4 Projects, page 1 of 1
The rapidly unfolding revolution in digital technologies continues to have profound effects on the major institutions of the creative economy, especially the library, the publishing house, the museum and the institutions and businesses involved in the development of digital technologies. One of the major aims of this project is to link these institutions and utilize the untapped potential in knowledge exchange by creating an active interface for users and producers within the creative economy. Perhaps the most striking of contemporary developments in this new technology is the still growing potential of the mobile phone or tablet application. We think that this innovative technology brings wonderful opportunities and specific problems for the creative economy. We propose to undertake three strands of research. First we want to explore the potential in the technology of the mobile phone and tablet application. There are already some apps in use in the museum sector - which do little more than offer a catalogue with some added sound; similarly, publishing houses can advertise their books or even circulate them in this medium, and libraries can provide access to catalogues. We think there is a huge creative opportunity here to create apps which give much deeper object histories, which link producers of knowledge with archives, which offer multi-medium experiences to enrich the experience within the museum or library. It should be possible to create an app which would link objects in different museums and countries; which link objects with published research or unpublished archives; which offer the experience of researchers or artists in producing material with audiences who have participated in events - and so forth. The creative possibilities are huge, and, with the practical help of those working in the development of apps along with those working with digital humanities in the other areas of the CE, our first aim is to develop work which will stimulate, educate and direct future development in this area. Second we want to investigate the "best practice" for such technology. There is a strident tension in contemporary cultural life between proponents of the "creative commons", and proponents of regulation. On the one side, the difference between developed and undeveloped countries in access to knowledge is seen to contradict the liberal democratic ideals of exchange and freedom. On the other, the demands of copyright together with the concern for the circulation of illegal or damaging materials requires regulation. How can the political and social aims of the creative commons find any form of accommodation with the wishes of regulators (or the profit motives of business). We wish to produce a document in this area which will be of help for all members of the creative economy including regulators, which lays out the issues and solution in a systematic way. Third - following from the second - we intend to research the complex legal issues of copyright in the sophisticated and rapidly changing world of digital humanities. What are the barriers to the attribution of rights to a multi-media app with material from different countries, institutions and forms of ownership? We will explore this both in a theoretical way, with regard for European law and the potential of regulation, and in a practical way by attempting to secure the permissions for a test-case app. Second, we will explore the issues of practical regulation. Recently a mother in a museum was asked to leave the museum when she wished to take a picture of her child in the "dressing up" section (part of the museum's outreach and engagement programme), because the attendant was instructed that if such a picture included an artwork in the background, it would infringe copyright. Can sensible regulations be established which take account of the demands of copyright and the power of the phone for visual reproduction?
The project exploits an existing dataset, The British National Corpus (BNC), for the study of informal spoken British English as used by different age and social groups across the UK. In addition, new developments in British English will be investigated by comparing the BNC with BNC2014, a new dataset that is being developed at Lancaster University in collaboration with Cambridge University Press. This allows us, for the first time, to look at language change in spoken British English, on a large scale, over twenty years. By combing methodologies from the fields of corpus linguistics and sociolinguistics as well as using novel analytical methods for in-depth exploration of the data, the project will offer new insights into social variation in British English that have previously not been possible. The focus of the sociolinguistic analyses will be on age, an important aspect of everyday social life, that has so far received only limited attention from researchers studying language. The main contribution of the project is not only to our knowledge of British English but also to enabling future systematic research in this area. The results of the project will be applied in teaching of the English language at secondary schools (AS and A-level) and in ESL/EFL classes to students whose mother tongue is not English. Internationally, there is a growing demand for EFL/ESL teaching, which also represents an important part of British economy. The results of the project will also be disseminated via a free online course (our Corpus Linguistics MOOC) run by the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Lancaster University as well as via different channels of the project partners (project ambassadors). The project has been endorsed by Cambridge University Press, a leading global academic publisher and part of the University of Cambridge, the English and Media Centre, an important educational charity working with secondary teachers of English Language and Media Studies in the UK and abroad and Trinity College London, a major international testing board operating in over 40 countries worldwide.
Violence and abuse are endemic globally. In the most recent Crime Survey in England and Wales, 2% reported past-year community violence (where most victims were men). Domestic violence or abuse (physical, sexual, psychological, economic and controlling or coercive behaviour) in the last year was reported by 7.5% of women and 4.3% of men, with victims of repeated or severe domestic violence and/or sexual violence more likely to be women. Most previous mental health research has neglected the impact of domestic and sexual violence on mental health and well-being, so our network will prioritise these, and their links with childhood experiences, and mental health in childhood and adulthood. We know that people with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of domestic or sexual violence, or have witnessed parental violence as a child; some mental health problems are also, much less commonly, associated with committing violent acts though there is very little known about this in relation to domestic violence perpetration. The UK government has recognised that preventing and reducing the impact of domestic and sexual violence and abuse is an important way to improve mental health. This network aims to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems among children, working age adults, and the elderly, by bringing together experts with different ways of thinking about violence, abuse and mental health - some will have personal experience of these issues, others will have expertise from the work that they do, and survivor researchers have expertise born of lived experience and their work. Understanding, preventing and reducing the impact of violence and abuse on mental health requires that we resolve problems that have prevented progress in the past. Firstly, different organisations mean different things when they talk about violence and abuse. This has meant that violence and abuse, and mental health, are measured in different ways by different organisations, and that information collected about violence and abuse does not tell us what we need to know. For example, mental health surveys sometimes ask about violence, but do not ask about the relationship between the victim or perpetrator, what type of violence was experienced, or how it impacted on mental health. Secondly, we have limited knowledge of how and why experiencing different types of violence and abuse increases the risk of developing mental disorders, or how new digital technologies are changing people's experiences of abuse and how this impacts on mental health. Thirdly, we do not have interventions that are effective in preventing or reducing violence experienced by people with mental health problems, or programmes that reduce the risk of mental health problems developing after experiences of violence or abuse. Network activities will address these challenges through: 1) working with people who have personal experience of violence, abuse, and mental health problems to learn from different perspectives, and generate fresh ideas and research questions, with a focus on the commonest types of violence- domestic and sexual violence and abuse; 2) trying to answer research questions through small grant competitions, workshops, conferences, and other events; some of these will lead to larger grant applications; 3) sharing measurement approaches, including how to ethically and safely research this area, which will help data collection and analysis by health services, the criminal justice system, family courts, social care, charities, and researchers. We will also develop an online resource providing information about datasets that can be used in research in the future. We aim to make our results known by publicising them widely through our network and other organisations, including policy makers within NHS England, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence, technology companies and the general public.
We are more connected than ever before but are we communicating effectively? Amid COVID-19 and the so-called 'digital pivot', online virtual communication has been placed at the heart of our daily lives, both professionally and privately. As we move into a post-COVID context, the affordances of this digital turn have shown that we can operate professionally online but there is a need for a better understanding of what has become, and is likely to remain, a new way of communicating in the workplace. The current pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change and has impacted on the behaviours of producers and consumers of digital interactional content. Businesses, for example, have changed their interaction with customers. Cultural organisations have embraced different forms of digital delivery of content, often co-produced by their audiences. Education has seen large-scale adoption of online modes of interaction. In this time of substantial change to how we interact online, there is a need to take stock of whether the virtual communication is equitable and whether our existing paradigms for analysing discourse are fit-for-purpose. This project draws on the expertise of leading researchers in the UK and Ireland to propose the next generation of analytical frameworks for analysing this new type of discourse and will make these frameworks available to all arts and humanities research and end user communities, leading to a step change in our ability to develop equality of access in online communication. Firstly, this project aims to examine virtual workplace communication so as to gain depth of insight into the potential barriers to effective communication. These may relate to external (e.g. gender, age, status, ethnicity, etc) or internal variables (e.g. linguistic variables such as talking over one another or not understanding when it is appropriate to take a 'turn' in conversation) of the interaction. We aim to explore not only what makes for success or failure in virtual workplace discourse, but what also allows for the identification of specific variables associated with such successes and failures. This study will be multi-modal, focusing both on what is said and also on how it is said (e.g. pitch, intonation, facial expression, accompanying gesture or gaze). Findings from this study will lead to the creation of awareness-raising artefacts which will be based on the needs of our project partners and will include, inter alia, reusable digital objects such as podcasts, vodcasts; digitally badged training presentations (e.g. chairing online meetings; fostering equity and diversity on online fora; simulating a sense of co-presence when demonstrating a process). These awareness-raising artefacts (e.g. podcasts and e-resources) can serve as training materials to enhance virtual workplace communication, to highlight any salient equity issues. These materials will aid our project partners in understanding the challenges, nuances and new norms, as well as best practices, in the cultural shift to digital communication platforms. Our second aim is to enable future research into spoken language by developing appropriate technical protocols for capturing and analysing interaction multi-modally (e.g. how to transcribe a gesture and align it with an utterance). Our goal is to evolve standardised ways of approaching questions about language use which are accessible and (re)producible by other researchers and non-technical experts in the Humanities, with the production of an online archive asset. This asset will identify common and standardised ways to approaching pertinent questions about language use which are accessible and reproducible by others. This will help to inform research practice in relation to gathering, storing, processing and analysing multi-modal data by building a community of practice for future multi-modal corpus linguistic research.