Dr. Alexandra Kviat

Dr Alexandra Kviat - Photo

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies

 

Contact details

Email: a.kviat@leicester.ac.uk

Twitter: @alex_kviat

Address: Room 2.08, CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, 7 Salisbury Road, Leicester LE1 7QR, UK

 

Personal details

I am an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of urban sociology, human geography, consumer research, and cultural and media studies. After joining CAMEo as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019, I continued my affiliation with the institute as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and became a member of the Consumption, Markets and Society research cluster in the School of Business. Prior to that, I was an IAS Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick (2018-2019), a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013–2014), and a lecturer at the Omsk State University, Russia (2009-2014). I hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick (2018), a PhD in Communication Studies from the Omsk State University (2010), and a joint BA/MA in Public Relations, also from the Omsk State University (2007).

 

Research

My current research project ‘A Blast from the Past? The Resurgence of Board Games in the Post-Digital Age’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, explores the scope, reasons and implications of the growing popularity of board games, both globally and more specifically in the UK. Once considered an activity meant for children and hobbyists, board games are now becoming part of the mainstream culture, attracting new demographics of producers and consumers, exploring new themes, inventing new designs and creating new spaces. Who are the people participating in board game culture, both on the producer and consumer side, and how inclusive it is in terms of age, gender, class and race? How does this culture navigate the futuristic opportunities provided by digital technology and balances them with the nostalgic promise of multisensory, face-to-face entertainment? How did COVID-19 affect the production and consumption of board games? To answer these questions, I will conduct interviews with board game designers, artists and publishers, reviewers, journalists and bloggers, board game cafe owners and game gurus, convention and meet-up organisers, and gamers.

My PhD thesis ‘Placemaking in the Post-Functionalist and Post-Digital City: The Case Study of Ziferblat’ was the first in-depth study of a new urban phenomenon – multifunctional spaces called pay-per-minute cafes (also known as ‘time cafes’ and ‘anti-cafes’). Drawing on a multi-site ethnography conducted in London, Manchester and Moscow, I examined the production and consumption of these spaces in the context of two interrelated global trends – the increasing blurring of home, work and leisure and the growing impact of digital culture on urban social life. In 2019-2020, I extended this work in a follow-up ESRC-funded study ‘Connected and Sociable Spaces: Making the Post-Digital City’, focused more broadly on the relationship between digital technology, public place, sociability and community building.

 

Teaching

Over the past ten years, I taught a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on social research methods, consumer culture, urban sociology, the cultural and creative industries, media studies, and marketing communications, both in the UK and Russia. I am an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and hold a Postgraduate Award in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Warwick (2018).

 

Other activities

Alongside my own research, in 2018-2019 I worked as a research assistant in a large interdisciplinary project ‘Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry’ (University of Warwick), funded by the European Research Council and exploring the impact of the global petrochemical industry on urban communities across the world. From 2011 onwards, I have been a member of several organisations, including the British Sociological Association, the Royal Geographical Society, the European Communication Research and Education Association, the International Communication Association, and the US and Russian National Communication Associations. In 2006-2009, I worked as a freelance marketing communications consultant in education and healthcare.

 

Selected publications

See the full list on ORCID or Google Scholar.

Selected conference papers and invited talks

  • Authenticity in third places: the case of Ziferblat | Cultures of Authenticity, Webinar One: Cities & Urban Culture | Loughborough University | October 2020.
  • Not ‘anti’, but ‘post’: negotiating the analogue/digital dialectic in a pay-per-minute cafe | The Analogue Idyll: Disconnection, Detox and Departure from the Digital World – International symposium at the University of Winchester (online) | August 2020.
  • The sharing economy of space? Pay-per-minute venues and the future of the post-functionalist city | The Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference | London | August 2019.
  • Social network in real life: anti-cafe as a new form of urban public space | Invited talk at the Department of Media and Communication Studies, Södertörn University | April 2017.
  • Anti-cafe, pay-per-minute cafe, or post-cafe? A new type of urban public space in Russia and the UK | BSA Annual Conference | Aston University | Birmingham | April 2016.
  • Third places in the city 3.0: anti-cafe as a postvirtual space | Digital Topologies: Spaces, Connections, Subjectivities | Moscow | December 2015.
  • Social network in real life? | ECREA Media & the City TWG Conference. Urban Media Studies: Concerns, Intersections, and Challenges | University of Zagreb | September 2015.
  • How and why Russian internet users desacralise the Sochi Olympics Myth | Keynote talk at the REEEC Current Affairs Forum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | October 2013.

Share this page:

Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
Leicester
LE1 7JA
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
Leicester
LE1 7JA
United Kingdom

Student complaints procedure

Accessibility

AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for Bankfield House.