Dr Hilde Stephansen

Lecturer in Sociology

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 64653
309 Regent Street London W1B 2HW
Tuesdays 1-3pm

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History, Sociology and Criminology | Department

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I joined the University of Westminster as Lecturer in Sociology in September 2014. I have a PhD in Sociology, MA in Social Research, and BA in Communications & Sociology, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in the Management of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (all from Goldsmiths, University of London). Previously, I have worked as a researcher at the Open University and at Goldsmiths, and taught sociology at Goldsmiths.

I am the Course Leader for the BA Sociology and Criminology and I teach across a number of core and option modules in social theory and research methods. In the 2017-18 academic year I am the joint module leader for the Dissertation in Sociology & Criminology, and teach on the following modules:

Semester 1

  • Research Methods in Sociology & Criminology (module leader)
  • Researching Crime and Justice I (joint module leader)
  • Modern Social Theory
  • Contemporary Social Theory

Semester 2

  • Sociological Research Methods 
  • London Explored
  • Researching Crime and Justice II

Situated at the intersection of critical political sociology with media & communication studies, my research interests include publics and public sphere theory, social movements, citizen media, media activism, democracy and participation. Running through the different strands of my work is an interest in how communication practices can contribute to the formation of publics at different scales, and how such publics can facilitate broader social processes of knowledge production. 

My current research focuses on global activist networks that form around issues of media democratisation and communication rights, and the implications of such activism for how we might understand the notion of a 'global public sphere'. I am writing a book on this topic called Global Media Activism, to be published by Routledge. I am also exploring the significance of 'media practice' perspectives for research on citizen- and social movement media, and working on a co-edited book (with Emiliano Treré) titled Citizen Media and Practice, to be published by the Routledge series Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media. I am also a consultant editor for the forthcoming Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media.

Prior to joining Westminster I worked at the Open University on a research project called Creating Publics, which focused on the 'public' in contemporary forms of participation and public engagement. I have also worked in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths on Storycircle, an action research project about the social and digital conditions for narrative exchange and knowledge production. 

I am interested in supervising PhD students in areas including social movement studies, media activism, citizen media, publics and public sphere theory.

2018

Media practices (2018)
Stephansen, H. and Treré, E. 2018. Media practices. in: Baker, M., Blaagaard, B. and Perez Gonzalez, L. (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media London Routledge.
World Social Forum (2018)
Stephansen, H. 2018. World Social Forum. in: Baker, M., Blaagaard, B. and Perez Gonzales, L. (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media London Routledge.

2016

Understanding citizen media as practice: agents, processes, publics (2016)
Stephansen, H. 2016. Understanding citizen media as practice: agents, processes, publics. in: Baker, M. and Blaagaard, B. (ed.) Citizen media and public spaces: diverse expressions of citizenship and dissent London Routledge. pp. 25-41

2017

Media Activism as Movement? Collective Identity Formation in the World Forum of Free Media (2017)
Stephansen, H.C. 2017. Media Activism as Movement? Collective Identity Formation in the World Forum of Free Media. Media and Communication. 5 (3), pp. 59-66.
Engaging with the public in public engagement with research (2017)
Mahony, N and Stephansen, H. 2017. Engaging with the public in public engagement with research. Research For All. 1 (1), pp. 35-51.

2016

The frontiers of participatory public engagement (2016)
Mahony, N. and Stephansen, H. 2016. The frontiers of participatory public engagement. European Journal of Cultural Studies. 19 (6), pp. 583-597.

2015

Constructing a digital storycircle: digital infrastructure and mutual recognition (2015)
Couldry, N., MacDonald, R.L., Stephansen, H., Clark, W., Dickens, L. and Fotopoulou, A. 2015. Constructing a digital storycircle: digital infrastructure and mutual recognition. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 18 (5), pp. 501-517.
Digital platforms and narrative exchange: hidden constraints, emerging agency (2015)
Clark, W., Couldry, N., MacDonald, R.L. and Stephansen, H. 2015. Digital platforms and narrative exchange: hidden constraints, emerging agency. New Media & Society. 17 (6), pp. 919-938.

2014

Understanding micro-processes of community building and mutual learning on Twitter: a ‘small data’ approach (2014)
Stephansen, H. and Couldry, N. 2014. Understanding micro-processes of community building and mutual learning on Twitter: a ‘small data’ approach. Information, Communication & Society. 17 (10), pp. 1212-1227.
Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture (2014)
Couldry, N., Stephansen, H., Fotopoulou, A., MacDonald, R.L., Clark, W. and Dickens, L. 2014. Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture. Citizenship Studies. 18 (6-7), pp. 615-629.

2013

Starting from the Amazon: communication, knowledge and politics of place in the World Social Forum (2013)
Stephansen, H. 2013. Starting from the Amazon: communication, knowledge and politics of place in the World Social Forum. Interface: a journal for and about social movements. 5 (1), pp. 102-127.
Connecting the peripheries: networks, place and scale in the World Social Forum process (2013)
Stephansen, H. 2013. Connecting the peripheries: networks, place and scale in the World Social Forum process. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 49 (5), pp. 506-518.

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