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Jacob Johanssen draws on a a psychoanalytically informed psychosocial studies approach which is influenced by media and communication studies, psychoanalysis and critical theory. His work revolves mainly around two themes: exploring Freudian psychoanalysis as a theory and method for media audience research with a particular focus on psychoanalytic conceptualisations of affect, as well as using psychoanalysis to think critically about contemporary digital culture more broadly.
His research interests include audience research, social media, digital labour, psychoanalysis and the media, affect theory, psychosocial studies, critical theory, as well as digital culture. His work has appeared in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, International Communication Gazette, and Journalism Studies.
He is currently working on the monograph Psychoanalysis and Digital Culture: Audiences, Social Media and Data Mining (Routledge).
Together with Steffen Krüger (University of Oslo), he has recently edited the first-ever special issue on Digital Media, Psychoanalysis and the Subject (2017, published in the open access CM: Communication and Media Journal). The whole issue can be downloaded here.
He and Dr Diana Garrisi have recently been co-investigators on the research project 'Facial Disfigurement in the UK Media: From Print to Online' (2017, funded by the University of Westminster Strategic Research Fund).
Jacob is convenor of the Psychoanalysis at Westminster reading group.
He is member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS) and serves as its Membership Secretary. He is also member of the editorial boards of tripleC, Networking Knowledge and CCC Critical Contemporary Culture. From 2010-2013, he was Co-Editor of the journal Cyborg Subjects: Discourses on Digital Culture. The journal was an open access, open review journal on digital culture, digital politics, philosophy of digital culture. Selected papers and new chapters were published as a book in 2013.
Before joining CAMRI in 2016 as Senior Lecturer, Jacob was Hourly Paid Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London from 2012-2015. He holds a BA in Communication Studies (University of Salzburg), an MA in Media and Communications (Goldsmiths, University of London) and a PhD from the University of East London.
Jacob is Acting Course Leader for MA Communication, MA Communication Policy and MA Global Media.
He currently co-leads the 7COMM002W Approaches to Media and Communication Research module (with Dr Xin) and is co-module leader for 7COMM013W Theories of Communication (with Dr Herzogenrath-Amelung). He also leads seminars on 7MEDS005W The Political Economy of Communication, and on the 7COMM011W Political Analysis Of Communications Policy modules. Jacob is also Module Leader for 7MEST001W Advanced Independent Study. He supervises BA and MA dissertations.
Jacob is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Jacob Johanssen's research is interdisciplinary and aims to connect media and communication studies with psychoanalysis on theoretical and methodological levels.His research interests include audience research, social media, digital labour, psychoanalysis and the media, affect theory, psychosocial studies, psychoanalytic and psychosocial research methods, critical theory, as well as digital culture.
His PhD research (University of East London) involved interviews with viewers of the programme ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ (Channel 4) and explores their conscious and unconscious investments and affective responses across television and social media by drawing on media studies, psychosocial studies and psychoanalysis (Freudian affect theory and Anzieu's skin-ego) both theoretically and methodologically. It is the first study to offer a psychoanalytic angle on multi-platform media use.
Jacob is a member of the Faculty's Research Ethics Committee.