Ann Hardy

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University of Waikato
Bio Statement: 
I have been researching, writing and teaching in the area of Media and Religion since 2003. For the last two years I have also been teaching a graduate paper, Mobile Mediated World, which takes a cultural studies approach to the description and critique of portable digital techologies and the social changes they both respond to and enable. As communication delivery platforms and media practices have changed over the last decade I have inevitably become interested in how the premises of the broad Media, Religion and Culture paradigm are variously challenged, reinforced or extended by the move to digital systems. My first foray specifically into new media research, a collaborative project with a graduate student, was reported on in the formation and satisfactions of online community in the paper 'Samaritans in Cyberspace: World of Warcraft and an Ethics of Care', presented at the Religion and Media conference in Toronto, August, 2010. Since then, with colleagues Craig Hight and Carolyn Michelle, fellow members of the University of Waikato's Audience Research Unit, I have investigated audience/user responses to online interactive television drama, particularly the use of social media feedback and mobile telephony ( 'Reservoir Hill and audiences for online interactive drama', Participations. Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, Vol. 8, no 2, Aberystwyth University, UK, 2011 616-43 [this is not a religion and media piece but its method and observations are relevant to the field]. Digitally-distributed materials, some of them interactive, are also a feature of my current research, a mix of production, textual and audience research, into the re-development of the indigenous midwinter festival 'Matariki' as a putative spiritual celebration for all New Zealanders. A piece on this research is under review for the Australian Journal of Communication special issue on Religion and Media. In general, my research considers phenomena at the 'spiritual/secular' end of a continuum of manifestations of religiosity.
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Member for
12 years 3 months