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Curtin University
Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT)


What is the status of the human in today’s changing world of new technologies, knowledge and risks? How can and should we compose new relations with various others—animals, machines, things?

Scientific knowledge of animal culture, mind and behaviour has challenged human uniqueness.

New media, robots and other technologies have transformed our sociality, producing new ways of communicating and living with nonhuman others and new modes of persistence after death.

We have become increasingly aware of our embeddedness in a wider environment subject to entangled processes of construction, destruction and extinction.

This research program explores these questions and problems by drawing on concepts and methods from critical theory, communication theory, posthumanism, science and technology studies, animal studies, the environmental humanities, and science fiction.

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The Digital China Lab is a research program in the Centre for Culture and Technology. Our aims are:

To show how the Internet is changing understandings of China and its place in the world with a focus on communication technologies and media industries; and,
To identify how Australian businesses, particularly creative industries, might take advantage of profound digital transformations currently unfolding in China.

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Cultural Science is devoted to building a new conceptual frame for analysing culture, creativity and identity, and through them the creative economy, digital and social media, by means of an interdisciplinary approach based in evolutionary theory, complexity studies, and communication.

Its ambition is to reconceptualise the study of culture for the digital era. It is focused on conceptual modelling and disciplinary synthesis, in order to develop new tools for analysing culture-made groups in the production and growth of knowledge, leading to a better understanding of the role of culture, media, communication in generating and distributing new ideas (innovation).
Team members are engaged in a range of theory-building and empirical projects relating to evolutionary economics, innovation theory, the history of culture-knowledge, DIY and Open Access publishing, the creative economy and culture (including social media, makers and ‘scenes’), and identity-formation in mediated and digital environments.

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This research program brings together the study of culture (symbolic meanings and discourses, social relationships and identities) with digital technologies and new media platforms (digital equipment, social media, global networks), and their connections via textual forms, from storytelling to hypertext. To understand the complex systems, global reach and dynamic changes involved in contemporary culture and technology studies, it is also interested in interdisciplinary dialogue and methodological innovation, combining the textual-discursive and historical-critical methods familiar in the humanities with large-scale analysis from the evolutionary and systems sciences.

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Indigenous culture in Australia and elsewhere is communicated using contemporary media (including online platforms, software, apps, mobile devices and social media) and popular-cultural practices (including sport and entertainment), as well as by traditional forms (song, story, ceremony, etc.). This program explores how Indigenous people and groups can make practical use of the affordances of contemporary digital media and technology to produce culture and knowledge, not only to find new ways to communicate Indigenous issues internally, but also to extend and improve understanding of those issues among wider populations.

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The Internet and digital technologies are reshaping landscapes of knowledge production and distribution: increasing opportunities for networked creativity and lowering barriers to the distribution of works across global knowledge communities. As a result, the relationships between individuals, groups, firms and institutions involved in the production, communication and use of new knowledge are changing. The relationships between researchers, institutions, funders, publishers and a wide range of publics are undergoing rapid, and often unpredictable change, as are the organisations that they work within.

This research program focuses on the ways in which knowledge creating communities, and the business models, institutions and technologies that support them, are changing in the context of this digital transformation.

Team members are engage in theory-building as well as direct engagement in policy and technology development in theoretical and practical projects related to Open Access, Open Science, scholarly communication, and Altmetrics.

See further information about this CCAT program.