Background

Amanda Lagerkvist is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies and Wallenberg Academy Fellow in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. . With a PhD from Stockholm University in 2005, she had a two-year postdoc there between 2005-2007, and she was Research Fellow at SINAS (The Swedish Institute for North Amercian Studies), Uppsala University between 2007-2010. Between 2010-2013 she was senior lecturer in media and communication studies at Södertörn University. Dr. Lagerkvist is Head of the research programme “Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity” (et.ims.su.se) funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and Stockholm University (2014-2018). She is currently conducting research on the existential dimensions of digitalization, focusing specifically on digital memory cultures, death and the digital afterlife. Combining perspectives from existential philosophy, with the study of media, religion and culture and with theoretical debates on digital memory cultures, the project sets out to explore how “existential security” (Lagerkvist 2013) is sought, achieved or lost in our era of hyperconnectivity. Her previous work has developed an overarching sociophenomenological approach to media and memory, as exemplified in her latest monograph Media and Memory in New Shanghai: Western Performances of Futures Past (Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies, 2013).

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Research Interests

Amanda Lagerkvist works in the fields of media philosophy and media memory studies, developing an existential media theory in relation to digital (memory) cultures, with a particular focus on death online. As a media phenomenologist she has contributed to debates on media, memory, time, urban space and performativity.

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Ongoing Research

Amanda Lagerkvist is Associate Professor of media and communication studies, Wallenberg Academy Fellow and head of the research programme Existential Terrains. Exploring digital vulnerabilities and the quest for ‘existential security’ in the digital age, she works in the fields of media philosophy and media memory studies analyzing how we remember the dead online and the management of the digital afterlife. - See more at: http://et.ims.su.se/research/participants/#sthash.rdYlx4NC.dpuf

Focusing on digital memory cultures, Lagerkvist’s project explores the existential dimensions of digitalisation. The project combines analyses of the formal, textual and visual characteristics of digital memory forms (in studies of digital memorials, portable archives and services where the self may be saved for posterity), with netnography and qualitative in-depth interviews with media users of different ages in contemporary Sweden. The objective is to gain detailed knowledge about how fundamental existential issues are pursued, when people’s lives and memories are increasingly shaped in, by and through the digital media forms. In addition to the more well-researched traits of digital media, this project contends that users explicitly or implicitly employ them as existential terrains: as private and/or public spaces for individual and collective commemoration and grief, and for creating and archiving the self. Combining perspectives from existentialist philosophy, with the study of media and religion and with theoretical debates on digital memory cultures, the project sets out to explore how “existential security” (Lagerkvist 2013) is sought, achieved or lost in our era of hyper connectivity, temporal instantaneity and an accelerated evaporation between the public and the private.

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