Current Doctoral Students

As part of our postgraduate programmes we have a number of research active PhD students, they include:


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SiripaiJhitsayarat Siripai
Email: j.siripai@newcastle.ac.uk
Supervisor: Dr Chris Haywood and Dr Mary Brennan (SAGE Faculty)

I am Jhitsayarat Siripai from Thailand. After finishing my BA in 2005 and MA in 2007 in Journalism and Mass communication at Thammasat University in Thailand, I worked in the advertising and PR industries for three years as an account executive and PR consultant, then changed my career path to be a university lecturer in advertising and PR for three years then come to the UK for doing a PhD.

My research project is an interdisciplinary study between media and marketing. I am investigating how gender identity representations are being used in alcohol advertising in the context of globalisation and postmodernism. My aims are to explore how gender identities are being used to represent the brand identity, the hidden or semiotic meaning of the alcohol adverts as well as the advertising strategies being used, such as advertising appeal and execution, and how the audiences decode the adverts’ messages. Interestingly, alcohol advertising in the context of Thailand has a lot of social and cultural constraints such as state regulations and controls regarding alcohol adverts in the media, although consumptions still keeps increasing gradually. In terms of the theoretical frameworks, globalisation theory and the notion of postmodernism are applied to explain these phenomenon.

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Lina KhoulaniLina Khoulani
Email: lina.khoulani@newcastle.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr Darren Kelsey and Dr John Richardson (Loughborough University)

After I studied English language and literature for my undergraduate degree at Damascus University in 2006, I worked as an English tutor at the same university. In 2009, I was granted a scholarship from Damascus University to pursue my higher studies in the United Kingdom. I completed my MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL in Newcastle University. My Master research explored language change in the Damascene variety of spoken Arabic. My current PhD research focuses on the discourse of the Middle Eastern news corporations with bilingual services, Arabic and English, when covering the current affairs and conflicts in the region of the Middle East. Many studies have looked at the discourses of big news corporations, such as CNN and BBC. Nevertheless, the current literature shows little interest in examining Middle Eastern news corporations covering these conflicts, and in these few studies, the research compares between Western and Middle Eastern news discourses. I chose Aljazeera because it has proved to be the most prominent and successful Middle Eastern news corporation and it has two services both in Arabic and English with two different teams of staff. My case study is Aljazeera’s coverage of the leaks of the Palestine papers; Palestinian/Israeli negotiation documents over the last decade. So I am looking at how Aljazeera is constructing its Arabic and English online news discourses in accordance with the ideologies of the target audience (lexically, visually, contextually, hyper textually etc..). I am drawing on the work of van Dijk, Fairclough, Richardson, Wodak etc..) and I am exploring the textual/multimodal level of the discourse, discursive practices and social relationships, and thus seeking to shed the light on inequalities in power relations in news production. The methodology of this research aims to use triangulation as a combining approach of a quantitative method (content analysis), and two qualitative methods (critical discourse analysis and multimodal analysis).

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Mesirin KwanjaiMesirin Kwanjai
Email: m.kwanjai@newcastle.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr Liviu Popoviciu & Dr Majid KhosraviNik

I completed my BA Hons in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2003 at Thammasat University in Thailand. My first career path was in an international media agency where I worked as media planner for three years. I used to be a freelance as TV script writer in documentary and variety show programs. I then decided to study for an MA in Mass Communication at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand completed it in 2008 (my thesis is titled “Children and television literacy”). While I was studying for my MA, I worked as a teaching assistant and radio anchor for a year. I still keep working in media production at Kantana Group Public Company Limited. I was appointed as a lecturer at Naresuan University in 2010 and I have taught TV script writing, feature writing, introduction to television and news reporting. I also conducted two research projects: “War Journalism or Peace Journalism in 2010 and Photo Ethics Journalism: Political News in 2011. After these I was granted a scholarship to pursue my PhD at Newcastle University.

My research looks at the cultural effects of Thai soap operas on Laotians in Lao and Laotian immigrants in the UK. Since Thailand's borders are connected with Laos, so it is inevitable that TV signals should cross these borders and the population on both sides can receive TV signals of both countries. Also, the global media and digital technology allows these programmes to be viewed in other parts of the world by diasporic groups. TV messages are usually not intended for audiences of other countries, but for the people within the country itself. Therefore, the messages can become acts of cross-cultural communication. The research will focus on Thai media’s impact on foreign audiences and will investigate the effect of Thai media on neighbouring countries in relation to the development of local media and the identity formation of ethnic and diasporic groups.

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Robert CassarRobert Cassar
Email: robert.cassar@newcastle.ac.uk
Supervisors: Prof Deborah Chambers and Dr Liviu Popoviciu

My academic areas of interest include: Popular culture, Western countries’ cultural and political ideologies, gaming cultures, creative management practices and e-commerce. In the field of communication studies I am also very much interested in Film theory and Japanese Animation.

I first read for a bachelor's degree in Italian Literature and Pedagogy with the University of Malta. Subsequently I read for an M.B.A with the Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands) specialising in General and Strategic Management. My MBA thesis assessed the introduction and implementation of e-commerce practices within the Maltese SME sector.

I am currently in the process of reading for my PhD; my primary area of research being Gaming Cultures. In my study, I will be examining the narrative component of a number of videogames such as Bioshock (2K games). The main objective of this PhD will be to provide a better understanding of the cultural, social and political dimension found in the narratives presented by those games. This work will examine whether there are cultural hegemonies, gender issues, political agendas or socio-economic ideologies hidden within those games. Furthermore, this study will also analyse selected texts and material surrounding this medium such as game related articles and fan-made game guides and reviews (available online).

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