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Our research

Impact of online harassment

The Department of Internet Studies has undertaken a strategic research project to look at how teachers can address issues with online harassment throughout the curriculum. The following documents provide a background to the problem, strategies for teachers to employ in the classroom, a fact sheet to share with students, and further resources.

Our research staff

Sky Croeser

Sky Croeser’s research focuses on how activists are using, and changing, key technologies. Her work takes a global perspective, focusing on international case studies that are having an important impact.

Her first book, Global Justice and the Politics of Information: the Struggle over Knowledge came out in 2015 with Routledge. It examines links between opposition to genetically modified crops in India, the digital liberties movement, and broader global justice activism.

Her recent research draws on diverse case studies and innovative methodologies to build a better understanding of how activists world are building new spaces with digital technologies. As well as her academic work, she speaks at activist events around the world.

Katie Ellis

Katie Ellis’ research focuses on disability and the media extending across both representation and active possibilities for social inclusion. She is the convener of the Curtin University Critical Disability Research Network.

Katie has authored and edited seven books and numerous articles on the topic, including a number of award winning papers. She has worked with people with disabilities in government, academia and the community. Ongoing projects focus on the opportunities and challenges digital television, video on demand and smartphones represent for people with disabilities.

John Hartley

John Hartley is a pioneer in the study of popular media from a cultural perspective. His book Reading Television, with John Fiske, became a global bestseller, helped to establish TV Studies, and is still in print nearly 40 years on.

Hartley has become a leading figure in communication, media and cultural studies; journalism studies; and more recently in creative industries research. At Curtin he has focused on the development of cultural science, a systems approach to mediated culture using evolutionary and complexity sciences, as well as insights from the humanities.

He is interested in creativity and culture as the source of innovation and change in the digital era, and is exploring new frameworks of explanation to understand how ‘culture makes groups; and groups make knowledge’.

Cultural Science, with Jason Potts, was published in 2014. It can be accessed via Creative Commons.

The cultural science approach is applied to Creative Economy and Culture, a new book, co-authored with Wen Wen (Shenzhen) and Henry Siling Li (Curtin).

Mike Kent

Mike Kent’s main research interests focus on the two overlapping areas of people with disabilities and their access to communications technology as well as tertiary and online education.

He has a strong history of successfully conducting research involving people with disabilities and new media environments, having worked on Australian Research Council funded research into people with chronic fatigue syndrome and their use of Second Life, and his current research into university students with disabilities studying online, funded through the Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.

He is also a leading expert in the field of disability media, with a particular focus on new media.

Tama Leaver

Tama Leaver’s research interests include online identity, social media, digital death, infancy online, mobile gaming and the changing landscape of media distribution.

He has published in a number of journals including:

  • Popular Communication
  • Media International Australia
  • First Monday
  • Comparative Literature Studies
  • Social Media and Society
  • Communication Research and Practice
  • the Fibreculture journal

He is the author of Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology and Bodies (Routledge, 2012); co-editor of An Education in Facebook? Higher Education and the World’s Largest Social Network (Routledge, 2014) with Mike Kent; and Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) with Michele Willson.

Tama has received teaching awards from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and, in 2012, won a national Australian Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and the Arts.

Susan Leong

Broadly speaking, Susan is most interested in the socio-cultural and political implications of the Internet on how we know and understand the world and our place in it.

She has two main areas of research, both of which stem from her interest in the many Internets of Asia:

  • social media and migration
  • new media in Southeast Asia

Publications include the book, New Media and the Nation in Malaysia: Malaysianet, chapters on new media and migration such as ‘Provisional Business Migrants to Western Australia, Social Media and Conditional Belonging’ and articles on the Internet in Asia and how they relate to issues of diversity.

Recent examples of the last include:

  • Sinophone, Chinese, and PRC Internet: Chinese Overseas in Australia and the PRC Internet
  • Sacred Cows and Crashing Boards: ethno-religious minorities and the politics of online representation in Malaysia

She is also the co-editor of a book series, Media, Culture and Communication in Asia-Pacific Societies (Rowman and Littlefield International) and associate editor of the journal, Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration with Intellect.


Eleanor Sandry

Eleanor Sandry’s research is focused on developing an ethical and pragmatic recognition of, and respect for, otherness and difference in communication.

Eleanor writes about communication theory and practice, and draws upon varied examples – taken from science and technology, science fiction and creative arts – to illustrate the ideas in her work.

She is particularly interested in exploring the communicative possibilities illustrated by human interactions with humanoid and non-humanoid robots.

She has also analysed online communication, online ethics and human-technology interactions more generally.

Her first degree was in natural sciences, completed in the UK. She worked in information technology for over ten years before emigrating to Australia and returning to academic study, teaching and research.

Her first book, Robots and Communication, was published by Palgrave Pivot, UK, in 2015.

Michele Willson

Michele Willson’s research interests focus around exploring questions concerning technology and sociality (and the many and varied ways these are manifested). In particular, she is interested in the place and role of algorithms in the everyday, practices of online communities and social networks, and of social, casual games.

She has published in a range of journals including Information, Communication and Society; Communication Research and Practice; Convergence: The International Journal of Research into new Media Technologies; Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies; Media International Australia and First Monday.

She is the author of Technically Together: Rethinking Community within TechnoSociety; co-author of  A New Theory of Information and the Internet: Public Sphere meets Protocol, and co-editor with Tama Leaver of Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape.