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Dr Rebecca Coleman

Formerly at Lancaster University

Rebecca Coleman

PhD supervision

I currently co-supervise PhD students working on issues of affect and film, girlhood and youth, visual culture and new media and have supervised one PhD student to completion. I welcome PhD applications in any of the areas of my research - please feel free to contact me to discuss applications further.

Research Interests

My research so far has focused on empirical and theoretical explorations of the relations between bodies and images. I have recently published a book, Transforming Images: Screens, Affect, Futures (Routledge 2012), that tracks a socio-cultural and bodily imperative for transformation across a range of different screens: interactive mirrors; makeover television; online dieting; the Change4Life government health campaign. It looks at how images are central to this imperative, and, drawing on recent theories of affect, develops an account of images as felt and lived out. It considers how images of transformation function affectively through a version of a better future, and examines how these images bring the future into the present and affectively 'draw in' some bodies more than others. It thus explores the ways in which power may today be working through affect and intensity.

Some of these ideas have also been explored in recent publications (see below) and I am extending my interest in the screen in a project with Liz Oakley-Brown (English and Creative Writing) on 'Theorising the Surface': a series of events on this topic, including an international seminar, art exhibition and Lancaster workshop, will take place on 23-24 May 2013.  Please see here for more information, including on how to register for the seminar: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/faculty/event/4294/  

I have also studied the relations between bodies and images through empirical research with teenage girls. This project developed a feminist Deleuzian approach and, taking up concepts of affect, intensity and immanence, it argued that bodies and images should be understood as entwined processes of becoming rather than as separate entities. The research involved different kinds of interviews, including an image-making session - the image above is an example of the material produced. Based on this research, I've published a monograph, The Becoming of Bodies: Girls, Images, Experience (now available in paperback), and a number of journal articles (see below).

Running through my research is a concern with temporality. I have recently been awarded an ESRC Research Seminar Series on the topic of ‘Austerity Futures? Imagining and Materialising the Future in an “Age of Austerity”’. The series, which involves colleagues from the Sociology Department at Lancaster and from York, Durham and Goldsmiths, will run from October 2012 and end with an international conference at Lancaster in 2014. See here for more information: http://www.austerityfutures.org.uk/

Also with this interest in temporality in mind, I have co-edited a collection of essays with Debra Ferreday on Hope and Feminist Theory. The collection explores, among other issues, the 'affective turn', for example in the paper I have co-written with Monica Moreno Figueroa (Sociology, Newcastle University), on beauty and temporality.

I have a strong interest in inventive methodologies. With Jessica Ringrose (Institute of Education), I have recently edited a book on Deleuze and Research Methodologies, and, more widely, I am interested in visual and sensory methods.

I have been part of two ESRC funded seminar series, one based at Goldsmiths College on Young Women in Movement and the other based at Cardiff University, on Researching Affect and Affective Communication.


Current Teaching

At Undergraduate level, I convene and teach a third year research-led option course, Imaging the Body (SOCL317) and the second year core Media and Cultural Studies course, Critical Cultural Theory (MCS.200, with Debra Ferreday). I also teach on the Part 1 course, Media and Cultural Studies (MCS.101) and contribute to the Part 1 in Gender and Women's Studies (GWS 101).

At Postgraduate level, I convene and teach on the core Media and Cultural Studies course (SOCL940). 

Research overview

My research interests are in: images and visual/sensory culture; bodies and materiality; affect; temporality and the future; inventive methodologies; feminist, cultural and social theory.


In Lent term 2013 I was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney (http://sydney.edu.au/arts/gender_cultural_studies/). During this time I gave papers at the University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Wollongong.

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