The Centre for Participatory Culture is dedicated to the study of forms of participation, engagement, reception and content creation among non-professionals, users and audiences. It explores practices, motivations and content of participation and the premises and consequences of participatory engagement.

The Centre therefore aims to advance our understanding of:

  • The role of media and media technologies in facilitating and shaping practices of participation
  • Definitions of participatory culture and participatory practices and expanding the phenomena and spheres shaped by participatory practices
  • Cultures and identities associated with participation, social media use and enthusiasm such fans, fandom and activism across the spectrum of popular culture, media and arts, politics and beyond
  • The development and history of cultures and practices of participation
  • The textual forms associated with and allowing for participation
  • The cultural, social, economic, aesthetic and political value of participation, including the interplay between participation and social change
  • The interplay between non-professionals and industries, institutions, and organisations
  • The structures, agencies and limitations of participatory culture
  • The role of participation in citizenship, identity and community in the digital age
  • The history and development of participatory practices.

In doing so, the centre will actively engage with non-academic user groups including users, enthusiasts, fans, commentators and citizen journalists as well as media and creative industries.

The centre also supports participatory culture scholarship through the following objectives:

  • Infrastructure and collaboration
    • Support emerging scholarship and facilitate the dissemination of research in the centre through means of academic publication as well as alternative digital distribution
    • Generate income through funded collaborative research including RCUK, EU, and commercially funded projects
    • Attract internationally leading researchers on participatory culture and related phenomena to the University
    • Facilitate interdisciplinary research on forms of participation across the University of Huddersfield
    • Build firm international links with leading institutions in the field and establish staff exchange schemes as well, where feasible, visiting fellowships
    • Facilitate research impact and its documentation
    • Become a national and international focal point for the postgraduate study of participatory culture and fans.
    • Inform and strengthen teaching across all degree levels in Media and Journalism and equip all our graduates with a deep understanding of participatory culture and its impact on forms of cultural production and consumption
  • Theories, Concepts and Methods
    • Develop innovative, rigorous theoretical approaches, concepts, models and typologies for the study of participatory culture;
    • Innovate, assess and develop methodological approaches to the empirically-grounded study of participatory culture, including digital and non-digital methods
    • Analyse and document the impact of role of participatory practices on media industries, regimes of production and journalistic practices
    • Facilitate world-leading and internationally excellent outputs.