Dr Alex Bevan

Senior Lecturer

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
a.bevan@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 68803

Overview

Originally from the States, I've been at UQ as a researcher and teacher since 2017 and I've been teaching in classrooms since 2006. I teach Multimedia in year one and Digital Project in year three, both of which centre on embedding critical perspectives on contemporary and old media into creative and collaborative design processes. My research has always focused on the relationship among gender, technological change and space. How do new technologies inform the design and representation of space? How are media portrayals of women often used as a vehicle for addressing technological change and transformations in lived space? My methodological approaches combine textual analysis (looking at media content) with more industry-facing, hands-on approaches to answering these questions. For example, I draw on industry interviews, industry conversations about designing space, and analyses of lived spaces.

My first book The Aesthetics of TV Nostalgia (Bloomsbury, 2019) is an industry ethnography of the people designing sets and costumes for nostalgic US television programmes. I address how questions around gender play out on television alongside larger concerns around historical progress and regress that are attached to technological change. You can find my other publications in the areas of television representations of gender, the female body in narratives around nationhood, online archives and how they relate to gender, fashion history, and creative work in television history in Adaptation, Television & New Media, Feminist Media Studies, Cinema Journal, Continuum, Surveillance & Society and Convergence.

The current project turns to representations of gender violence in popular media and how these portrayals offer repeated patterns in the ways women, technology and space are presented. I look at depictions of stranger violence and domestic violence to discuss how the violated female body becomes attached to social understandings of public and private space and changes in communication technologies.

Research Interests

  • Media and Cultural Studies
    The history of media technology and discourses of technological change
  • Gender Studies
    Media representations of gender in popular media
  • Space
    The portrayals of space in media. The entanglement between the design of space and media technology.

Research Impacts

My background in architecture provides a different take on media and cultural studies. My research is methodologically untraditional by combining a screen studies approach (looking at media representations and analyising their content) with more outward-facing approaches that consider the creators, designers, planners, architects and advocats who also contribute to the discussions around gender, media and space. My current research around gender violence both within and outside the home addresses one of the most pervasive and systemic of social crises. The binary of domestic violence and stranger violence as it is constructed in media and design, hinders and derails public attention and policy. The way violence against women is represented in media tells us repeated stories around what spaces are safe, how women's movements should be trackable with technology, and whom is at fault or responsible. A ongoing and in depth analysis of these portrayals is pressing if we are to address gender violence in a holistic way that considers gender violence narratives as well as how media technology and spatial design are positioned as deterents.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, Yale University
  • Master of Arts, Northwestern University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Northwestern University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor