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Jenny Kidd  BA (English, Swansea) MA (Publishing, Oxford Brookes) PhD (Cardiff University)

Dr Jenny Kidd

BA (English, Swansea) MA (Publishing, Oxford Brookes) PhD (Cardiff University)

Reader

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Email
KiddJC2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 29208 74489
Campuses
Two Central Square, Room 0.60A, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Formerly a web editor and developer, Dr. Jenny Kidd now researches in the interdisciplinary fields of Digital Heritage and Digital Culture. Recent publications have explored; algorithmic systems and digital memory, crypto art and questions of value, social media communications, and varied uses of immersive media. Jenny's work is generally collaborative and has included partnership with (for example) Historic Royal Palaces, Imperial War Museums, Tate Britain, Amgueddfa Cymru, yello brick and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. She has led applied research projects with a range of practical and other outputs including two immersive experiences, a series of reports for policy makers and industry, and many publications. Jenny's research uses mixed social science methodologies such as content and discourse analysis, as well as varied qualitative and creative approaches.

In 2014 Jenny authored Museums in the New Mediascape (2014, Routledge), exploring transmediated and participatory museum practices. The book’s emphasis on digital data ethics and responsible innovation has been particularly influential. Through follow-up projects and interactions with scholars across a range of disciplines, Jenny's research has evolved to include rich empirical investigation at the nexus of digital memory practices and AI. A recent study with Dr Eva Nieto McAvoy into genealogy services and the production of synthetic pasts is a case in point, as is her work with Dr Aaron Rees on museums and deep learning approaches.

Jenny is a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute (2024-2026) and a Research Fellow for the AHRC's Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Jenny is Strategic Lead for the University's AHRC Impact Acceleration Account.

Jenny is on the Steering Committee for the Impact Community of the EU’s Europeana project, championing the value of a common data space for cultural heritage, and providing support to assess its impact across Europe. She has led a masterclass for the UK Government Digital Service, been an invited expert for Welsh Government and UK Parliament, and has appeared in the media and trade press, as well as podcasts, to talk about her research. Jenny is a Managing Editor of the open access Journal Museum and Society, Series Co-Editor of Bloomsbury Studies in Digital Cultures, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for De Gruyter's Museums and Narrative series. In 2016 she was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.

Jenny's books are Critical Encounters with Immersive Storytelling [with Alke Gröppel-Wegener, 2019, Routledge], Representation: Key Ideas in Media and Cultural Studies [2015, Routledge] and Museums in the New Mediascape: Transmedia, Participation, Ethics [2014, Routledge]. Edited books include Challenging History in the Museum [2014, Routledge] and Performing Heritage [2011, Manchester University Press]. 

Publication

2024

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2005

Adrannau llyfrau

Cynadleddau

Erthyglau

Gosodiad

Gwefannau

Llyfrau

Monograffau

Research

Overview of projects:

2022-present: Synthetic Pasts: synthetic media and the ethics of algorithmically generated memory. Find out more in our recent article.

AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre: Co-Investigator on the AHRC Policy and Evidence centre for the Creative Industries, 'Arts, Culture and Public Service Broadcasting' workstrand [2018-2023]. Find out more about The Value of Arts and Culture

Co-Investigator on AHRC 'COVID-19: Impacts on the cultural industries and implications for policy' [15 months from Sept 2020]. Find out more in the final project report.

Immersive Media for Change: with Alison John, 2018 [supported by an ESRC grant]

Traces | Olion: In 2016 we began work on a ‘subtle mob’ for St Fagans National History Museum, Wales. The project, funded by the ESRC, was a partnership between Cardiff University, Amgueddfa Cymru and yello brick, a creative marketing and street gaming company based in Cardiff. ‘Traces’ (‘Olion’ in the Welsh language) is crafted for visitors to experience either on their own or in pairs. Olion is not an audio guide. Nor is it a tourist guide. It is a site specific storytelling audio app which takes participants on a physical journey around St Fagans, meandering between fact and fiction, past and present. It is an artistic narrative interpretation or ‘composition’ which challenges visitors to experience St Fagans in a new way. It is both playful and thoughtful. The partner experience takes users on two separate journeys that interweave in ways that are expressly performative, but invisible to other visitors they might encounter within the grounds. More on Traces.

Voices of War and Peace: Co-Investigator on Birmingham University’s Voices of War and Peace project, an WW1 Engagement Centre funded by the AHRC. This involved innovative collaboration between Cardiff University and a number of partner organisations in Wales on the theme of WW1 between 2014 and 2019. As leads on the Commemoration strand of the Centre's work, Dr. Joanne Sayner and I extensively studied the poppies installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.This work was a collaboration with the Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces and Imperial War Museums.

With New Eyes I See: With New Eyes I See was a collaborative research project with yello brick funded by AHRC-REACT. The project prototyped a site-specific history documentary using torches, projection and RFID to trigger content. An overview of this project and its findings has been published as an open access article in International Journal of Heritage Studies.

Visitor-Generated Content: 2012 – 2014 Co-Investigator on AHRC funded network ‘Visitor Generated Content’ with Leicester University Museums Studies Department. Project partners included the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, the Digital Engagement Network and Art of Memory. The project led to a research collaboration with Tate.

Challenging History Network: Challenging History investigated the representation of difficult and sensitive subject matters within heritage contexts, resulting in a number of reports, major recommendations to the cultural sector. In partnership with Historic Royal Palaces and Imperial War Musuems, we held a number of events and sector-facing seminars, including International Conferences at City University (2012), Cardiff University (2016), and a Philosophy Salon at the National Portrait Gallery (2011).

2010-2012 Joint recipient of a Grundtvig Award (from European Commission) to investigate Challenging History with the Lidice Memorial, Lidice, Czech Republic and the Forum of Contemporary History, Leipzig, Germany.

The Significance of the Centenary, 2013: Co-Investigator on The Significance of the Centenary (AHRC). The project used a range of methodologies to explore how a Centenary is given meaning. The project was a partnership with Birmingham University, Sheffield University, the Tower of London, Cultural Learning Alliance and the National Library of Wales.

Silence, Memory and Empathy Network, 2012-2014: Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded network Silence, Memory and Empathy in Museums and at Historic Sites. UK Project partners included: Buckfast Abbey, Historic Royal Palaces, the Cultural Learning Alliance,Imperial War Museums, National Maritime Museum, Oriel High School, the Hitchin Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Royal Armouries Leeds, The Highlanders Museum, Birmingham University and Cardiff University.

Performance, Learning and Heritage: The Performance, Learning and Heritage research project was an investigation into the uses and impact of performance as a medium of learning and interpretation in museums and at historic sites. Funded by a major research grant from the AHRC, the project ran for three and a half years from 2005 to 2008. I was the Research Associate on the project. PLH involved four major case studies working with the National Maritime Museum, London, Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, S.Wales, Triangle Theatre Company, Coventry and the Manchester Museum.

City of London Festival audience research: In 2009 I was commissioned as a consultant (funded by Knowledge Connect) to work with the City of London Festival team on an extensive audience study. 

Teaching

Digital Culture (Undergraduate year 2 core module)

Immersive Media (Undergraduate year 3 elective, with James Taylor)

Digital Creativity (Postgraduate taught programme)

Biography

2012 - present: School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University.

2008 - 2012: Lecturer, Centre for Cultural Policy and Management, City University London.

2005 - 2008: Research Associate, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester.

2002 - 2005: PhD in Digital Storytelling, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University.

Before studying for her PhD Dr. KIdd was a web designer and developer for dktv (a different kind of television), Camden, London.

Supervisions

I am currently supervising five PhD students and have supervised a further 10 to completion. I have examined 22 PhDs within and beyond the UK.

Current supervision

Salsabilla Sakinah

Salsabilla Sakinah

Graduate Tutor

Kirstin Mitchell

Kirstin Mitchell

Graduate Tutor

Engagement

My research has always had engagement at its core, and is generally bi-directional. This has meant, for example, rich co-creative work with members of the public, industry (in particular in the Galleries/Archives/Museums sector and broader creative industries), and other researchers. My research approach centres creative co-design and collaboration. This has included varied forms of digital storytelling, immersive approaches, and work with members of the public to map experiences of historic encounters through (for example) drawn and performed responses. I have strong experience of working the data produced through such approaches into rich but accessible empirical accounts to inform the work of policy makers and practitioners. 
 
My work on Synethic Pasts with Dr. Eva Nieto McAvoy is situated at the nexus of (digital) memory studies and AI. This research, which explores 'algorithmic afterlives', speaks to human concerns that reach beyond the digital, for example about how we grieve, how we express and understand identity, and the impacts of disinformation. In the coming months we will be embarking on a rich strand of critical-creative initiatives and public engagament activity to complement our Leverhulme Trust funded research on these themes. This will drive a more informed public convesation about - and increase understanding of - these novel but complex digital practices. It will scope and test strategies to help us prepare for - or actively resist - them. My role as a Turing Fellow (2024-26) will further support the impacts of this research.
 
Other resources giving an insight into my engagement work:

Written reflection on 'Creativity in Lockdown', an overview of work with Creative Cardiff on the Our Creative Cardiff initiative, 2020.

PEC blog post on work with Historic Royal Palaces on their 2014-2018 installations to mark the centenary of World War One, 2019: 'The continuing significance of the centenary'.

PEC blog post on the Voices of War and Peace ‘Heritage, Community and Opportunity’ policy breakfast, 2019: 'A lesson in how to understand the value of culture'.