Five scholars from around the world have been awarded fellowships at the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) during the academic year 2016–17.

Dr Arwid Lund from Sweden, Dr Bingqing Xia from China, Dr Claudio Celis Bueno from Chile, Dr Ergin Bulut from Turkey, and Dr Lynete Lusike Mukhongo from Kenya are all experts in the research field of critical digital and social media studies.

Dr Bueno will focus on the analysis of the role digital media play in the movies of the filmmaker and video artist Harun Farokci. Dr Xia’s research topic is the study of the Chinese internet economy in context of crisis tendencies, while Dr Lund’s research looks at studying discourses on Open Knowledge. Dr Mukhongo will study how Kenya’s announcement that it wants to leave the International Criminal Court has been discussed on social media. Dr Bulut’s work will focus on the analysis of labour conditions in the video game industry.

Professor Christian Fuchs, Director of the IAS, commented: “Digital and social media have become ubiquitous in everyday life and society. Critical studies of data and the role of digital media in society’s power structures are much needed today. The IAS is excited to be able to host five distinguished international experts. The research fellows’ projects focus on various economic and political aspects of digital media in global society. They show the importance of critical thinking and critical research about the internet in the information age.”

The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies is an academic space for independent critical thinking beyond borders. Its aim is to foster and disseminate advanced studies that generate insights into the complex realities and possibilities of the contemporary world. It is a space for the development, discussion and dissemination of critical, innovative and creative research that contributes to understanding the challenges and problems society, culture, nature, art and technology face today.

One of its key features is the Research Fellowship Programme that attracts and brings together current and future academic leaders.

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