Professor Jo Tacchi

Professor of Media and Creative Industries and Associate Dean Teaching

Professor Jo Tacchi is a media anthropologist with a record of research collaboration with academic, commercial, government and community partners.

Professor Jo Tacchi is a media anthropologist with a record of research collaboration with academic, commercial, government and community partners. She has led a number of complex, multi-country research projects and developed ethnographic and action research approaches and methodologies that have been taken up globally.

Her research is mostly concerned with media, communication and social change. She also has a long standing interest in media and affect, participatory content creation, and the role of radio and new audio technologies in domestic spaces. She has developed methodologies that combine ethnographic principles with action research cycles (ear.findingavoice.org), and recently published Communicating for Change: Concepts to Think With (2020, Palgrave), Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practices (2016, Sage) and, Evaluating Communication for Development (2013, Routledge).

Her current work explores issues of voice and participation in relation to information and communication technologies (ICT), community engagement, communication and social change, education and active citizenship, and capacity development in relation to evaluation of communication and development.

Jo was the Associate Dean for Research at Loughborough University in London from 2017-2021 and is currently the Associate Dean for Teaching and the module leader for Media and Creative Industries: Contexts and Practices.

Academic background

Professor Tacchi completed her PhD in Social Anthropology at University College London in 1997. She worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bristol and the University of Cardiff before leaving the UK in 2001 to work at the newly established Creative Industries Research and Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia where she became a Principal Research Fellow. She was one of the first Visiting Research Fellows at the then newly established Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, during 2003. In 2011 Jo became Professor and Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne. Jo became the Director of Research and Deputy to the President at RMIT Europe in Barcelona, Spain in 2014. Jo moved back to the UK and joined Loughborough University in London in October 2016.

In her time in Australia Jo won over AU$5m in competitive research funding from organisations including the Australian Research Council, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, KPMG, Intel, ABC International Development, DFID, IDRC. Jo recently led the communication work package for an EU funded research project on education and active citizenship, and is currently leading a 4 year project on Para Sport and stigma funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. She is also Loughborough University's Lead on the AHRC Doctoral Training Programme techne.

Current research and collaborations

2020 – 2024
PI with Jessica Noske-Turner, Holly Collison, Emma Pullen, Nik Diaper Para Sport Against Stigma, Global Disability Innovation Hub At2030 project funded by DFID, in collaboration with International Paralympic Committee and University of Malawi, £1.9M

The project explores the use of Paralympic sport as a catalyst for change in attitudes about disability and assistive technology in Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia. Using a four-pillar approach – education, athlete development, Paralympic broadcast, and crosscutting research activities – the project will build on lessons from the London 2012 Paralympic Games inspiring more understanding of disability and inclusion across African countries.

2019 – 2026
Loughborough University’s Academic Lead for the technē AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership.

Technē supports outstanding students pursuing the ‘craft’ of research through innovative, interdisciplinary and creative approaches across the range of the arts and humanities with almost 60 AHRC studentships to award each year across a range of arts and humanities disciplines. With Royal Holloway (Lead), Brunel University, Kingston University, University of Brighton, University of Roehampton, University of the Arts London, University of Surrey, University of Westminster.

Current PhD / research supervisions

She is currently interested in supervising research students on any topic relevant to her expertise and interests.

Professor Tachi currently supervisors the below PhD research projects:

  • Erica Fletcher: An Exploration of Performed Poetry, its Communities and use of Digital Media
  • Sahika Erkonan: Armenian Cultural Memory and its Exilic Media Practices: Armenian Community in London
  • Rittika Dasgupta: Art Activism in India : A narrative of communication and dissent
  • Bridget Backhaus: Listening to the listeners: engaging community radio audiences for participation and development

Research expertise

  • Communication and Social Change
  • Media Ethnography
  • Digital Ethnography
  • Voice and Listening
  • Senses and Society
  • Social Justice

Interests and activities

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