School of Social Sciences

Media and Communication


Research in Media and Communication at The University of Western Australia creates critical insights into our everyday, political and professional encounters with contemporary media cultures and communication practices.

These encounters play a significant role in our understanding of political, communal, and everyday experience. They shape the way social relations, cultural issues and connections are defined at a local, regional and international level.

Key Areas of Research

Our research engages with everyday media practice, political and persuasive communication, new understandings of community and society that emerge with new technologies, and uses of traditional and digital communication forms in professional and non-professional contexts.

There are three core areas of research to which our staff and postgraduates contribute:

1. Media Cultures and Technologies:  Here, we use a range of methodological and analytical approaches to explore digital, screen, gaming and networked technologies, and investigate their role in re-imagining the political, social, and educational spheres.

2. Critical Approaches to Media and Communication: Our group has strengths in interpretivist and philosophical approaches to communication. Staff and postgraduates undertake research on the historical and theoretical aspects of contemporary communication and media, tackling a broad set of issues.

3. The Politics of Public Communication/Communication and Media Ethics:  Representation, surveillance and control, sexuality and gender, social activism, political rhetoric, and participation, are just some of the topics explored by staff and postgraduate students in the group. This includes research into social movements, strategic communication, and the use of new and emerging technologies in public relations and governance strategies. It also includes professional media ethics as articulated by media workers, different visions of media power and responsibility, and contemporary forms of ethical critique.


In addition to serving on numerous advisory boards, editing journals and book series, and executing externally funded research projects, our group demonstrates expertise through the publication of journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and books.

Books published by staff in Media and Communication include Screenwriting: History Theory and Practice (2009) Democracy in the Age of New Media: The Politics of the Spectacle 2011; Uncoding the Digital: Technology, Subjectivity and Action in the Control Society (2012); Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity: Unliveable Lives (2012); Objectivity in Journalism (2013); Vulnerability and Exposure: Footballer Scandals, Masculine Identity and Ethics (2015); Digital Identities: Creating and Communicating the Online Self (2016); Media After Deleuze (2016); and Ethics in Screenwriting: New Perspectives (2016).

Postgraduate Research

Staff in Media and Communication supervise postgraduate research in a broad range of areas, often collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines and indeed with other schools. 

We welcome interest from prospective domestic and international postgraduates, particularly in areas of staff expertise.  Please see the individual staff pages for more information and email any enquiries to the Discipline Chair, Associate Professor Steven Maras <>

Our Staff

Rob Cover

Katarina Damjanov

Helen Fordham

Tauel Harper

Steven Maras 

David Savat

Peter van Onselen