory and heritage policies and rights, commemorative practices; memory and the holocaust; cultural memories in Eastern Europe; cultural memory, colonialism and genocide; media memory and terrorism; mobile cultures; public policy and collective memory; performance and memory; social transition and digital cultures; memory, activism and nonviolent struggle.
For more details, please see her full research profile.
- Garde-Hansen, J. Hoskins and Reading, Anna. (eds) 2009, Save As... Digital Memories, London: Palgrave.
- Reading, Anna. 2002, The Social Inheritance of the Holocaust: Gender, Culture and Memory, London: Palgrave.
- Reading, Anna. and Stokes, J. 1999, The Media in Britain: Current Debates and Developments, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
- Sparks, Colin. with Reading, Anna. 1998, Communism, Capitalism and the Mass Media, London: Sage.
- Reading, Anna. 1992, Polish Women, Solidarity and Feminism, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Anna has extensive teaching experience in different areas of media and cultural theory and practice at Postgraduate and Undergraduate levels.
Her current expertise is primarily within the areas of cultural memory, museums and heritage; gender and the media, cultural memory rights; digital cultures; mobile and social technologies.
Expertise and Public Engagement
Anna is Chair of the Board and an Editor of the journal Media, Culture and Society http://mcs.sagepub.com/. She is on the boards of the journal of Memory Studies, Philosophy of Photography, Media Studies, and Qualitative Communication Research. She is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Western Sydney, Australia; an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Loughborough, UK ; an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow . Anna was an academic expert reviewer for five submissions for Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) for the period 2005-10. She regularly reviews research applications for funding bodies in the UK and overseas.
Anna contributed to public policy debates and development through her appointment for the Women’s National Commission between 2002-2010. She has been interviewed on her work on the mobile witnessing of terrorism for The Guardian and has presented her work to industry researchers at Microsoft Socio-Digital Research Centre, Cambridge, UK. She has written a 12 part radio series Understanding Media for the BBC World Service, broadcast to Asia and Africa.
An example of current work involving public engagement concerns Anna’s work with Parragirls - http://www.parragirls.org.au/ in Sydney Australia to document the oldest continuous site of female containment in Australia as part of the public heritage campaign to recreate the site as a protected place of conscience with an education centre and museum.
Anna’s research further engages with public culture and debate through publically commissioned plays on social and political issues performed by different companies internationally. These include Kiss Punch Goodnight, Want, Hard-Core, Grandma's Garden, The Stoning, Falling and RP35 and Cacti Hearts The plays are referenced in Aleks Siertz, In Yer Face Theatre: British Theatre in the 1990s; Plays by Women, Volume Seven edited by Michelene Wandor and Mary Remnant as well as Christina Wald’s Hysteria, Trauma and Melancholia: Performative Maladies in Contemporary Anglophone Drama (2007). Cacti Hearts (2009) will accompany an invited public keynote on Memory and Restitution in London in July 2013.
A digital archive of some of her public engagements through creative work is available at: http://annareadingarchive.com/#/plays/4571026467