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Professor Jenny Kitzinger

Professor Jenny Kitzinger

BA (Cambridge), PhD (Glasgow)

Position: Director of Research: Impact and Engagment
Co-Director of the Cardiff-York Chronic Disorders of Conciousness Research Centre


Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74571

Location: Room 0.55A, Bute Building

Recent Research

Halliday, S., Kitzinger, C. and Kitzinger, J. 2014. Law in everyday life and death: a socio-legal study of chronic disorders of consciousnessLegal Studies 

Kitzinger, C. and Kitzinger, J. 2014. Withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration from minimally conscious and vegetative patients: family perspectivesJournal of Medical Ethics 

Holland, S., Kitzinger, C. and Kitzinger, J. 2014. Death, treatment decisions and the permanent vegetative state: evidence from families and expertsMedicine, Health Care and Philosophy 

Research Interests

  • Risk, science and health. Jenny has researched a range of health issues from AIDS to health inequalities. Much of her work specifically addresses debates about risk, ethics and emerging technologies (e.g. nanotechnology, and stem cell research). Jenny is now examining the cultural representations of, and debates about, coma and severe brain injury.
  • Brain injury. Jenny is working in collaboration with Prof Celia Kitzinger (from the University of York) to study the cultural, social and ethical dimensions of coma and severe brain injury with a focus on decision-making about medical treatment. The research involves analysis of statutory frameworks (e.g. the Mental Capacity Act, 2005) alongside examining media representations, scientific papers and press releases about neuroscience, coma and recovery. Celia and Jenny are also carrying out in-depth interviews with families of people in vegetative/minimally conscious states. They are in receipt of a Rockefeller residential scholarship to write up this work.
  • Sexual violence. Jenny's work around sexual violence has included examining the emergence of child sexual abuse as a public issue, the representation of social work intervention scandals, the discovery of 'false memory syndrome', responses to a feminist social awareness advertising campaign and the development of anti-violence initiatives in schools.

Jenny has written extensively about questions of media influence. She is also an expert in focus group research methods, and is especially concerned with the best way of using this methodology in sensitive and innovative ways to explore key social issues.


BA Module:

  • Researching Media Audiences

Previously taught modules include: 'Understanding Media Audiences', 'Risk and Health Reporting', 'Communication Research Methods', 'Feminist Theory and Media Studies'.

Other Roles

Director - 'Risk, Science, Health and Media Research Group'

'Before I Die' Festival 2013

The 'Before I Die' Festival - a festival for the living about dying, curated by Jenny Kitzinger, took place over ten days beginning May 11th.

Festival events in and around Cardiff included music, art, poetry, theatre, film, expert panels and public debate. The events were designed to inspire, inform, support and raise debate about death and dying.

The festival was part of a growing social movement to reflect on how people manage death and dying and was linked to a network of events across the UK for 'dying awareness' week.