Dr Ranjana Das


Dr. Ranjana Das

Ranjana on LinkedIn

Ranjana on Twitter

Lecturer in Media and Communication, Director of MA in Mass Communication.

Email rd207@le.ac.uk

(NOTE: I will be leaving the University of Leicester on 5th July 2017 to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication, at the Department of Sociology, University of Surrey. Till then, I am on sabbatical (study leave) from January to June 2017)


My research and writing develops two narratives – one general to the field of communication studies, framed via media audiences/users; and the other a specialised strand on social media and parenting.

Media audiences/users in the context of media transformations is the broadly general strand where I approach audiences as media users, communicators and creators across boundaries of platforms, formats and texts. I am interested in the changing contexts of audience work, the implications of audience action, and institutional conditions within and against which media audiences operate. Highlights in this area include directing CEDAR (2015-2017) a 14 country network, consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research, funded by the AHRC on the future of audiences/users in 2030; directing out of the above, a horizon-scanning exercise on audiences - to become an edited book in preparation - Audiences 2030: A foresight analysis (with Brita Ytre-Arne) presenting future scenarios for audiences; a forthcoming book Provocative Screens - on citizen-audiences, affect and media offence (with Anne Graefer, Palgrave 2017); audience projects with over 200 audiences between the ages of 11 and 80 including two projects with 90 child audiences/users; an expertise with audiences across platforms including – books, films, television and social networking sites; and across genres – including soap operas, social networks, comedy, reality television, news, films etc; an expertise in theories of interpretation, reception and digital literacies in the context of transforming media environments and numerous publications and talks on audiences and users

New technologies, motherhood, maternal well-being– is an emergent specialist, policy-relevant strand of my work which occupies the intersect of digital culture studies, communication studies, parenting and mental health. Some highlights here include an ongoing British Academy project ‘Birth Stories’ (2016-2018) investigating the mediation of childbirth in the UK and USA (see my introduction to this here and a blog-post here); a forthcoming research monograph on the above titled Birth Stories: The mediation of childbirth (Routledge, 2018); forthcoming research articles on maternal subjectivities on You Tube, Facebook and online forums, developing work with elite professionals in the realm of birth, pregnancy, parenting websites and early parenting support and developing research on parental well-being, maternal mental health and digital technologies including linkages with national and regional charities. A sub-section of this research deals with maternal mental health and new technologies, especially peer-to-peer relationships on social platforms (my recent piece on this). The longer history of this strand of my work can be found in work in my contributions to Family Platform - a European foresight analysis consortium on the future of the European family (2010-11).

I have been awarded funding by The Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the National Centre for Research Methods, the DAAD and Funds for Women Graduates. Internally I have won funding competitively from the universities of Leicester, Luneburg, LSE, among others.

Active Grants

  • Principal Investigator: Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for the CEDAR network 2015-2018
  • Principal Investigator: British Academy and Leverhulme Trust Small grant 2016-2018


Das, R. & Graefer, A. (Forthcoming, 2017). Provocative Screens: Offended audiences in Britain and Germany. Palgrave Pivot

Das, R. (Forthcoming, 2018). Birth Stories: The mediation of childbirth. Routledge

Publications: Please see this link.


  • I am the Programme Director for the MA Mass Communications programme at Leicester. It is our oldest and biggest programme and undergoing lots of transformations this year.
  • Unless on leave, I convene the MS7003 PG module on media audiences and contribute to the UG modules on creative audiences.
  • I am convening and teaching the Sociology of New Media PG module in 2016. As the name goes, our class will be using Wordpress and Twitter to document their journey through it all!
  • I supervise PhD students and my teaching interests involve - changing media audiences and users (across all ages, genres, contexts and platforms), media and youth, controversial media content, media literacies, public communication and controversies and the mediation of early parenting. Current PhD students include -

PhD supervision

My current doctoral students are

  • Flavio Garcia da Rocha (first supervisor) working on social class and media transformations in Brazil (2014 --)
  • Anna Zsubori, (first supervisor) winner of departmental Graduate Teaching Assistantship, working on Hungarian children, Disney films and national/ethnic identity (2016--)

Prospective PhD students can contact me informally with a draft proposal at rd207@le.ac.uk. Reflecting my current research, I am interested in supervising PhD students on any of the following strands.

  • Strand 1: Media audiences and users (spanning all media genres, formats, platforms and all kinds of audiences)
  • Strand 2: Parenting, well-being, family lives and social/digital media
  • Strand 3: Media controversies, offense, free speech and regulation

Academic Service

2014-2017: Chair of the Audience and Reception Studies section of the European Communication Research and Education Association
2012-2014: Vice-chair of the Audience and Reception Studies section of the European Communication Research and Education Association
2012-2015: Director of the Audience Research Group at Leicester University
2012-2014: Undergraduate Admissions Office for Media and Communications at Leicester University
2011-2013: International Communication Association graduate student representative (Popular Communication division)
2010-2012: YECREA Thematic Section Representative- Thematic section representative for YECREA’s Audience and Reception Studies section. YECREA is the youth network of the European Communication Research and Education Association.


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