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.

Telephone:0116 2522797

Email: new9@le.ac.uk

Personal details

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.

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 Director of Teaching and Learning (Programme Portfolio) for the School of Media, Communication and Sociology.

Professional activities

I am a member of the Association of Internet Researchers, Fan Studies Network and the British Sociological Association.


I am the module leader for the following modules:

MS2004 Creative Audiences (2nd year core module)

MS7100 Critical Approaches to Celebrity Culture (PGT optional module)

I co-teach MS3011: Digital Games & Culture and contribute to a number of modules including MS3009: The Media, Celebrity and Fan Culture.



Journal articles and book chapters

Selected conference papers

  • “Beyond Neoliberal and Compassionate Ethics: A Manifesto for Alienation in Relation to Ethical Authority,” International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, May 18-21, 2016.
  • “From Classificatory to Relational Spaces in Social Research” 2016 British Sociological Association Conference, Aston University, 6-8 April 2016 (with Russell Dudley-Smith). Stream: Methodological Innovations.
  • “The Ethical Subjectivity of Audiences: Contiguity and Codification in Accounts of Media Consumption”, III International Conference on Media Ethics, University of Seville, 25-26 March 2015.
  • Panellist: E-safety and digital ethics, Media & Learning Brussels 2013 Conference, 12-13 December 2013.
  • “Fans, Obsolescence and In/Security: ‘The Return’ of the Commodore Amiga,” Fan Studies Network Symposium, University of East Anglia, 30 November 2013.
  • “Identity and In/Security in the Production of Ethical Stances,” 5th Psychosocial Studies Network Conference: “Knowing and Not Knowing: Thinking psychosocially about learning and resistance to learning,” Institute of Education, University of London, 17th-18th December 2012.
  • “'Identity, Authority and Unease: Examining the articulation of ethical positions in accounts of new media use/research.'” 2nd International Symposium on Digital Ethics, Centre for Digital Ethics and Policy, Loyola University, Chicago, 29th October 2012.
  • “Digital Dunces?: Exploring accounts of incompetence and uncertainty in new media use” paper presented at Transforming Audiences 3, University of Westminster, September 2011.
  • “Streaming, Sharing: the ethical manoeuvring of media consumers online” paper presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2011: 60 Years of Sociology, London School of Economics, 7 April 2011.
  • “Ethics, Audiences and the Internet: Exploring accounts of contemporary viewing habits in online/offline domains” paper presented at The Big Screen vs. The Small Screen, Canterbury Christ Church University, 16 February 2011.
  • “Pirates or Crusaders – File-sharing as moral issue?” paper presented at Moral Panics in the Contemporary World conference, Brunel University. 10-12 December 2010.
  • “Articulations of acclaim: an exploration of critics’ and academics’ responses to The Wire” presented at The Wire as Social Science Fiction, ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester, Leeds Town Hall, 26-27 November 2009.
  • “’Watching’ Battlestar Galactica” paper presented at IDeoGRAMS symposium 2009, University of Leicester, 16 September 2009.
  • “Communities in Crisis: The de/stabilisation of online fan cultures” presented at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference: I.R. 9.0: Re-thinking communities, Re-thinking place, Copenhagen, Oct 2008.
  • “The Ethics of Avatars and Academics: Exploring the ethics of the researcher/researched” presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2008:  Social Worlds, Natural Worlds, University of Warwick, 29 Mar 2008.
  • "Ethical Decision-Making in Facebook Research" presented at Poke 1.0: A Facebook Social Research Symposium, London Knowledge Lab, University of London, 16 Nov 2007.
  • “Online Fandom and the Silent Hill Series,” presented at Computer Game Analysis, Film Theory and the Future of Screen Studies, London University Screen Studies Group, Institute of Education, 9 Nov 2007.
  • “SH was born with the gamers”: The fixing and destabilising of identity in fan responses to Silent Hill the film presented at Transforming Audiences: Identity, Creativity, Everyday Life, University of Westminster, 6 Sept 2007.
  • “Genre, "Quality Television" and the Sci-Fi Network: The case of Battlestar Galactica” presented at BSG 2007: The Politics, Poetics and Philosophy of Battlestar Galactica, Bucks New University, 28 Jul 2007
  • “Control and Contingency: The Methodological Implications of the Hacking of Silent Hill Heaven,” presented at Computer Games: Learning, Meaning and Method, Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, 26 January 2006.
  • “Crossing and Toeing the Line Online: The negotiation of legitimate identities in two online fan communities,” presented at Technology, Performance & Identity: Mediation, Remediation and the Politics of Self, Bucks New University, 28 Apr 2006.
  • “Silent Hill is Supposed to be Silent Hill”: The Modality of Nostalgia in Postings to Two Online Fan Communities, paper presented at the Doctoral School Summer Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, 25th June 2005.
  • From ‘Release Date Query’ to ‘How Do You Kill Those Floating Souls?’: Pedagogy @ Silenthillheaven.com, paper presented at CAL’05 Virtual Learning?, University of Bristol, 4th April 2005.
  • “Homesick for Silent Hill: Fans’ negotiation of textual identity in responses to Silent Hill 4: The Room,” presented at ‘Playing the Past: Nostalgia in Video Games and Electronic Literature,’ University of Florida, Gainesville FL,19  Mar 2005.
  • “Ethnography in the Surf” presented at the Doctoral School Summer Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, June 2004.
  • ‘“You in Love With Josh?” Literacy Practices in Online Fan Environments,” Paper presented at the Doctoral School Summer Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, June 2003.

Book reviews

  • N. Whiteman (2010) “Media and Communication Technologies: A Critical Introduction”, Viewfinder: Moving Image and Sound, Knowledge and access, The Journal of the British Universities Film & Video Council, No. 78, p 29.



My research explores ethical issues relating to media research, digital environments and media consumption activity, with a particular interest in the study of online fan cultures. I am also interested in methodological issues relating to online research practice and the use of observational methods in research.

My recent work 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 research examined social activity within online fan communities. My PhD explored the workings of two fan communities (the video game 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).


I am currently supervising 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).

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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

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