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Name: Karen Patel 

Institution: Birmingham City University

Thesis Title: The politics of expertise in cultural work


Thesis Description:

For my thesis I am looking at how cultural workers signal their expertise on social media platforms, and the implications of this for cultural labour. I am particularly interested in issues around risk, labour and inequalities in cultural work.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

  • Professor Paul Long (Birmingham City University)
  • Professor Mark Banks (University of Leicester)


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

  • Patel, K. (2017) Expertise and Collaboration: Cultural workers’ performance on social media. In: Graham, J. and Gandini, A. (eds.) Collaborative Production in the Creative Industries. London: University of Westminster Press, pp. 157-176.
  • Ashton, D. and Patel, K. (forthcoming) Vlogging careers: everyday expertise, collaboration and authenticity (forthcoming, with D. Ashton) in S. Taylor and S. Luckman, eds. The 'new normal' of working lives: critical studies in contemporary work and employment. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Naudin, A. and Patel, K. (forthcoming) Entangled Expertise: Women's use of social media in entrepreneurial work. European Journal of Cultural Studies.


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

Symposia organised

The politics of expertise in media and cultural research
Birmingham City University, 30 November 2016

Conference Presentations

Signalling expertise and its role in cultural labour (2017)
Presented at ICA, San Diego, 25-30 May 2017

Vlogging labour: everyday and always on (with Dan Ashton, 2017)
Presented at The Digital Everyday, King's College London, 6 May 2017

Cultural labour, social media and expertise: the experiences of female artists (2016)
Presented at ECREA, Prague, 9-12 November 2016

Social Media Labour and Cultural Work (2016)
Presented at MeCCSA PGN, University of Leicester, 7-8 July 2016

Female cultural entrepreneurs' use of Twitter (with Annette Naudin, 2016)
Presented at Work/Play, Futureworks Manchester, 6 July 2016

Female artists’ performance of expertise on social media: competition or collaboration?(2016) 
Presented at (In)visible Cultures, King's College London, 13 Jun 2016

Cultural Workers' Performance of Expertise on Social Media (2015). 
Presented at The creative industries and collaborative production, University of Middlesex 13 Nov 2015 and Challenging Media Landscapes University of Salford 16 Nov 2015.

The Performance of Expertise on Social Media by Creative and Cultural Workers (2015). 
Presented at Cultures in Disarray, Kings College London 11 Jun 2015 and Reframing Media/Cultural Studies University of Westminster 19 Jun 2015.

Poster: The Performance of Expertise on Social Media (2015). 
Presented at the University of Birmingham Research Poster conference, 16 June 2015.


Other Research Interests:

  • Expertise
  • Cultural work and cultural labour
  • Social media
  • Risk
  • Gender, class and racial inequality in cultural work
  • Feminist theory
  • Social media methods
  • Online Identity and self-branding


Social Media Presence:

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