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Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Culture, Media & Creative Industries

Rachael Kent


Research Student



  • Bio-Politics
  • Self-Tracking
  • Health Surveillance

Current/Past Digital Health Related Projects: How have self-representations of health and fitness shifted since the birth of social media? Self-tracking and social media platforms enable health self-representations, and extend self-monitoring and managing health practices into digitally quantifiable (Lupton, 2012), as well as qualitative formats. Demonstrating health and food knowledge, self-management and health improvement through sharing representations of ‘healthy’ lifestyles is a key way for social media users and self-trackers to represent their health and fitness on social media. Methodologically a focus group of individuals who have shared health/fitness related practices and behaviours since they joined social media, would provide a rich environment from which to identify the broader health/fitness sharing and self-representational social media trends, as well as the more individual/localised health etiquettes and norms which inform week by week or even day by day health changes, and individual practices.


-How have self-representations of health and fitness shifted since the birth of social media?

-How do such practices of health self-representation within social media (Facebook and Instagram), enable ways of experiencing and viewing one’s own body and health, in relation to others over time?

-To what extent does (imagined) surveillance of/by others influence practices of health self-presentation on social media?

-Do these sharing practices and feedback audiences impact upon individual or community health behaviours over time?

-How can these representations change users’ behaviors and understandings of the body, as well as what is deemed as ‘healthy’?

-How does constant connectivity and/or motivations for digital detoxing change over time and why, and

-How does this impact users sense of self, health identity and self-representations over time?

More information about Rachel's research can be found here

Digital Humanities


Dr Btihaj Ajana


Senior Lecturer



  • Quantified Self Fitness-Tracking Politics
  • Ethics of Digital Health Technologies and Practices

Current/Past Digital Health Related Projects: The ongoing project, Metric Life, addresses the growing trend of digital self-tracking and fitness monitoring, which has become prevalent in recent years. Drawing on empirical research and theoretical analysis, the project aims to provide critical insights into the dynamics and implications of this rising culture of self-monitoring and health management, enabled by the rapid spread of tracking devices and apps in everyday life. The project is managed by Dr Btihaj Ajana from Digital Humanities and has been supported by a Marie Curie (COFUND) Fellowhsip, which was undertaken by Ajana at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in 2015-2017.

More information can be found at Watch project film "Quantified Life" here.

Follow project updates on: @MetricLife

More information about Metric Life can be found here.


Dr Mark Coté


Lecturer in Digital Cultures

Director MA Big Data, Culture and Society



  • Big Data 
  • Research & Technology
  • Data Privacy & Surveillance

Current/Past Digital Health Related Projects: Mark is a Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society, leading development there in the analysis of big social data via an AHRC-funded research project. He is a member of both the Department of Digital Humanities and the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries.

Mark has pursued this ‘ontology of the digital human’ by considering the materiality of the digital. This new materialist turn can be characterised as a shift in focus from the discourses of technological mediation to the technological mediation of discourses. This is reflected in his current AHRC-funded research on 'big social data’ which engages the computational environment and new algorithmic practices of mobile platforms through which we generate digital traces.  

This research regards technology not merely as an object of study but deploys it as a tool for conceptualising the condition of the digital human and critically understanding big data as an emerging nexus of power-knowledge relations. It addresses the democratic deficit we face in big data by exploring innovative means by which it can be turned into a community resource.

More information about Mark can be found here.



Dr Caitjan Gainty

Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine



  • Practitioner-Patient Relationships as Mediated by Digital Health
  • History of Medical Technologies (Context for Digital Health Technologies)
  • Impact of Technology on Constructing Ideas of Health 


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