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Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research

What We Offer

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures has as its mission the establishment of a more socially just and sustainable ‘post-capitalist’ society. In the process, by drawing on cross-disciplinary ideas associated with open, disruptive and immersive media, the posthuman, posthumanities and the Anthropocene, we endeavour to help 21st century society and its cultural institutions (galleries, archives, museums, libraries etc.)  respond to the challenges they face in relation to the (post)digital at a global, national and local level.

The Centre does this through an interdisciplinary research agenda that extends from computing, through the humanities and social sciences, to open education, political activism and art practice, in order to explore how intellectual, community and civic engagement can prefigure different ways of being together.

Facilities

The Centre has state-of-the-art equipment for immersive media production (e.g. 360 cameras, bodysuits, headsets, audio sunglasses). It also offers a dedicated studio for the production of practice-based research.

Main areas of supervision

With a dynamic international team of supervisors, the CPC offers supervision and welcomes projects revolving around the above themes. The CPC organises numerous events, from international conferences and symposia to reading groups, workshops and research seminars. The content of this events programme is generated through the interests of CPC researchers and the ongoing research projects in the Centre. PGR students are expected to contribute to the programming as well as attend the various sessions. The Centre hosts an annual international conference that explores a central topic in detail. Past conferences include Radical Open Access (2018) and Pirate Care (2019). 

As CPC’s success in receiving the university’s inaugural Outstanding Supervisory Team of the Year 2019 award demonstrates, PGR students value the exceptional academic expertise and pastoral care that characterises CPC’s style of work, as well as the staff’s capacity to create productive collaborations across centres of research excellence within Coventry University for the benefit of the doctoral candidates.

CPC is also looking to expand its research agenda by recruiting PhD students in the following areas:

  • Data Cities and the Politics of Care

The CPC investigates how data-driven urbanism is reshaping cities through the harvesting, processing and refinement of increasing amounts of personal data. The focus is both on agonistic, grassroots responses developed by various publics (i.e. our work on Pirate Care), and on the use of the (post)humanities to reimagine the city and to challenge dominant imaginaries such as those founded on surveillance capitalism (as exemplified by various smart city initiatives). The Centre develops creative experiments around social reproduction; we build new infrastructures; and we explore alternative ways for cooperative living - all with a view to reinventing sociality while promoting a radical bottom-up approach to the future of cities.

  • AI and Algorithmic Cultures

The CPC explores novel ways of both understanding algorithmic cultures and of responding critically and creatively to them. We study the impact of algorithms, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning on our lives, focusing on how everyday practices change through our engagement with these disruptive technologies, and on the companies that develop and deploy them (e.g. Amazon, Google, Facebook). This area of our research goes beyond current definitions of disruptive technology. The emphasis of the CPC is not on helping to create new markets by doing things the market does not expect. It is rather on disrupting the market itself by exploring the new, alternative and more socially just economic and cultural models that are made possible by pre-emptive, cognitive and contextual computing.

As a PGR, I have thrived in the CPC. The centre promotes creative—and often radical—thinking while offering valuable practical and pastoral care. This has allowed for my research to develop in ways I could never have expected.

Darren Berkland, final year PhD student in CPC.

Image credit: Concrete Cinema by Miriam De Rosa. Pioneer House, Hillfields, Coventry, September 2019.

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