Date: Wednesday 22 June 2016 from 1:00 to 2:30pm

Venue: RMIT University Design Hub, Building 100, Level 10, Pavilion 4, cnr Swanston and Victoria Streets, Melbourne

DERC presents visiting international scholar Professor Pilar Lacasa who will present her research into the participation of young girls in fandom communities and digital media.

Among the challenges that researchers investigating the relationship of children and youth with mass media will face in the coming years is to know how digital photography, often associated with mobile devices, transform people’s practices. We explore the young girls’ participation in fandom communities, organized around music celebrities, when three dimensions intersect, although they are usually examined independently: First, the construction of collective representations understood as story worlds, supported by photography and video. Second, the communication processes by using multimodal discourses related to specific social networks. Third, the interpersonal relationships when people share a similar interest in their communities. We will examine how when visual content passes from one person to another, it becomes reconstructed and transformed. Images flow at high speeds and messages transform its content and adapt to what other people exchange over the network.

We approach these issues through several examples, focusing on five girls when they participate in informal workshops on the use of new media. Our data come from personal and collective interviews, and the analysis of their social practices and productions in the fandom community of One Direction. Considering the analysis, the methodological challenge is to combine narrative reconstructions, coming from both the researchers and the girls, with an analytical approach supported by computer software for qualitative analysis.

Pilar Lacasa is the Professor of Audiovisual Communication. Researchers at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Alcalá. She coordinates the Images, Words & Ideas Research Group since 1998. She loves video games, new emerging communication technologies and classic European and American movies. Her research work has been developed from a socio-cultural approach. She has been a visiting researcher at the Comparative Media Studies program (MIT) and at the University of Southern California, Annenberg Innovation Lab. Pilar is the author of Learning in virtual and real worlds (2013) edited by Palgrave, and very recently Adolescents and Social Networks. Create and Participate, an Interactive & Creative Commons iBook.

http://uah-gipi.org Twitter @placasa p.lacasa@uah.es

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