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New Staff in the Department of Digital Humanities 2018- 19

We are delighted to welcome 16 new members of staff to the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

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We are delighted to welcome 16 new members of staff to the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. Our new colleagues bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the department, including artificial intelligence, digital economy, the politics of data, digital health, games and many more aspects. Their expertise will complement our existing strengths as one of the UK’s leading departments for research, teaching and innovation in digital humanities and digital studies.

If you’re interested in studying or collaborating with us, please do get in touch.

Gizdem Akdur joined the Department of Digital Humanities in September 2018 as a teaching fellow in Digital Economy and Society. She completed her PhD at the London School of Economics, where she was part of the Information Systems Research Group – Management. Her PhD focuses on old age discourses and identities which have been redefined in the era of assistive technologies, and in particular, with the wider adoption of telecare systems in the UK. Her research interests lie in the areas of health and social care information systems, health policy and strategies, critical gerontology and old age studies.

Daniel Allington is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence. His undergraduate degree was in Fine Art, but after a few years in the workplace he returned to academia to take an MA in linguistics and then a PhD in which he used conversation analysis to study the characteristics of ‘booktalk’ in classrooms, reading groups, newspapers, and online message boards. His publications include Communicating in English: Talk, Text, Technology (2012), co-edited with Barbara Mayor, and A Historical Introduction to the Book in Britain (2018), co-authored with David Brewer, Sian Echard, Zachary Lesser, and the late Stephen Colclough. In 2014, he led an AHRC-funded project studying the use of social media by musicians, but since 2016 his work has focused primarily on online political communication, especially by extremist groups. He is associate editor of Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, and he works closely with Quilliam International and Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Sophie Bishop is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Economy and Society. Her research examines the political economy of content production for digital platforms, with a particular focus on gender, understandings of algorithms and visibility online. She has completed a PhD at the University of East London in the Department of Digital Industries, mapping the stakeholders in the beauty vlogging ‘industry’ in the UK. Her research has been published in journals such as Feminist Media Studies and Convergence and in edited collections published by Emerald, Palgrave and Roman and Littlefield. She is the Social Media Editor for Feminist Media Studies.

Mercedes Bunz is Senior Lecturer for Digital Society. Her research focuses on digital technology and how it affects society and culture. She currently works on a research project about Artificial Intelligence. For this, she studies the accessibility of data sets to advance machine learning and talks to conversational interfaces. Her forthcoming publication is Communication (University of Minnesota Press 2019) with Finn Brunton and Paula Bialski. Her past publications include The Internet of Things (2018), written together with Graham Meikle, in which she explored new skills that things are gathering through Artificial Intelligence such as ‘seeing’ and ‘speaking’. She also wrote The Silent Revolution: How Digitalization Transforms Knowledge, Work, Journalism, and Politics Without Making Too Much Noise (Palgrave 2014), and co-edited Terra Critica: Symptoms of our Planetary Condition (Meson Press 2017). She is member of the interdisciplinary research network for the critical humanities, terra critica and co-founder of the meson press.

Kate Devlin is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence. After an undergraduate degree in archaeology and a couple of years digging, Kate switched allegiance to STEM, completing a PhD in computer science at the University of Bristol, following that with a postdoc in the Archaeology and Anthropology department there. Kate then spent 12 years in a rather unconventional and interdisciplinary computing department at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work covers areas such as cognition, perception, human-computer interaction, ethics of AI, gender and technology, sci-fi narrative, and, most recently, sex tech and sex robots. Her general audience book, Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots comes out next month with Bloomsbury.

Ella Fegitz is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Economy and Society. Her research interests lie in the representation of femininity and female sexuality in the media. Her PhD, awarded in 2017 by Goldsmiths, University of London, investigated Italian post-feminism in the age of Berlusconi, by exploring three case studies about young women and their sexuality that gained particular visibility and media coverage in Italy. She is currently expanding the framework of her thesis to include Italian right-wing populist movements, sexism and their use of social media to gain consent. Ella has also researched vegan vlogging and its intersection with post-feminist discourses about achieving a healthy, toned, beautiful and sexy body.

Wifak Gueddana is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Economy and Society. She has previously worked as a Research Fellow in the University of Edinburgh, Postdoc Researcher in the Information System Group, London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) and Intern in Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK. Her work, building on her PhD (LSE 2013), focuses on the development of digital methods in the social sciences, i.e. online data scraping, mining and network visualisations, and what these practices of datafication bring to sociology of labour, and the study of online communities.

Brian Kavanagh graduated with a degree in classical music performance (classical guitar) from Trinity College Dublin in 1993, after which he relocated to the US where he worked as a media manager in the Image and Sound Acquisition Group at the Microsoft Corporation headquarters in the city of Seattle. He returned to Europe in the late 1990s, completing an M.Sc. in Music Technology at the University of Limerick in 1998 and an MA in Interactive Media at Goldsmiths College in 2006. He concluded his formal education in 2015 when he graduated with a PhD from Imperial College Business School.

Brian has extensive industry experience, having worked as a web developer and digital manager at several for-profit and nonprofit organisations, including the Tate Gallery and the Bridgeman Art Library in London. His industry experience informs both his research and teaching activities. Outside of academia, Brian has developed several interdisciplinary skills as a musician, photographer and filmmaker. He was recently commissioned by the London-based media agency Furniss Lawton to produce a film that explores aspects of Iranian culture. Meanwhile, several photographs from his series ‘Portraits of Iran’ will feature in a forthcoming book about Iran (Little Brown Books, September 6th, 2018). Finally, as a classical guitarist, he has taught at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and has won several prizes, including the Arthur Darley Memorial Gold Medal at the Dublin Conservatoire of Music.  

Rachael Kent is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Media and Culture. Rachael’s research is interdisciplinary and interested in the impact and influence of new media upon our social and cultural dimensions, specifically the intersection of technology and the body, health and surveillance.

Rachael gained her Ph.D. from the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London. Her thesis and recent publications examine the use of self-tracking technologies and social media in self-representations and management of health. Rachael teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels on many areas of digital culture and society: social media, identity and representation, online communities digital politics, (digital) health, self-tracking, surveillance and the medical humanities. Rachael is a frequent speaker at international, multi-disciplinary conferences, workshops and public events. Since 2015 Rachael has been project lead on the European Research Council funded Ego-Media Project which examines the role and impact of new media upon self-presentation.

Rachael is committed to embedding academic research within non-academic cultural settings. Rachael has collaborated with cultural institutions, including exhibiting two films on her research at the Somerset House ‘Dear Diary’ Exhibition (2017), available to view here. She has also hosted events (‘Life Online’) at the Science Museum ‘Lates’ evenings.

Conor McKeown received his PhD from The University of Glasgow in 2017 and has previously taught in The University of Glasgow, Wilfrid Laurier University and Fife College, Scotland. In his research Conor utilises a post-disciplinary methodology, equal parts code studies, media theory and contemporary philosophy. He argues for the efficacy of digital art and independent videogames as interactive/performative tools for a radically posthuman/ecological understanding of technology and materiality. He is currently working towards the completion of his first monograph, The Videogame Ecology that uses games as unique performative processes to suggest a vision of contemporary ‘intra-action’ (following the posthuman philosophy of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad) with materiality through and with technology.  

Elisa Oreglia is a lecturer in Global Digital Cultures. Her research is on the use of digital technologies in the Global South, with a particular focus on marginal communities in China and Southeast Asia.

Maha Shaikh is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Digital Innovation. Dr Shaikh holds a PhD in Information Systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her primary area of research is open source software development and company engagement with communities. Dr Shaikh's past affiliations include the LSE, LERO Research Centre in Limerick, Ireland, as well as Imperial College Business School, and most recently, Warwick Business School. She is a founding member of the AIS Special Interest Group on Open Research and Practice, an Associate Editor for Information Systems Research (ISR), and an editorial board member of the Journal of Information Technology. Maha enjoys discussing open source on Twitter @Open_Sourcing.

Tom van Nuenen is a Teaching Fellow of Digital Media and Culture. He has held visiting positions at UC Berkeley, Copenhagen University, Western Sydney University and Shanghai International Studies University. In his teaching and research, Tom focuses on digital literacies and on methodologies that combine computational linguistics with hermeneutic analysis. Tom’s PhD and recent articles have explored the influence of digital technology on the epistemologies of global travel. He is currently writing a book in which he traces these epistemologies in environments such as blogs, review platforms and video games. He blogs at scriptedjourneys.com and is on Twitter at @tomvannuenen.

Claire Reddleman is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities and Heritage. She gained her PhD in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a thesis focussing on cartographic ways of seeing and conceptualising the world. This work is now available as a research monograph from Routledge titled 'Cartographic Abstraction in Contemporary Art: Seeing with Maps'. This book introduces the theoretical innovation ‘cartographic abstraction’ – a material modality of thought and experience that is produced through cartographic techniques of depiction. Current research is looking at new ways of depicting the former French penal colonies in New Caledonia and French Guiana through digital photography and collage, as well as a re-assessment of Robinson Crusoe as the colonialist personification of homo economicus. Claire previously gained a MA in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths, and a BA (Hons) in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Reading. She is also a photographic artist and can be found online and on Twitter at @reddlemap. 

Rafal Zaborowski is Lecturer in Digital Culture. He studied law in Poland before moving to Japan for degrees in Sociology (APU) and Media and Cultural Studies (Tohoku). He moved back to Europe to complete a PhD in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Rafal is interested in music reception and social practices of listening as well as the co-evolution of audiences and institutions. His research also explores issues of voice and representation, most recently via European media coverage of the "migration crisis". He regularly loses followers (@myredtowel) by tweeting about professional wrestling.

Feng Zhu is Teaching Fellow in Digital Media and Culture. His PhD, awarded by the University of Manchester, examined ‘playful’ self-formation as a terrain on which power and resistance plays out. It explored the ways in which player practices in contemporary single-player computer games (particularly RPGs) can be said to be aligned with what may be called a ‘neoliberal self-fashioning’ or to constitute the Foucauldian aesthetic practices of the self that lead to a ‘transformation’ or ‘transfiguration’ of the playing subject. Before this, he completed an MA in contemporary political art from The Courtauld, a BA in art history and philosophy from University College London, and an LLB in law from the London School of Economics. His research interests lie in the relationship between power and self-transformative practices, the late work of Michel Foucault, theories of habitus, affect theory, game aesthetics, and critical approaches to understanding 'play'.