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Professor Jenny Kitzinger BA (Cambridge), PhD (Glasgow)

Professor Jenny Kitzinger

BA (Cambridge), PhD (Glasgow)

Director of Research: Impact and Engagement and Co-Director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Email
kitzingerj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 208 74571
Campuses
Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Other Roles

Lead for REF; Director -'Science, Health and Media Research Group'

Co-director of www.cdoc.org.uk

Originally training in Social Anthropology, my research has media representation and cultural practices around key social issues such as sexual violence, health, science, and, most recently, end-of-life issues.

My in-depth research with families and clinicians, and longitudinal work on patient pathways, explores the treatment of patients in 'coma' and how these are represented in the media, and public debate around 'right to die' issues. I am active in public and policy engagement particularly around death and dying. I work closely with artists (e.g. poets and musicians) and policy makers and have co-produced a series of radio programmes on ethics and end-of-life decision-making, helped develop a touring exhibition about coma and curated an early 'Before I Die' Festival . I serve on the Lancet Commission on Death (2020), co-authored a report for the Welsh Government on Advance Decisions ('Living Wills'), and my research on vegetative and minimally conscious states (jointly developed with colleagues at the 'Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre') has also been crafted into a multi-media healthtalk.org resource for families and e-learning courses for healthcare professionals. The impact of the work has been recognised by awards from the British Medical Association, ESRC and Cardiff University.

Education and qualifications

  • 1999: PhD (Sociology) Glasgow University
  • 1984: BA hons & MA (Social Anthropology) Cambridge University

Career overview

  • 1985-88: Research Assistant, Cambridge University (Social and Political Sciences)
  • 1988-91: Research Associate, Glasgow University  (Glasgow Media Group)
  • 1991-92: Senior Research Fellow, Medical Research Council, Medical Sociology
  • 1992-99: Deputy Director + Senior Research Fellow, Glasgow University (Glasgow Media Group)
  • 1999-2003: Reader, Brunel, Director of the Centre for Media & Communications Research
  • 2003-present: Professor, Cardiff University (School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies)

Honours and awards

  • Rockefeller scholarship award (2011)
  • Cardiff University award for Outstanding Engagement and Innovation (2013),
  • ESRC national award for ‘Outstanding Impact in Society’ (2015)
  • Cardiff University award for ‘Outstanding Impact on Policy’ (2015)
  • Joint runner-up to Guardian University Awards for ‘Research Impact’ (2015)
  • British Medical Association 2015 award for ‘Information on Ethical Issues’
  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales

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BA Module:

  • 'Birth, Marriage and Death in the media: the ‘personal’ in cultural context; 'Research Methods', 'Dissertations'; Previously taught modules include: 'Understanding Media Audiences', 'Risk and Health Reporting', 'Politics & Social Media',  'Feminist Theory and Media Studies'.

MA Module

  • Putting Research into Practice

PhD supervision

  • Post-graduate supersion has included theses on: Science & health in the Media, Disability politics, Sexual violence, End-of-Life decision-making. I welcome PhD applications in any of these areas.


Recent publications see: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2593-8033

Key Research Interests

  • Health/Science & the Media: I have researched a range of health issues from AIDS to health inequalities. Much of my work addresses debates about medical ethics and emerging technologies (e.g. stem cell research).
  • Coma and Brain injury. I am now examining the cultural representations of, and debates about, coma and severe brain injury, working in collaboration with Prof Celia Kitzinger (Cardiff School of Law & Politics). We are analysing statutory frameworks (e.g. the Mental Capacity Act, 2005) alongside examining scientific papers, court hearings and press releases about neuroscience, coma and recovery and conducting in-depth interviews with families of people in vegetative/minimally conscious states.This research informed an online resource offering information and support for families and practitioners – see healthtalk.org. I served on the Royal College of Physicians Working Party rewriting guidelines on the management of the 'vegetative' state, and on the Nuffield Council on bioethics 'Working Party on novel neurotechnologies to intervene in the brain.' For more information about this work see www.cdoc.org.uk
  • Sexual Violence: My work around sexual violence has included examining the emergence of child sexual abuse as a public issue, the representation of scandals, responses to a feminist social awareness advertising campaign and the development of anti-violence initiatives in schools.
  • Research methods. I have written extensively about questions of media influence. I am  also an expert in focus group research methods, and am especially concerned with the best way of using this methodology in sensitive and innovative ways to explore key social issues.

I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Representing Death
  • Law, ethics and medical treatment
  • Disability rights and the media
  • End of Life decision-making and Advance Decisions
  • Mental Capacity Act in the Media
  • Euthanasia debates
  • Sexual violence

Current supervision

Julia Boelle

Research student

Maria Ivanova

Research student

Aderonke Osuntokun

Research student

Engagement/Impact

I am active in public and policy engagement particularly around death and dying. I work closely with artists (e.g. poets and musicians) and policy makers and have co-produced a series of radio programmes on ethics and end-of-life decision-making, helped develop a touring exhibition about coma and curated an early 'Before I Die' Festival . I serve on the Lancet Commission on Death (2020), co-authored a report for the Welsh Government on Advance Decisions ('Living Wills'), and my research on vegetative and minimally conscious states (jointly developed with colleagues at the 'Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre') has also been crafted into a multi-media healthtalk.org resource for families and e-learning courses for healthcare professionals. The innovartion & impact of the work has been recognised by awards from the British Medical Association, ESRC and Cardiff University.