The Mediated Self Project seeks to address, through the production of new teaching and learning materials, the critical skills gap in technology-enhanced scholarship among students who are the producers of themselves as entrepreneurial knowledge economy agents in a network. Our digitally literate students already negotiate their selfhood to a global audience and they represent and enact on a daily basis an emerging area of research and scholarship that has not been integrated into curricular activities. As Jill Walker Rettberg argues in Seeing Ourselves through Technology (2014), multiple forms of literacy (digital, numeric, data and procedural) are increasingly at work in the formation of personal and professional identities.
The Mediated Self Project works with students as stakeholders in innovative curriculum development to explore the impact of the variety of 'selves' they produce through media (online and offline) before, during and after they leave university. These selves which are performative, quantified, participatory, asynchronous, instrumental and ethical will be understood as requiring management in a digital knowledge economy. This is generally not covered in the curriculum of most courses and nor are the skills to act in these ways reflected in current practices of academic assessment. Yet, these mediated and online selves have increasing currency in the labour market and are fast becoming a fundamental aspect of a learner's wellbeing. The Mediated Self Project will culminate in the production of a Masters Level module which will run in Spring 2016 from the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, with a view to opening up the module to other departments the following year.
Prof Joanne Garde-Hansen researches and teaches in the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies. She is Course Director of the MA in Global Media and Communication. Her research interests are in digital media culture, media and memory, media archives, heritage and social media. Her interests in the Mediated Self Project are in exploring what current students understand, enact and use of the social and cultural mediation tools that are now so focused on 'the self'. How do students negotiate and learn from their expressions of self online and through their cross-cultural engagement with the self-expressions of others? How can universities embed a deeper and more critical approach to the mediated self within curricula as well as assess and evaluate successful self mediation? These are just some of the questions that we will address.
Dr David Wright is an Associate Professor and researches and teaches in the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies. He was a co-founder of the MA in Global Media and Communication. His research interests are in the sociology of culture, cultural work, taste and cultural consumption. His interests in the Mediated Self Project are in understanding the changes and continuities in the formation of mediated selves and in learning about how new forms of literacy enabled by digital technologies can be integrated into teaching, learning and assessment.