Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

About us

The CRCC Theme Leads

Our Theme Leads help develop and promote innovative, internationally relevant and interdisciplinary research in our six core research themes.

Marco Antonsich (Migrations and Nations)

‌Situated at the complex intersection between power, territory and identity, his research has followed, in time, three major strands. In the early stages of his career, I explored the history and theory of Western geopolitical thought, studying in particular the U.S. geopolitical production of the 1940s and, more broadly, the Italian geopolitical tradition. Following this latter interest, he also investigated the colonial project of Fascist Italy in Ethiopia, analysing the ways in which Mussolini’s regime attempted to ‘write’ concepts of progress, order, hierarchy, and racial segregation on the Ethiopian urban/land-scape.

A second strand of his research, which originates from his second PhD thesis (University of Colorado at Boulder), relates more directly to the notion of territorial identities. In an epoch of rescaling of state powers and modes of economic production, his major research question aimed to understand whether or not a similar rescaling was also taking place with regard to traditional forms of collective identities (local, regional, national, and European) and to scrutinize their meanings.

His third and current research strand focuses on how ‘living together in diversity’ is imagined, narrated, organized, justified, and practiced within contemporary multicultural societies. As part of this broad research endeavour, he is interested in the re-making of national identities facing the increasing ethno-cultural diversity of national societies. His present research, supported by a FP7- Marie Curie CIG grant (PCIG13-GA-2013-618470), focuses on Italy and the ‘New Italians’.

Marco is the convenor of the Loughborough University Nationalism Network (LUNN).

Ruth Kinna (Social, Political and Cultural Theory)

Ruth graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BA History and Politics and was awarded an SSRC doctoral research scholarship to study at Nuffield College Oxford. She has been working at Loughborough since 1992.

Her research has been funded by the ESRC (ES/N006860/1 Anarchy as a constitutional principle: constitutionalising in anarchist politics) the Independent Social Research Foundation (Art Activism and Political Violence) and the British Academy (2005 and 1993). 

Ruth is a political theorist and historian of ideas with research interests in anarchism, nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist thought, utopianism and contemporary radicalism. Her book William Morris: The Art of Socialism was published in 2000 by University of Wales press; she has since published The Beginner's Guide to Anarchism (Oneworld, 2005/2009), Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition (University of Edinburgh, 2016) and The Government of No One (Pelican, 2019).

Simone Natale (Media, Memory and History)

Simone joined Loughborough University in 2015 and is since 2018 Programme Director for Loughborough's Communication and Media undergraduate programmes. His main areas of interest are media history and digital media. He completed his Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Turin, Italy, in 2011, and has researched and taught in numerous international institutions, including Columbia University in New York, USA, Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Cologne in Germany, and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He is the author of a monograph, Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016), and of articles published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Communication Theory, Media, Culture & Society, and Media History. He was awarded research fellowships by world-leading institutions such as the Humboldt Foundation and Columbia University’s Italian Academy. He is Assistant Editor of Media, Culture & Society.

Jessica Robles (Language and Social Interaction)

Jessica is fascinated by how moral troubles are implicated in ordinary social interactions. Her research has explored many topics in which morality surfaces, from little words such as “like,” to political arguments, family interactions, and responses to racism. She conducts qualitative research using discourse analysis and teaches qualitative methods courses in the Social Psychology programme.

Jessica's research involves discourse analysis of language and social interaction; she transcribes recorded ordinary interactions in a range of settings, from the interpersonal and relational (among friends, family) to the organisational and institutional (related to health, politics, education, business). Most of her work focuses on mundane conversations in which something moral arises, particularly when something goes awry. She is especially interested in practical problems, challenges, troubles, and dilemmas—those moments when interaction acquires a little “danger” or requires a bit of delicacy. Jessica's doctoral dissertation used a series of such situations to theorise that the relationship between communication and morality is centrally concerned with the social organization of difference. Her subsequent publications have further sought to understand how morality is entangled everyday distinctions, disalignments, and disagreements. Her book Everyday Talk: Building and Reflecting Identities (2nd edition, 2013), written with first author Karen Tracy, works through many of the concepts, theories and perspectives underlying my research, and is frequently used as an undergraduate textbook in courses on discourse, identity, and culture.

James Stanyer (Political Communication)

James Stanyer is Professor of Communication and Media Analysis at Loughborough University. He is a political scientist by training, gaining his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1999. His research and teaching interests lie primarily in the area political communication in a national and comparative context. He has published on a wide range of topics including: the personalization of politics; political news and journalism; online political campaigning; politicians and impression management, and comparative research methodologies. His work has appeared in a wide range of academic journals and books, he has authored several books – “The Creation of Political News” (Sussex, 2001) “Modern Political Communication” (Polity, 2007); “Intimate Politics” (Polity, 2013); and co-edited the “Political Communication Reader” (Routledge, 2007); “Communicating Populism” (Routledge, 2019).

James has been both principal investigator and co-investigator on projects funded by the ESRC, the BBC Trust, the UK government and third sector organizations. He has served on the editorial boards of various journals, is a member of the Network of European Political Communication Scholars and was a founder member of the COST Action IS1308, Populist Political Communication in Europe . He is also a member of the political communication sections of: the American Political Science Association, International Communication Association, The European Communication Research and Education Association, the Political Studies Association.

Allan Watson (Culture, Economy and Policy)

Allan Watson is a cultural-economic geographer with research interests that focus predominantly on the geographies of the musical economy, film and media.

Drawing together both geographical-relational and sociological perspectives on cultural production, labour and consumption, his research focuses on three overlapping areas of concern:

  1. The nature of the new digital marketplace for music, including MusicTech the monetisation of music, and the changing nature of music consumption.
  2. Relational economies of music and media production, including the nature of local (urban and regional) and non-local knowledge sharing, business networks and production networks, and professional mobility.
  3. Relational work and creative practice in music and film, including emotional labour, precarity, and the extensification and intensification of work.

His work has been published in a range of leading Geography journals including Environment and Planning A, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Area, Global Networks, and Social and Cultural Geography. Allan is author of Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of Rethinking Creative Cities Policy: Invisible Agents and Hidden Protagonisits (Routledge, 2015); Global City Makers (Edward Elgar, 2018); and Music Cities: Evaluating a Global Cultural Policy Concept (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).