IAS Fellow at Hatfield College, January – March 2023

Katrin Tiidenberg is a Professor of Participatory Culture at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University, Estonia. She is the author and editor of multiple books on social media, digital cultures and research methods, including, most recently “Tumblr” (2021, co-authored by Natalie Ann Hendry and Crystal Abidin), “Sex and Social Media” (2020, co-authored by Emily van der Nagel), “Selfies, why we love (and hate) them,” the multiple award winning “Making sense of the Datafied World: a Methodological Guide” (2020, in Estonian, co-edited with Anu Masso and Andra Siibak) and “Metaphors of Internet: Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity” (2020, co-edited with Annette Markham).

Professor Tiidenberg’s academic contribution can tentatively be divided into three. First, she has an extensive track record in empirical studies of social media practices and the participatory cultures that emerge from them. Relying on nuanced and contextual insights into user practices over time and across platforms, Professor Tiidenberg has been able to explore the dynamics of meaning-making, identity-work, community formation and belonging. Second, she works on analyzing social media as an ecosystem / a dominant infrastructure. By combining the research on practices with principles of critical platform and algorithm studies, she explores the social and cultural role of social media platforms, applications and algorithms, cross-platform trends and makes recommendations for platform governance. Third, Professor Tiidenberg is systematically engaged in developing social media research methods and digital research ethics. Beyond the academic community, Professor Tiidenberg frequently engages in public scholarship via media commentary and projects intended to combat misinformation, or open the grey box of social media platform economy.

She is currently working on a (1) project on rethinking sexuality in the Nordics and Baltics and (2) the role of the internet in young people’s political participation (Digigen.eu). Her upcoming work focuses on trust and visuality on the one hand, and self-cate and technologies of compassion on the other.

At Durham, Professor Tiidenberg will be working with Dr Rille Raaper (School of Education) and Dr Mariann Hardey (Department of Management and Marketing) as well as other IAS Fellows, Dr Philippa Collin (Western Sydney University) and Professor Robert Hassan (University of Melbourne) on the project ‘Risks to Youth and Studenthood: Commodification, Temporality and Digital Identities. This interdisciplinary project problematises undergraduate student participation in image-rich and real-time digital spaces (YouTube/Instagram/TikTok) with an aim to understand how students construct their identities and belonging in such spaces, as well as the effects their participation may have on their mental health and wellbeing. Professor Tiidenberg’s particular contribution relates to her expertise on youth engagement with image-rich social media platforms, selfie culture and the role of visuals in identity construction as well as her experience with visual narrative analysis.

Additional information:

Personal website: https://katrin-tiidenberg.com/

Estonian Research Database profile: https://www.etis.ee/CV/Katrin_Tiidenberg/est?lang=ENG