Dr Amalia G Sabiescu

Research associate

Dr Amalia G Sabiescu

Amalia is a communication scientist with an interdisciplinary research track at the interface between communication technology, culture, education and development studies.

Her current research interests are in the fields of communication for development, social and digital inclusion of under-served communities, and digital interventions in cultural and creative practice. She conducted qualitative and participatory research studies in diverse socio-cultural contexts in Europe (e.g. Switzerland, Italy, Romania) and South Africa, where she examined social and cultural factors in the appropriation and use of communication technologies by diverse groups, ranging from under-served communities to creative industries professionals. Issues of voice, agency in technology usage, collaboration, co-creation, creative engagement with digital media, and narrative forms of expression are important topics in her research, transcending disciplinary boundaries.

Academic background

Prior to joining Loughborough University, Amalia held postdoctoral research positions at RMIT University (Australia, working from Spain), Coventry University (UK), and University of Lugano. She has been involved in several research and design projects that explored ICT adoption, appropriation and use in situated spaces – from local communities and schools to museums. Key topics and application areas include:

  • Communication for development: Studying the interplay between communication practices, adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and processes of empowerment, social inclusion and social change in under-served and disenfranchised communities. Key topics: participatory media methods and tools for voice in disenfranchised and minority communities; the interplay between ICT use, communication practices and processes of empowerment and social change; collective dimensions of agency and empowerment; cooperative models and digital infrastructures for collective ownership in small scale and rural communities; participatory media and participatory design approaches in community technology design; cultural issues in communication for development and community technology design.

  • Digital interventions in cultural and creative practice, focusing on the implications associated with the adoption of new technologies in creative practice and tangible and intangible cultural heritage transmission, management and communication (focusing on GLAM institutions, performing arts, and arts and crafts professions). Key topics: implications of digital interventions and technology integration for cultural expression and transmission of intangible heritage in contemporary communities; narrative structures and digital storytelling for cultural heritage communication.

  • Technology-enhanced learning and inclusive education. Key topics: New interaction patterns and creative activities enabled by digital technology integration in formal and informal education, pa

Current research and collaborations

Amalia is involved, together with Professor Jo Tacchi in the project EduMAP (Adult Education for Active Participatory Citizenship, 2016-19), which aims to inform future policy, research and practice into adult education and how it can be aligned to the needs of vulnerable young adults.

She continues as well her research on digital interventions in the cultural and creative industries. She is currently working on a co-edited volume on the integration of digital environments in intangible cultural heritage and performing arts, a co-edited book on Museum Experience Design (Springer, 2017), as well as book chapters and articles on digital interventions in arts and crafts practice, maker communities, and digital storytelling for visitor engagement in GLAM institutions.

Current PhD / research supervisions

Amalia supervised Master by research studies in media and communication at RMIT University, focusing on self-representation of female athletes in social media; and gender representation in media coverage of war and conflict (completed 2016).

She is interested to supervise Master and PhD students in the areas: communication for development; community development and community informatics; digital interventions in the cultural and creative industries; ICT for cultural heritage transmission and communication (focusing on GLAM).

Interests and activities

Amalia is a member of:

  • International Development Informatics Association – IDIA (2011-present)
  • Community Informatics Research Network – CIRN (2011-present)
  • Co-chairing the 10th edition of the International Development Informatics Association – IDIA 2017 conference, to be held in Bucharest, Romania.
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