Skip to main content
Dr 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 and Director of Postgraduate Research

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Email
kiddjc2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 208 74489
Campuses
Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Formerly a web editor and developer, Jenny is a keen advocate of immersive and participatory media practices, working with a range of institutions to explore and understand their possibilities. Her research is informed by close interaction with the cultural sector. Jenny has worked on projects with: Historic Royal Palaces, The Tower of London, Imperial War Museums, Tate Britain, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, yello brick and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. Jenny regularly offers advice to colleagues in the cultural sector on digital projects and evaluation strategies. She has been a commentator on the BBC and in the press.

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].

Reviews of Museums in the New Mediascape: Museum and Society, LSE Review of Books, International Journal of Heritage Studies and the Museums Journal.

Jenny has worked with partners (yello brick and National Museum Wales) on the creation of two immersive experiences: With New Eyes I See (2014) and Traces (Olion in the Welsh language, 2016).

Dr Kidd is Co-Director of the School's Digital Media and Society research group and a member of the Editorial Board of Cardiff University Press. She is a Managing Editor of Museum and Society and a Series Editor of Bloomsbury Studies in Digital Cultures. In 2016 she was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.

Biography

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

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

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

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

Publications

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2005

Teaching

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

Doing something immersive is increasingly seen as a good way of maintaining relevance and securing visibility in a crowded and complex content landscape. Immersive media sees the convergence of technology and creativity to create an alternative reality which actively engages with an audiences’ senses. This module introduces students to immersive media from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Students debate key issues raised by the increased uses of these platforms, and explore the practicalities of content creation within these emerging formats.

Digital Culture (Undergraduate year 2 core module)

Digital media have re-scripted the relationship between media organisations and their users. Notions of producer and consumer, authorship and authenticity are being re-evaluated and explored in ways that are creative, experimental and infinite. This not only opens up new avenues of opportunity for audience development, but simultaneously calls into question the many practices of cultural consumption and identity construction. This module is an exploration of the claims being made for so-called ‘new’ media in culture. It includes both theoretical and practical components, including the creation of an online project including digital stories, infographics and a photography project.

Digital Creativity (Postgraduate taught programme)

In a crowded and complex content landscape creative practitioners are finding ever more imaginative ways of connecting with their audiences. Documentary makers, journalists, curators, theatre directors, advertisers and designers (for example) are embracing digital, immersive and mixed media methods to create ‘experiences’ that meet very different organizational objectives: to engage, entertain, inspire, anger, shock, seduce, or educate. This module explores the practice and theory of digital creativity. It is situated at the intersection of the creative arts, design and digital technologies. It highlights how digital media can be used to diversity the stories we tell and how we tell them. Students will debate key ethical issues raised by increased interaction with (for example) VR and AR, smart environments and artificial intelligence within creative and cultural contexts, and explore the practicalities of content creation within these emerging formats.

Themes include:

  • Digital Heritage
  • Museums/Heritage
  • Immersive Storytelling

Overview of projects:

Co-Investigator on AHRC 'COVID-19: Impacts on the cultural industries and implications for policy' [15 months from Sept 2020]

AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre: Co-Investigator on the AHRC Policy and Evidence centre for the Creative Industries, 'Arts, Culture and Public Service Broadcasting' Work Strand [2018-2023]. 

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 was a partnership between Cardiff University, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and yello brick, a creative marketing and street gaming company based in Cardiff. ‘Traces’ (‘Olion’ in the Welsh language version) is crafted for visitors to experience either on their own or in pairs. ‘Traces’ 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.

Voices of War and Peace: Jenny was Co-Investigator on Birmingham University’s Voices of War and Peace project, a WW1 Engagement Centre funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project involved innovative collaboration between Cardiff University and a number of partner organisations on the theme of WW1, between 2014 and 2019. Allied to this project, Jenny worked with Dr. Joanne Sayner at Newcastle University researching 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 between Jenny and yello brick funded by REACT. The project prototyped a site-specific 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.

Challenging History Network: Challenging History is an investigation into the representation of difficult and sensitive subject matters, which has resulted in a number of reports, major recommendations to the cultural sector, and partnerships in the UK and beyond, including with the Tower of London and Imperial War Museums. 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: During 2013, The Significance of the Centenary project used a range of methodologies to explore the ways in which ‘the Centenary’ is given meaning. This included a discourse and content analysis of documents/news pertaining to the preparations for the Centenary of WW1 in 2014. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and 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: Jenny was Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded network Silence, Memory and Empathy in Museums and at Historic Sites with the University of Birmingham. 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 Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project ran for three and a half years from 2005 to 2008. Jenny 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 Jenny was commissioned as a consultant (funded by Knowledge Connect) to work with the City of London Festival team on an extensive audience study. Jenny has also been a researcher and consultant for the Manchester Museum.

Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

Digital heritage

Immersive storytelling

Museums/heritage studies

Participatory media

Engagement

One of the most energising aspects of my role is contributing to public understanding of my field, and to the development of policy and practice. I have been involved in many engagement initiatives, in particular as part of my work on the AHRC Voices of War and Peace Engagement Centre and with the AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre (see Research). I regularly work with partners in the creative economy, including in recent years on a number of high profile digital cultural heritage projects.

Much of this has involved collaboration with colleagues elsewhere in Cardiff University, at other institutions, with creative and cultural sector partners, and with members of the public. These projects help to support the University’s civic mission, not least in terms of Welsh language promotion, contribution to cultural affairs and work with schools.

I am on the Steering Committee for the Impact Community of the EU’s Europeana project, have led a masterclass for the UK Government Digital Service, and have appeared in the media and trade press, as well as podcasts, to talk about my research.

Some 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'.

PEC report on 'immersive experiences in museums, galleries and heritage sites'and associated blog post on the ethical implications of immersive practice.

Work with Welsh Centre for International Affairs as external evaluator on the HLF Wales for Peace programme (2017/2019).

Work with yello brick on Traces Onion. In recognition of our collaboration on Traces I have been recognised as one of the University’s ‘innovators’, and the partnership was championed as an example of best practice in the GW4 Bridging the Gap research report and at the launch event in 2018.