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Julia Gillen supervises 7 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Julia Gillen

Senior Lecturer

Julia Gillen

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 510830

Office Hours:

Tuesday 3-4pm in termtime and by appointment.  

Research overview

I am exploring and expanding the boundaries of digital literacies.  My main practical aim is to increase access to innovative and creative yet safe online spaces. My principle academic aim is to expand understandings of the relationship of language with multimodality, through combining study of new media with early twentieth century literacy practices.

I am Co-Investigator in the ESCR/DFID project Literacy Development with deaf communities using sign language, peer tuition, and learner-generated online content: sustainable educational innovation beginning 1st April 2015. 

I am the recipient of a current Public Engagement with Research Leadership Group award with my project The Edwardian postcard.  I am constructing an interactive website and engaging in other activities to connect with family and local history audiences as well as museums and e-heritage users. 

My most recent book, Digital Literacies, consolidates empirical and theoretical interests in recent work including on Twitter as a professional practice and online ethnography.  My research on children and teenagers learning in formal and informal settings including in virtual worlds also features in this recent book and its associated  ESRC seminar series. See also the Day in the Life project website and this book, which has just been translated into Italian. I am developing new work on symbols of cultural identity in Hong Kong and Canada.


I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital Literacies in the Department of Linguistics and English Language and Director, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre.  I am also a member of the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning and the Centre for Mobilities Research. 


Peer Review College

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (June 2014 - December 2017).


I am co-editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

Professional Associations and External Examining

Member of: American Educational Research Association; British Association of Applied Linguistics; the UK Literacy Association and the Royal Historical Society. I act as an External Examiner for PhDs, including at the Universities of Auckland, Durham, Manchester Metropolitan University, New Brunswick,  Open University, Oslo. I am external examiner for the MA in Creativities, Literacies and Learning at the University of Nottingham and have previously acted as External Examiner for undergraduate courses in linguistics, language and communication at York St John University. 

External Roles

Member, AHRC Peer Review College, June 2014 - December 2017.

Co-editor, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 2007-present.

Assessor for Learning Technologies Design for Impact SBRI competition with Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK). 2014

Honorary Research Associate, School of Graduate Studies, University of New Brunswick, Canada. (2011-2014)

Assessment and Qualifications Authority HE expert panel member advising on GCSE ‘A’ level: English Language and English Language & Literature. 2012-2014

Evaluator, Digital Futures in Teacher Education (DeFT) project - Sheffield Hallam & Sheffield Universities.  (2011-2012)

External consultant, Mixed Reality Interactions Across Contexts of Learning (MIRACLE) project, InterMedia, University of Oslo. (2010-2014)

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