Photograph by Zaki Habibi.

PhD summer course
Media Engagement (7.5 ECTS credits)

Course Leader: Professor Annette Hill

Location: Gränna Campus, Sweden (August 18-25 2024)
preliminary Programme


The aim of this course is to provide an international platform for PhD researchers to write, present and receive feedback on work in progress from global experts on theories and methods for media engagement. The course will cover key concepts for engagement, including political and public spheres, digital media and AI related technologies, social movements and mobilisation, transmedia engagement, and cultural citizenship and popular culture.

With a combination of concept driven lectures, multi-directional engagement in seminars and workshops, this residential course will enable international PhD students to build a portfolio of skills in empirically driven, theoretically nuanced research for engagement.

The course will cover both theories for media engagement, specifically from social and cultural theory, and methods to investigate media engagement, specifically qualitative methods to research media engagement in context.

Graphic illustration of the theory of the parameters of media engagement, titled Parameters metro

Illustration ‘parameters of media engagement’ by J.C Lee.

See the link for online registration via the website.

In addition to the online submission, please submit an application pack consisting of a short CV (2 pages) and cover letter outlining a short description of your doctoral thesis, how your research will benefit from this course on media engagement and 3-5 questions or issues you would like help with for your thesis (1 page). Email this as a PDF document to Annette Hill, the course leader ( by 17 May 2024. Applicants will receive notification no later than 24 May 2024.

Democracy depends on engaged citizens. And yet, the most powerful discourses surrounding engagement are strategically designed to drive commercial markets. Digital platforms such as TikTok, or YouTube, track content choices, algorithmically predict engagement patterns and aggregate this into a data archive within a closed system of subscriber information. In such a way engagement metrics are weaponized by contemporary capitalist media. As a counterpoint to this horizon, the main purpose of this PhD residential course is to understand theories of media engagement not as a metric, but as a marker of power relations.


In the context of the current divisive social climate, citizens are struggling to know what is going on, how to think or feel, or show who they are in society. Without engaging in meaningful and constructive ways with information, citizens are excluded. As researchers, we can try to tune in to those who struggle to find a voice. As citizens, we must all ensure that we have a sustained voice, in whatever sets of power relations we find ourselves in.

Mentoring and networking with world leading scholars and international doctoral researchers;

Slow thinking, with time to write thesis chapters and peer reviewed journal articles;

Residential setting of Gränna Campus, overlooking the great lake of Vättern, with easy access to local food and crafts, clear water swimming, nature walks and mountain views;

Social events, including trips to the historical island of Visingsö, guided tour of the beautifully designed Ellen Key Strand, and trip to Hästholmen and world class 31:an Glass och Kök.

Professor Annette Hill Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. is Professor of Media and Communications at Jönköping University. Her research focuses on media audiences, with interests in media engagement, everyday life, genres, production studies and cultures of viewing. She is the author of 11 books, and over 100 articles and book chapters in journals and edited collections. Her latest book is Media Engagement (with Dahlgren, Routledge 2023) and The Routledge Companion to Media Audiences (with Lunt, Routledge 2024).

Annette Hill

Professor Peter Dahlgren Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. is a world leading expert on media and political engagement, with 30 years of experience in research on this area, including key works Media and Political Engagement (2009), The Political Web (2011) and most recently co author of Media Engagement (Routledge 2023).


Peter Dahlgren

Professor Renira Rampazzo Gambarato Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. is Professor in Media and Communication Studies at the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, Sweden. She is the co-author of the book Theory, Strategy, and Development in Transmedia Storytelling (Routledge, 2020) and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Transmedia Studies (Routledge, 2019).


Renira Gamarato

Professor Joke Hermes Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. is a Dutch media and cultural studies researcher. She has published widely on popular culture, audience research and feminist analysis of gender and diversity. Her most recent book is Cultural Citizenship and Popular Culture (Routledge 2023). She is the founding editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies. She is a Professor of Media, Culture and Citizenship at Inholland University and teaches media studies at the University of Amsterdam.


Joke Heremes

This course is structured with a combination of lectures, interactive seminars, and workshops. There will be multi-directional dialogue between the lecturers and students, with active engagement in the course, including space for reading, writing, presentations, peer review and reflection.

The working language of this course is English; participants will need a working knowledge of English to communicate in written and oral form (IELTS 6 and above).

Registered in a PhD programme in the areas of media, communication and cultural studies, or relevant areas of social sciences and humanities, in a higher education institution. IELTS band 6 and above for English language competency.

EU doctoral student fee 6,700 SEK (590 Euros)

Non EU doctoral student fee 10,900 SEK (940 Euros)

Fees cover:

Accommodation 7 nights

Breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, snacks 7 days

Welcome reception, two excursions and evening meal on two nights

Course materials, including diploma

The course dates Sunday 19 August to Sunday 25 August 2024.

See preliminary programme for day to day activities

Deadline for applications: 17 May 2024

See application information

Deadline for fee payment: June 12 2024

Deadline for written assignment of journal article or thesis chapter 23 September 2024 (online submission)

Travelling by train: take the SJ train to Gothenburg, Nässjö, or Linköping depending on your route of travel, and then take the local train to Jönköping. When you arrive at Jönköping central station take the local bus 122 or 121 to Gränna, stop by the town square (this takes around 30 mins) – bus tickets can be bought on the bus or at the ticket machines in the train station. To book your train go to

Travelling by bus: take the Flixbus or Vybuss, from Gothenburg, Linköping, or Nassjö (depending on your travel) to Jönköping Resecentrum. Note Flixbus has a stop in Gränna. To book your bus go to or

Travelling by plane: Gothenburg Landvetter Airport is the main airport, with regular bus and trains to Jönköping (e.g. Vybuss and Flixbus go ten times per day direct from the airport to Jönköping Resecentrum and Gränna). Linköping City Airport has a regular shuttle plane with KLM, via Schiphol Amsterdam. VyBuss and Flixbus go from Linköping Central Station to Gräanna and Jönköping Resecentrum.

Please inform us of any allergies (see registration).

There will be catering provided for the 7 days, including breakfast at Gränna campus, tea, coffee and cold drinks, lunch at Gränna Campus, and two evening meals.

Food options at Gränna Campus: healthy breakfast options of fruit, yoghurt, cereals, bread etc, and vegan, fish and meat options for lunch, with a wide selection of salad and fresh options.

Food in the local area: Gränna is situated in a rich area for local food, including it’s famous polkasweets, hard bread, chocolate, and other locally produced cheeses, vegetables and meat and fish. There are many local farm stores nearby and on the island of Visingjö which showcase the local foods – excellent options for making meals in the evenings in your own kitchens on Gränna Campus. There are restaurants and coffee shops in Gränna, including those by the harbour area, and two supermarkets open early in the morning until 11 in the evening every day of the week.

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