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Photography and the Digital Body

Project Description

The proposed project will involve an investigation into the relationship between photographic practices and the body in the digital age. Photography has undergone a major shift since the emergence of digital technologies. The mobile phone camera in particular has ‘democratized’ access to photography, transforming it into a widely used form of communication practiced across the globe. In parallel to this shift, the platforms on which photographs are shared have grown exponentially: Instagram is now one of the most popular social media sites today. These shifts have had a profound impact on the way that female, male and non-binary bodies are presented, defined, critiqued and disseminated online.

The ubiquity of the camera combined with the profound role of social media on everyday life has had a wide-spread impact on the way that we see, understand and relate to the body. The opportunities for further research and critical analysis are vast. This is a quickly shifting territory making this a timely and much needed research project. The research would build on theories on the ‘softimage’ (Hoelzl & Marie, 2015), the evolution of the image between digital and analogue spheres (Bohr & Sliwinska, 2018) as well as burgeoning work on transnational and cosmopolitical approaches to bodies, identification and the circulation of lens-based images (Meskimmon, 2010; Arnold & Meskimmon, 2016).

The successful applicant would join a vibrant, forward-looking and diverse research environment stretching across the School of Design and Creative Arts, as well as the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and would have access to a number of highly relevant research groups within these two schools. These include the groups Digital Humanities, and Politicized Practice, as well as the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Feminism, Sexual Politics and Visual Culture.

The successful applicant would be supervised by Dr. Marco Bohr (School of Design and Creative Arts) and Professor Marsha Meskimmon (School of Social Science and Humanities). Potential applicants are welcome to contact the supervisory team at and

Entry requirements

You should have a good undergraduate degree and a master's (or equivalent international qualifications) in a relevant subject.

How to apply

All applications should be made online:
and must include a 2,000-word research proposal:

Under school/department, select 'Creative Arts'. Please quote reference AEDMB19.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2020.

Supervisors' online staff profile pages:

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/international) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School. You can find out more about funding your research degree here.

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