26 February 2013

Research centre to push digital media boundaries

RMIT University has opened a Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC).

It will further cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research around the digital field in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Through research and critical engagement, the DERC seeks to push the boundaries and possibilities of ethnographic practice in digital media.

The centre directors are Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow, Dr Heather Horst, and Associate Professor Larissa Hjorth.

"This inaugural year, the DERC will be home to a number of exciting projects on topics ranging from posthumous duets with musicians on Japanese television, slow cities and urban activism across Australia to changing media environments across the Pacific region," Associate Professor Hjorth said.

"DERC has attracted funding from the Australian Research Council, the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, ABC and a range of other organisations.

"These projects have also attracted a dynamic group of postgraduate students, research assistants, research associates and visiting scholars."

In 2013, the DERC, which is based in the School of Media and Communication, will host a series of workshops and public lectures by visiting international scholars.

The first of these events will be from 18 to 21 March, when Professors Bill Maurer and Tom Boellstorff from the University of California, Irvine will be visiting RMIT as part of the Money, Media and Contemporary Culture series. Events will include public seminars, small interactive workshops and one-to-one meetings.

The event is organised with the Graduate School of Business and Law with funding from the RMIT Foundation.

For more information about the DERC, email Helen Addison-Smith: helen.addison-smith@rmit.edu.au.

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VC's Senior Research Fellow Heather Horst and Associate Professor Larissa Hjorth.

VC's Senior Research Fellow Heather Horst (left) and Associate Professor Larissa Hjorth.