Dr. Aphra Kerr
I have been a lecturer at the National University of Ireland Maynooth since Sept. 2005. During this time I was also a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication in the USA from January-May 2011 as part of their Culture and Communication programme.
Prior to NUIM I worked as a research fellow at the Centre for Media Research at the University of Ulster, Coleraine in Northern Ireland and as a post-doctoral researcher at the Society, Technology and Media research centre at Dublin City University in the Republic of Ireland. I won a two year IRCHSS post-doctorate award in 2001 to work on the project 'From Traditional Visual Media to Contemporary Digital Media: The Emergence of Digital Games.' This led to the development of my research work on the production, consumption and regulation of digital games.
My PhD examined 'Ireland in the Global Information Economy: Innovation and Multimedia Content Industries and was awarded in March 2000 by Dublin City University. This project focussed on the social, economic and political factors shaping multimedia content production in Ireland.
This webpage contains select details of my publications, teaching, research and postgraduate supervision. If you would like further details on anything on these pages please contact me. You can also follow me on twitter - just search for aphrak
NUIM/UPenn Summer School 2013
We were delighted to co-host with the Annenberg School for Communication from the University of Pennsylvania a postgraduate summer school on 'National and Transnational Cultural Flows and Place' from the 1st-12th of July 2013. Yes straight after IAMCR, Dublin.
We had seven PhD students from the US joining with a similar number of PhD students from Ireland for an intensive summer school with some of the best lecturers in Ireland on issues of culture, identity, language, spatiality, global flows and new forms of informational production. More pictures etc. to follow. Check out #ascdublin and #ascscholars.
Staff and students at the NUIM/UPenn summer school, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
I am currently working on a new book on digital games and co-editing, with Dr. James Ivory Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Virginia Tech, USA, the online games entries for an International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society.
My book ''The Business and Culture of Digital Games: gamework/ gameplay" was published in 2006 by Sage publications. See it also on google books with reviews etc. I try to make my publications available as e-prints, an online depository hosted by our university. Most publishers seem to allow it.
Select recently published journal articles and book chapters include:
- with King O’Riain, R., and Titley, G., (Forthcoming) ‘Transnational Media Networks and the ‘Migration Nation’ in Gilmartin, M. and White, Allen, (Eds.) Migrations: Ireland in a Global World, Manchester University Press.
- Kerr, A. (2013) "Space Wars: The Politics of Games Production in Europe." Gaming Globally, Nina Huntemann and Ben Aslinger (Eds.), Critical Media Studies: Palgrave.
- van Egeraat, C., O'Riain, S. and Kerr, A. (2013) "Social and Spatial Structure of Innovation in the Irish Animation Industry." European Planning Studies.
- Kerr, A. (2012) "The UK and Irish Games Industry." The Video Game Industry: Formation, Present State, and Future. Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson (Eds.) . vols. New York: Routledge.
- De Paoli, S and Kerr, A. (2012) ‘L’agencement de la triche. Aborder la triche dans less MMORPG comme un imbroglio’ pg 235-269 in La revue Réseaux – Communication – Technologie – Société, Vol 30, 173-174, mai-Juillet 2012.
- De Paoli, S. & Kerr, A. (2011) ‘On Crimes and Punishments in Virtual Worlds: Bots, the failure of punishment and players as moral entrepreneurs’ in Ethics and Information Technology.
- Kerr, A. and Cawley, A. (2011) ‘The spatialisation of the digital games industry: Lessons from Ireland’ International Journal of Cultural Policy.
- Kerr, A. (2011) ‘Player production and innovation in online games - Time for new rules?’ in Crawford, G., Light, B. and Gosling, V. (Eds.) Online Gaming — Production, Play & Sociality. Oxon: Routledge
- Kerr, A. (2011). 'The Culture of Gamework'. Chapter in M. Deuze (Ed.), Managing Media Work. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.
- Kerr, A. and Titley, G. (2011) ‘Here, there and everywhere: Polish media transnationalism’ in Fanning, B. and Munck, R. (Eds.) Immigration and the Irish Experience of European and Global Transformation. Farnham: Ashgate. Pg.193-204
- Kerr, A., De Paoli, S., Storni, C., (2011) ‘Constructing the Role of Users in ICT Design’. In Pierson, J., Mante-Meijer, E., and Loos, E., (Eds) New Media Technologies and User Empowerment by Peter Lang: Berlin. Pg. 85-100.
Recent reports and working papers
- Kerr, A. ‘The Politics of Cultural Production’ (2012, Feb.). Blog post available at culturedigitally.org
- Kerr, A. ‘Game for Work’ (2012, Jan.) Blog post available at http://smartfutures.ie/2012/01/18/game-for-work/
- Kerr, A, De Paoli, S., and Keating, M. (2011) Human and Non-Human Aspects of Governance and Regulation of MMOGs. Working paper available on the Social Sciences Research Network.
- Titley, G., Kerr, A. and King-O’Riain, R. (2010) Broadcasting in the ‘New Ireland’: Mapping and Envisioning Cultural Diversity. Final research report published by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. Available online at http://www.bai.ie/pdfs/201004_nuim-culturaldiversityrpt_gt.pdf
- Van Egeraat, C., O' Riain, S., Kerr, A. (2009) ‘Socio-spatial Structures of Knowledge Flow and Innovation in the Irish Biotech and Digital Media Industries’ Final report, Open Philosophies of Associative Autopoietic digitaL ecosystemS (OPAALS), Network of Excellence, funded by the European Union's 6th Framework Programme. Work Package 11, Deliverable 11. 2. Available on request from the authors.
Most of my teaching relates to media and technology in society, knowledge/information society and research methods. I teach the following modules across the two semesters:
- The Irish Sociological Imagination: Culture and Everyday Life, 1st year
- Media and Society, 2nd year
- Fieldwork, 3rd year
- Games and Play, 3rd year
- Technology and Culture, 3rd Year
- Media and Globalisation, MA.
I am working on a number of funded research projects with colleagues in NUIM, other universities around Ireland and leading centres in Europe. These projects focus on social aspects of the production and consumption of media in a global context with a particular focus on new media, including the internet and digital games.
Recently funded research projects
1) Between Innovation and Survival: A comparative study of indie game initiatives in Ireland and Canada. (2012/2013)
Dr. Tamara Shepherd from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada has received a Dobbin Scholarship to visit NUIM and work with me on a comparative study of public and private initiatives to support independent video game development. See http://tshepski.com/cv/
2) Cultural Production in the Digital Age (2010-2012) Funded by the National Science Foundation, USA. Coordinated by Temple University, Philadelphia and Cornell University, New York, USA.
This network brings together a number of international academics to collaborate, write and discuss cultural production in the Digital Age. It is coordinated from Temple University, Philadelphia and Cornell, Ithaca, USA. It involved two face to face network meetings in 2011 and 2012 and ongoing virtual collaborations. See http://culturedigitally.org.
Just finished - so hence a lot of writing to do...!
3) Ethics in Social Science Research’ Funded by the Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation Projects, NUIM and the National Digital Learning Repository, 2011. A small project that will develop learning resources to supplement large group teaching of research methods.
4) Future Communciations Networks and Services (2007-2012) Funded by the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions and the HEA in Ireland.
This project focuses on innovative internet users and is part of a larger inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional project on networking technologies and the “Future Internet.” Our strand of this project will focus on design, trust and goverance issues related to internet use. Project involves Micheal O Foghlu, Waterford IT – Telecommunications Software & Systems Group, Douglas Leith, David Malone - NUI Maynooth – Hamilton Institute, Mikael Fernstrom, Liam Bannon - Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick. Stefano de Paoli is the postdoctoral researcher on this project. See http://futurecomm.tssg.org/
5) OPAALS - Funded by the European Union Framework Programme - Priority 2 - Information Society Technologies, phase II.
Our workpackage in this project (2007-2009) studied the social and spatial structures of collaboration and knowledge flow that underpin innovation among SMEs in the biotechnology and digital media sectors in Ireland. The larger project was a European network of excellence called OPAALS (Open Philosophies for Associative Autopoietic Digital Ecosystems), whose focus is on developing the science and technology behind Digital Ecosystems. Project involved Sean O Riain, Chris Van Egeraat, NIRSA, NUIM, Antonella Passani, Lorena Rivera León, T6 Società Cooperativa, Italy , Javier Val, Istituto Tecnologico de Aragon, ITA, Spain. Paolo Dini, London School of Economics, UK. See http://www.opaals.org/
6) Irish broadcasting and the ‘New Ireland’; Mapping and visioning cultural diversity (2007-2010). Funded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.
This project explored the current and possible future development of forms of ‘cultural diversity policy’ in Irish broadcasting at a time of unprecedented socio-cultural change in Ireland. In particular the project will examine current broadcasting production and regulatory policies in this area and pattersn of media use by Polich, Chineses and Nigerian communities in Ireland. Project involved Dr. Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain (Sociology), Dr. Gavan Titley (Media Studies), all NUIM, and Abel Ugba, University of East London.
At NUIM I am involved in the Political Economy, Work and Working Lives and the Globalisation, Identities and Cultural Practices research clusters within the Department of Sociology. I am a research associate of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) and the Centre for Wider Europe (CSWE) at NUIM.
Nationally I am involved in the Sociology Association of Ireland (SAI). NUIM is also a partner institution of the Irish Social Sciences Platform. I have been content editor of the community website http://www.gamedevelopers.ie since 2003.
Internationally I am a member of the International Association for Media and Communciations Research (IAMCR) and in 2012 became vice-chair of the Communication, Technology and Policy division. In 2013 the IAMCR conference was held in DCU in Ireland.
I am also a member of the International Communciations Association (ICA), the Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA), the Association for Internet Researchers and the European Association for Science and Technology Studies (EASST).
I was on the organising committee of the annual European Communication Policy Research Network conference (Euro-CPR) until 2013. For more see http://www.eurocpr.org/
I am interests in developing postgraduate projects which examine the production and use cultures of traditional and new media. I am also interested in projects examining policies in relation to the broader cultural industries, data and privacy.
Recent Presentations at Professional Conferences
(with Linda O’Keeffe) Mobilising the City? Teenagers and mobile sound technologies in urban city spaces. Presented at the Community Communication division of the International Media and Communications Research conference, Dublin, Ireland, June 2013.
Governing Games – Economic, Technological and Policy Issues. Presented at the Communication, Technology division of the International Media and Communications Research Conference, Dublin, Ireland, June 2013.
Human and Non-Human Aspects of Governance and Regulation of MMOGs with De Paoli, S., and Keating, M. Presented at ‘A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society’, iCS and Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, UK, 21-24th September, 2011.
Globalisation and mobile labour in the Irish games industry: Implications for policy. Presented at the DiGRA bi-annual conference, Think, Play, Design, Utrecht School of Art, Hilversum, The Netherlands, 14-17th Sept., 2011.
Digital Games as Cultural Industry? Does it matter? Panel convenor and chair, Presented at the DiGRA bi-annual conference, Think, Play, Design, Utrecht School of Art, Hilversum, The Netherlands, 14-17th Sept., 2011. Other panellists included Malte Behrmann (European Game Developers Federation, Berlin), Mira Burri (World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland), Casey O’Donnell (Assistant Professor in the Grady College at the University of Georgia, USA) and Adrienne Shaw (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, USA).
Spatialisation and Mobile Labour in the Digital Games Industry. Presented at the Political Economy section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Istanbul, Turkey, 15th July 2011.
Recent Invited Talks
‘The politics of global games production' Invited Keynote at the Videojogos 2012 - Conferência em Ciência e Arte dos Videojogos será organizada pela linha de investigação “Media, Technology, Contexts” do Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura (CECC), Faculdade de Ciências Humanas da Universidade Católica Portuguesa e pela Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências dos Videojogos (SPCV), Lisbon, 13-15th Dec, 2012.
'Human and Non-human Aspects of Governance in MMOGs: Implications for Internet Users.’ Invited lecture presented at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, 29th March, 2012.
‘Human and Non-human Aspects of Governance in MMOGs: Implications for Internet Users.’ Presented at the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain, 3rd, Feb. 2012.
‘New Media: New Voices’. Presented at the Media Diversity. Why Does it Matter? conference, Dublin, 6th Feb. 2012. See http://www.nessachilders.ie/blog/2012/02/08/media-diversity-why-does-it-matter-conference-programme--speaker-presentations/
‘Transnational Cultural Production: the global games industry & Ireland’, Invited Lecturer, Ballyfermot Senior College, Dec., 14th, 2011.
‘Audiences and Social Media- especially Facebook’, Invited lecturer, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Dec. 9th, 2011.
‘The Global Games industry and Culture in Ireland’ Invited Lecturer, Department of Electronic Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dec., 6th, 2011.
‘Governance and Participation in Massively Multiplayer Online Games’. Invited speaker at the ‘Social Participation and Digital Communities’ track at the Intel European Research and Innovation Conference, Leixlip, Ireland, 12th Oct., 2011.
‘Governance in Online Communities: Struggles for control in Online Games’. Invited keynote speaker, ‘Connected Communities’, Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts 2011, Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, Ningbo, China, 4-7th Sept., 2011.
‘Digital Games as Media & Cultural experiences’ CELSA, a graduate school of the University of Paris Sorbonne, France, Paris, 9th June, 2011.
‘Struggles for control in MMOGs: Empirical and Theoretical Reflections’ Joueurs en ligne et techniques de jeu workshop, LATTS, Paris-Est, Marne-la-Vallée, France, 7 and 8 June 2011.
‘From Call of Duty to Wii Fit: The work of Play’ Department of Culture and Communication, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, 6th of May, 2011.
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