Visual Media and Communication

Visual Media and Communication

Our research

The Visual Media and Communication research group is interested in the dominant role of the visual in communication and media culture, in raising questions about the role of the visual in everyday life.

This group is interested in research on a wide range of media genres and media platforms, from soap operas to reality television, from British films to independent cinema, from stock photography to social media selfies. It also engages with forms of communication that are not traditionally considered as ‘media’ in their own right, such the built environment, design, performance, archives, and data.

The Visual Media and Communication research group adopts a non-medium-centric and cross-disciplinary approach to engage with the following research themes:

  • the multiple processes in which the visual is embedded (eg production, representation, audience, circulation, recontextualisation)
  • the wide ranging issues surrounding the visual (eg the political economy of visual production; political, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions of representation; audience access, divides and literacies regarding the visual; the visual in digital environments and platforms)
  • the diverse geographies in which the visual is situated (eg the local, the regional, the global)
  • the different methodological approaches to the visual (eg textual analysis, historical analysis, critical and theoretical approaches, audience research, ethnography, research for practice, practice-based research, action research).

Impact and engagement

The Visual Media and Communication research group raises questions about the role of the visual in relation to the technological, aesthetic, social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of everyday life. Their research has impacted a range of communications practices including social branding, archives and the commercial control of images, the process of screenwriting, community archiving and using archives to analyse women’s roles in the film industry and associated professions to uncover hidden histories of labour and representation.

Research projects

Explore our past and present research projects here.

Academic team

Professor Melanie BellDr Helen Kim and Dr Miriam Kent.

Visit our profiles for more information about our academic team.

PhD researchers

Get in touch with one of our PhD researchers.

Media contacts

If you require a media expert, contact the University of Leeds Press Office by calling +44(0)113 343 4031 or by emailing