Ryan Burns

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research draws on media studies, critical theory, cultural studies, and science and technology studies.  I have conducted ethnographic research into the use of new media technologies such as iPads and other tablet computers, by scientists working in fields such as chemistry, genetics, neuroscience and biology. My research focuses on everyday practices related to digital media, and seeks to critique ways in which media technologies are involved in the production and maintenance of identities. I also examine ways in which new media technologies such as Virtual Reality, Immersive Tech and 5G come to be defined in certain ways - as good, bad, exciting, dangerous or perhaps all of these things at once. 

Supervisory Interests

I supervise Doctoral projects in the areas of media and cultural studies & science and technology studies. If you're interested in undertaking research that examines media technologies the please feel free to contact me for an informal chat. I'm always keen to talk about potential doctoral research projects.

Scholarly biography

My BA and MA studies in Media, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory (University of Nottingham) led me to develop an interest in technoscientific ideologies. My PhD research (University of Sussex) focused on the use of new media technologies in the expert context of the science lab. This ethnographic research in a variety of science labs showed how scientists used and discussed tablet computers and other ‘everyday’ technologies in ways that helped maintain their own sense of identity as expert technology users. Developing these ideas, I also research the cultural and political contexts which lead to new media technologies being adopted in academic and commercial institutions.

Approach to teaching

I have taught on a range of undergraduate courses at Sussex and Brighton, with a particular focus on digital media studies. I have also developed and taught on Widening Participation courses, which aim to introduce university study to school and college students who may not have considered this option. My PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education focused on inclusivity in assessment, with the aim of ensuring that we allow students of all backgrounds, experiences and identities to excel at university. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Tablet computers and technological practices within and beyond the laboratory, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Sept 2015

Master, Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 30 Sept 2011

Bachelor, International Communications Studies, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 1 Jul 2010


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