Dr Paula Serafini
Paula’s background is in art history, anthropology and cultural studies, and her work is broadly concerned with cultural politics, political ecology, and the relation between aesthetics and politics. Her PhD (King’s College London, 2016) was an ethnographic study of art activism in the UK, focusing on the processes and politics of performance as a political practice. Her work has been published in journals such as Third Text, Cultural Politics, International Journal of Communication and European Journal of Cultural Studies. She has also published a monograph titled Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism (Routledge 2018), and co-edited the volumes artWORK: Art, Labour and Activism (Rowman & Littlefield International 2017) with Alberto Cossu and Jessica Holtaway, and Arte y Ecología Política (IIGG-CLACSO 2020) with Gabriela Merlinsky. Prior to her post at University of Leicester Paula taught at King’s College London, Middlesex University and University of Westminster. She was also a Knowledge Exchange Associate for the Cultural Institute at King’s, and has worked with a number of cultural organisations in the UK as a curator and arts educator. From 2017 to 2019 she conducted research on media and creative practices of resistance to extractive industries in Argentina with support from a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant.
Dr Alexandra Kviat
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Alexandra’s interdisciplinary research draws on her background in urban sociology, human geography, consumer research, and cultural and media studies. Her current study ‘A Blast from the Past? The Resurgence of Board Games in the Post-Digital Age’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, explores the scope, reasons and implications of the growing popularity of board games, both globally and more specifically in the UK. In 2019-2020, Alexandra held an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship at CAMEo and worked on the project ‘Connected and Sociable Spaces: Making the Post-Digital City’, looking into the complex and contradictory relationship between digital technology and traditional, physical spaces of urban sociability. This study built on the key themes of her PhD thesis ‘Placemaking in the Post-Functionalist and Post-Digital City: The Case Study of Ziferblat’ (University of Warwick, 2018), which examined the phenomenon of pay-per-minute cafes. Before joining CAMEo, Alexandra was an early career fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick (2018–2019) and a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013–2014), and taught a wide range of sociology and media and communication courses at the University of Warwick and Omsk State University.
Graduate Research Assistants
My PhD research is an ethnographic project that seeks to understand how transitions to adulthood impact, and the attempted attaining markers of an idealised, 'secure' adulthood inform 'ordinary' youth social and cultural practice in the current austere socio-economic context in the UK. Within this, I also look to understand how contemporary masculinities are implicated within these processes. I am more broadly interested in youth culture, youth transitions, gender and popular culture. I am also a research assistant, which has required me to help with projects that are and have been undertaken within CAMEo.
Tina’s background is in sociology and cultural studies, and her work has been published in the journal Popular Music. She has worked in education research and as Head of Research for a not-for-profit company specialising in research for professional bodies. Her PhD research is concerned with how authors of fiction make a living and manage their working lives as cultural workers. She is interested in cultural labour, the creation/production/reception of popular culture, and the interface of the mundane and the magical in creative work.
Ayeta Anne Wangusa
Ayeta has worked as a practitioner in the print media and as media advisor for an international development organization in the Republic of Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania, respectively. She is the current Executive Director of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), a creative think tank in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is a member of the UNESCO Expert Facility for the 2005 Convention and a steering committee member of African Cultural Policy Network (ACPN). Ayeta is a PhD student in Media and Communication Research in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology. Her PhD is taking practice as a research approach to establish if creative entrepreneurs in selected creative hubs in the East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Kampala integrate Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) objectives in their production and manufacturing processes and urban regeneration activities. Ayeta’s research will establish if there is co-relation between national cultural policies and the industrialization development agendas of the Republic of Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Uganda. She will frame policy recommendations that offer opportunities for creative entrepreneurs in the design sector to be able to contribute towards a circular economy and the urban regeneration of the three East African cities.