Research - Media Communications
Prof. Dr. Bradley E. Wiggins
Dr. Wiggins' current research explores agency within digital culture and intertextuality as a mode of polysemous narrative construction. His background in literature and literary theory, linguistics, history and politics, media studies, and sociology enables him to undertake serious research applications to current modes of meaning-making. Specifically, Dr. Wiggins has published and presented on internet memes as a new genre of online communication. His views of internet memes suggests that they are tightly encapsulated discursive units packed with meaning and socio-cultural referents. Intertextual and inter-memetic references (or memes that refer to other memes) often are used to discuss or critique a person or event from the real world, but are remixed based on a particular worldview informed by media narratives. As such, internet memes have the power to inform individuals and groups about real-world events, movements, people, etc. through the merging of intertextual references and socio-cultural and/or political realities. Viewed through the prism of structuration theory, memes reveal a dynamic interaction between agency and structure involving the use of rules and resources for content creation and genre development.
Related to the subject of internet memes, Dr. Wiggins has recently written about "fake news" and the perceived threats to an objective truth by the use of terms such as "alternative facts". Situating fake news historically, he has argued that the term "post-truth" is a buzzword, a symptom of the digital age. Rather he argues that fake news represents malleable truth, suggesting that meaning is negotiable depending upon one’s own ideological point of view and reliance on previously constructed media narratives for information and decision-based action.
Dr. Wiggins also publishes on aspects of games and simulations, specifically looking at the ways in which games and simulations are used in education as well as in the public sector. He has argued for the use of "synthetic cultures" to be incorporated into intercultural simulations that seek to educate individuals on cultural nuances without the reliance on real-world referents that may include stereotypes. Additionally, he has presented and published on how culture and language interact as a main effect on learning in online environments.
Dr. Anthony Loewstedt
Dr. Anthony Löwstedt’s research interests span from media analysis and communication theory to the anthropology, politics, economics, psychology, technologies and cultures of media and communication. His research aims to contribute in the development of accurate and useful ways of describing and understanding specifically human forms of communication and the formation of normative principles of media communications, which, ultimately, help enable or circumscribe the kinds of society and interaction that are possible and feasible. Currently, he is involved in research in the fields of transnational and international media regulation; communication ethics and globalization; the development of basic communication norms and values; media bias and effects; the regulation of hate speech, defamation and invasion of privacy; cultural diversity, sexism and racism in the media; freedom of communication; linguistics and literacy; the evolution and history of communication; and media anthropology. Dr. Löwstedt serves as reviewer for several academic communication research journals and presents his findings regularly at major scholarly conferences and in seminars and guest lectures around the world. He has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous articles, books, and volumes in media studies and interdisciplinary research.
Mr. Holger Lang
The broader frame of attention and investigation in Holger Lang’s research is interdisciplinary communication through various types of media. Within this range, a specific focus is put on creative expression and the potential of conceptual and exploratory work in experimental media production. Analyzing and testing methods to communicate in audio-visual formats, using serial structures in traditional and time-based media, is a more narrowed down scope of concentration. The practical implementation in artistic, academic and commercial fields is a direction that allows him to connect theoretical findings and conceptual proposals in tangible applications and projects. This is leading to a very diverse output in multiple areas for publications.