Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication

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PhD news: spring 2018

May 2nd, 2018

The School of Media and Communication congratulates PhD candidates who have successfully passed their vivas in the past few months, with new graduates taking up positions both in Leeds and further afield.


Antje Glück has been awarded a PhD for a thesis entitled ‘Journalistic practice of emotionality: A cross-cultural comparison of India and the United Kingdom’. The study looks at the intersection of emotion cultures and journalism cultures in two distinctive settings.

Conducting interviews with Indian and British journalists, the research analyses a) how journalists perceive, process and implement emotions and emotionalizing devices in news production, and how b) they cope with own emotional challenges during work, and the required emotional labour in their job performance. Exploring journalistic discourses about emotions, this research presents an investigation of how key concepts in journalism become challenged, what transformations they currently undergo, and how journalistic identity is at the same time enforced and shifting, always trying to maintain boundaries of the journalistic field in two culturally different contexts.

The research was supervised by Professor Katrin Voltmer and Dr Katy Parry. The examiners were Dr Julie Firmstone and Professor Daya Kishan Thussu (University of Westminster). During her doctoral studies, Antje also worked on the international project ‘Media, Conflict and Democratisation’. Antje is currently working as a Lecturer in Journalism at Teeside University.


Tom Jackson has been awarded a PhD for his thesis on ‘Multisensory ethnography: sensory experience, the sentient body and cultural phenomena’.

His practice-led project offers two contributions to the emerging discipline of sensory ethnography: a new theoretical framework for understanding the relationships between sensory experience, the sentient body and cultural phenomena and a series of new sensory research methods. It comprises a thesis, a number of practical projects and a ‘dossier’ of associated outputs, including conference papers, workshops and symposiums, public engagement activities and successful funding applications.

For the purposes of assessment and dissemination, all of these components have been collated into a single online presence. The primary piece of practice associated with this PhD is a multisensory and participatory virtual archive of Temple Works, a Grade I listed building in South Leeds. This project, Experience Temple Works, was created as part of a 30-month ethnography with the community of artists and makers resident within the building.

The project was supervised by Jim Brogden and Simon Popple. The examiners were Kate Nash and Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow). Following the successful completion of this PhD, Tom secured a full-time and permanent lectureship within the School of Media and Communication.


James Mason has been awarded a PhD for his thesis on ‘Disney film genres and adult audiences: a tale of renegotiated relationships’. Using an innovative mixed methods approach, his research investigated the ways in which adult audiences negotiate and renegotiate their relationships with Disney films, starting from Walt Disney’s own observation that –despite their special place in the viewing habits of children – ‘all my films are for grown-ups’.

James’ work included analysing data from 390 Disney films, conducting the biggest survey yet undertaken on Disney audiences (with 3,500 respondents), and identifying two separate Disney genres based on both the Hollywood studio’s tangible film output and the perceptions of adult audiences. His research is a valuable contribution to Disney Studies and, more widely, to how changing perceptions of films align with both objective and subjective viewpoints over time.

His supervisors were Dr Ian Macdonald and Simon Popple, and his examiners were Professor Paul Wells (Director of the Animation Academy, Loughborough University) and Dr Beth Johnson. James is currently employed by the Doctoral College at the University of Leeds.

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