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Mike Kent

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Member profile

Background information and interests

About me? Well I have a doctorate from Murdoch University where my research focused on Internet access in Australia, looking at theories of sovereignty, citizenship, economics and the self, and how these concepts are transformed in a digitised environment and then intersect with the analogue world. The context of Internet access is often overlooked, the atomised user at the screen encourages an atomised view of Internet access, my work focused on providing the context in which this individual access occurs.

My undergraduate degree, also from Murdoch University, is in politics and philosophy. My honours dissertation focused on Nike (the shoe company rather than the Greek Goddess) examining its utilisation of, and influence on, the process of globalisation in its production and marketing. I also have a degree in psychology from the University of Western Australia. As it seems I spend a lot of time at the moment teaching in Universities I thought I should try to know more about it, so I recently completed my Graduate Certificate in Tertiary and Adult Education also at Murdoch.

I began my current focus on New Media at Curtin University of Technology, and worked in 1999-2000 lecturing and tutoring in electronic commerce at the Curtin Business School. I have also worked as a research assistant at Murdoch examining the role of Internet filtering software in blocking Internet content, as a response the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act 1999. In the late nineties I founded a small Internet Service Provider. I have at other times been the manager of the Zone 3 laser games site in Perth, and the initial sole authorised distributor of Jolt Cola in Western Australia. I play basketball (despite being short) and completed the Rottnest Island Channel Swim in 2002 and 2006 with three friends. I have a cat, but I suspect he only likes me because I feed him.

As the convenor of the Critical Digital hub I am interested in the broader digital environment and its impact on society and identity, as the natural growth of access to that environment stalls, the nature of these impacts are changing. This has recently led me to begin to examine issues related to disability in the digital environment. I am currently working with Katie Ellis exploring representations of disability in Second Life. I am also interested in the implications of mobile phone technology and its applications, as well as issues relating to access to the traditional landline telephone system and its regulation in Australia through the Universal Service Obligation. I have also been working on the 'Digital Divide 2.0 and the Digital Subaltern', which was initially presented at the recent IAMCR conference in Sweden that brings the work of Gramsci and Spivak to questions around the digital divide, A journal paper on along the same theme has just been published in Nebula: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship. See www.nobleworld.biz/images/Kent3.pdf.

More recently as well as my interests in new media I have also begun to focus on teaching and learning in Universities. I have recently completed a twelve month project at the Art Design Media Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy at The University of Brighton. My research with Stephen Mallinder lead to the production of The National Subject profile for Media and Communications in Higher Education in the United Kingdom, to be published in early 2009, as well as associated research reports on staff and students in this sector Staff and Students in Media Subjects in Higher Education: The United Kingdom 2007-2008 and Staff and Students Voices in Media Subjects in Higher Education: The United Kingdom 2007-2008, both of which were recently published through the ADM-HEA.

I am a member of Electronic Frontiers Australia, the International Association for Media and Communications Researchers, International Association of Internet Researchers, the Internet Society, and until recently the Vice-Chairman and Trustee of the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club. Within the Popular Culture Collective as well as convening the Critical Digital Hub I am the Business Manager.

Listening to
Hilltop Hoods and The Herd (It's good to be home!)

For more information about me and my research visit my website at cultware.com.

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Member for
9 years 49 weeks
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