People

Dr Alexandra Kviat

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of

Email: a.kviat@leicester.ac.uk

Profile

I am an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of consumer and service research, cultural and media studies, urban sociology and human geography. After joining CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019, I continued my affiliation with the School of Media, Communications and Sociology as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and became a member of the Consumption, Markets and Society research cluster in the School of Business. Prior to that, I was an IAS Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick (2018-2019), a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013-2014), and a lecturer at the Omsk State University (2009-2014). I hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick (2018), a PhD in Communication Studies from the Omsk State University (2010), and a joint BA/MA in Public Relations, also from the Omsk State University (2007).

Research

My current research project 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. Once considered an activity meant for children and hobbyists, board games are now becoming part of the mainstream culture, attracting new demographics of producers and consumers, exploring new themes, inventing new designs and creating new spaces. Who are the people participating in board game culture, both on the producer and consumer side, and how inclusive it is in terms of age, gender, class and race? How does this culture navigate the futuristic opportunities provided by digital technology and balances them with the nostalgic promise of multisensory, face-to-face entertainment? How did COVID-19 affect the production and consumption of board games? To answer these questions, I will conduct interviews with board game designers, artists and publishers, reviewers, journalists and bloggers, board game cafe owners and game gurus, convention and meet-up organisers, and gamers.

My PhD thesis Placemaking in the Post-Functionalist and Post-Digital City: The Case Study of Ziferblat was the first in-depth study of a new urban phenomenon – multifunctional spaces called pay-per-minute cafes (also known as ‘time cafes’ and ‘anti-cafes’). Drawing on a multi-site ethnography conducted in London, Manchester and Moscow, I examined the production and consumption of these spaces in the context of two interrelated global trends – the increasing blurring of home, work and leisure and the growing impact of digital culture on urban social life. In 2019-2020, I extended this work in a follow-up ESRC-funded study Connected and Sociable Spaces: Making the Post-Digital City, focused more broadly on the relationship between digital technology, public place, sociability and community building.

 

Publications

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Kviat A (In press) One brand, multiple authenticities: the case of the world's first pay-per-minute cafe. In M. HeĊ™manová, M. Skey, & T. Thurnell-Read (Eds.), Cultures of Authenticity, Emerald.

Kviat A (2021) Post-digital prosumption and the sharing economy of space: the pay-per-minute cafe. Journal of Consumer Culture.

Kviat A (2020) A heterotopology of the anti-cafe: deconstructing a beast from the East. In G. Patsiaouras, J. Fitchett, & A. J. Early (Eds.), Research in Consumer Culture Theory, Vol. 3.

Kviat A (2020) Connected and sociable: third places in the post-digital city. CAMEo Cuts #14.

See the full list on Google Scholar.

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Supervision

Consumer and service research; urban sociology; post-digital culture

Teaching

Over the past ten years, I have taught a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on media studies, marketing communications, consumer culture, urban sociology, and social research methods. 

Press and media

Cafe culture; board game culture

Activities

Alongside my own research, in 2018-2019 I worked as a research assistant in a large interdisciplinary project ‘Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry’ (University of Warwick), funded by the European Research Council and exploring the impact of the global petrochemical industry on urban communities across the world. From 2011 onwards, I have been a member of the British Sociological Association, the Royal Geographical Society, the European Communication Research and Education Association, the International Communication Association, and the US and Russian National Communication Associations. In 2006-2009, I worked as a freelance marketing communications consultant in education and healthcare.

Awards

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2020-2023)
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019-2020)
Warwick University Institute of Advanced Study Early Career Fellowship (2018-2019)
Chancellor's International Scholarship, University of Warwick (2014-2018)
Fulbright Faculty Development Program Scholarship (2013-2014)
Open Society Foundations Higher Education Support Program Grant (2013)

 

 
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