Toussaint Nothias, PhD Media and Communication student

Toussaint Nothias

Why did you choose to study your PhD at the University of Leeds?

I chose to do my PhD at the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds for several reasons. I knew that I would be joining a cohort of international graduate students, as well as professors that value the study of global communication beyond the Western world. In particular, the School has a steady stream of graduate students looking at media and communication in Africa, and the University has a dynamic Center for African Studies (LUCAS).

I was also very attracted to the range of research expertise and multidisciplinary training of the faculty members. In particular, the School has strong interests in the linkages between the critical analysis of media texts and of media production, and this was aligned with my own research objectives.

Tell us about the opportunities you took advantage of at Leeds. 

The University of Leeds is part of the World Universities Network. Through this affiliation, I was able to apply for a WUN grant that allowed me to be a visiting doctoral student at the University of Cape Town, and to conduct interviews with foreign correspondents in South Africa and Kenya for my doctoral research. 

How has your experience of studying a PhD helped you in your career?

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford. At the School of Media and Communication, I received support and mentorship that prepared me to enter the academic job market. 

What advice would you give to future PhD students?

Meet with your prospective supervisors before joining, and if you are able to, go and visit the University and explore the city. This made a big difference for me. After meeting my supervisors, I knew I would receive enthusiastic supervision and benefit from world-class expertise. And after spending a few days in the city and meeting with graduate students, I realised that I would like the environment.

Toussaint Nothias was awarded the Stuart Hall Prize at the International Association for Media and Communication Research conference 2018