Dr Natasha Whiteman Profile
PhD in Education, Institute of Education, University of London.
MRes (Dist) in Educational and Social Research, Institute of Education, University of London.
MA (Dist) Media Studies, Institute of Education, University of London
BA (Hons) Film and American Studies, University of East Anglia.
Lecturer, School of Media, Communication and Sociology.
I joined the University of Leicester in 2008. Prior to this I was based the Institute of Education, University of London where I obtained my PhD, taught on a range of Masters and Doctoral level courses and was the Programme Leader for the MRes in Educational and Social Research.
I am Academic Programme Director and Chair of the Media and Management Ethics Committee.
My research interests include audiences, the study of online fan cultures, methods of qualitative analysis in social research, and methodological and ethical issues relating to online research practice.
My recent focus has been on the formation of ethical subjectivity in the contexts of research, digital environments and media consumption activity. This includes a British Academy funded project "The ethics of contemporary media consumption: An exploratory study of consumers' ethical decision-making in respect of the use of the Internet to access and exchange media content," and a monograph on the ethics of online research (please see below). My earlier work examined social activity within online fan communities. My PhD explored the workings of two fan communities (the videogame site Silent Hill Heaven and television fan site City of Angel) over a three year period. Using text analysis of online posting activity, my thesis presented a sociological analysis of the patterning of consumption and identification with fan objects demonstrated on the public forums of these sites, and how these related to the ways that participants learned to be 'good' community members/successful fans. My PhD was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and is available here. I continue to be interested in issues relating to online fandom and this informs my teaching on a number of modules (see below).
N. Whiteman (2012) Undoing Ethics: Rethinking practice in online research, New York: Springer.
Teaching and Supervision
I am the module leader for the following Undergraduate Modules:
MS1009 Introduction to Academic Skills (1st year core module)
MS2004 Creative Audiences (2nd year core module)
and co-teach MS3011: Digital Games & Culture (3rd year optional module).
I also run the MA Optional Module Critical Approaches to Celebrity Culture.
I am first supervisor to three Doctoral students: Hannah Ditchfield, Akilah Maxwell and Serena Bilanceri.
I would be pleased to hear from prospective research students who wish to undertake work in areas related to my research interests (ethics of new media, ethics of audiences, research ethics, fan cultures, online community and identity).
I am a member of the Association of Internet Researchers, Fan Studies Network and the British Sociological Association.