We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker for IR 13.0 will be Liesbet van Zoonen. The title of her speech is ‘Fixating the fragmented self: converging cultures and technologies of identity management’.
Liesbet van Zoonen is professor of media and communication at Loughborough University, UK and professor in media and popular culture at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands. For more than 20 years she worked at the University of Amsterdam and she has held positions as professor II at Oslo University, and as visiting professor at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and the Hochschüle für Film und Fernsehen (Germany). She is the editor of the European Journal of Communication. Her research covers a wide range of issues in the social sciences, but all concern the question whether and how popular culture is a relevant resource for civic understanding and social participation. She has applied the popular culture perspective to religion and analyzed the connections between political communication and popular culture in her book Entertaining the citizen: when politics and popular culture converge (2005). She is internationally known for her work on gender and media (Feminist Media Studies, 1994), which has been translated into Chinese, French, Portuguese, Serbian and Italian.
Her work currently is focused on future technologies of ‘identity management’. The three-year IMPRINTS project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). An additional grant has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security in America to simultaneously conduct the study in the US. IMPRINTS aims to assess how and why UK and US publics will engage with particular future practices, services and technologies of identity management, while resisting others. Iris and full body scans, and face or voice recognition have already become well-known practice, but innovations like implantable chips, odour scans, online ‘object’-passwords and mobile identity sharing are on the horizon. It is unclear whether and why members of the public will embrace these innovations or reject them. The project brings together experts in design, computer science, political science, media, psychology, sociology, and risk management, and findings will inform future government and security policy on identity management and its implementation, as well as provide resources for further research.