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Home > Research > Researchers > Julia Gillen
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Current Postgraduate Research Students

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

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Dr Julia Gillen

Senior Lecturer

Julia Gillen

County South

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 510830

Office Hours:

Friday 10 - 11am  except for 31 October & 7 November.  


Research overview

I am researching in 3 areas:

1)       I am writing a book "Digital Literacies" (Routledge, 2014).  This includes work on Twitter as a professional practice.  I also research children and teenagers learning in formal and informal settings including in virtual worlds. See this recent book and its associated  ESRC seminar series.

2)       I study aspects of language, literacy and multimodality in childhood.  I draw on sociocultural theory, linguistic ethnography and visual methods. See the Day in the Life project website and this book

3)      I co-direct The Edwardian postcard project, a history of vernacular literacies, multimodality, mobilities and as e-heritage - making connections with contemporary digital technologies and practices. 

PhD supervision

I welcome potential doctoral students studying children's and teenagers' digital literacies; literacies in early childhood; multimodality in various contexts; historical and contemporary studies of communication technologies where language is the particular focus. I am open to a broad range of topics and methodologies.

A recent PhD I have supervised to completion: S-Y Ruby Chen: Adolescents' linguistic practices in College-affiliated Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) in Taiwan.

Recent doctoral dissertations I have examined include:

M. Blikstad-Balas. PhD. University of Oslo. Redefining school literacy: prominent literacy practices across upper secondary school. 2014

E.K.P. Kwan. PhD. Lancaster University. Writing into, at and beyond the University: Constructing learning spaces through writing by business undergraduates in an English medium university. 2013

K. Silseth, PhD. University of Oslo. Constructing learning dialogically; students contexts and resources. Exploring how students and teachers participate in game-based learning and digital storytelling in educational settings. 2013

Stewart Martin, PhD. Durham University. Multimedia and individualised learning in GCSE English Literature. 2012

Lynde Tan, PhD. Lancaster University.Adolescent literacies, multimodal textual repertoires, and digital media: exploring sites of digital literacy practices and learning inside and outside school. 2011

Mark Childs, PhD. University of Warwick. Learners' experience of presence in virtual worlds. 2010

Patrick Camilleri, EdD., University of Sheffield. A structurational interpretation of issues underlying the implementation of internet based systems in Malta. 2009

Michael Dunne, EdD., Manchester Metropolitan University. Out-of-classroom visits: Unravelling the experience of a short residential trip of primary school children. 2009

Jing Sheng, PhD., Lancaster University. Chinese migrant children's multiliteracy practices in Britain. 2009


I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital Literacies.  Current interests include studying professional practice in Twitter, the literacy practices of children and young people in virtual worlds, the Edwardian postcard, and the development of multimodal research methods. 



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; International Society for Cultural and Activity Research; the UK Literacy Association and the Royal Historical Society.

External Roles

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

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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