Humanities and Communication

Research proposals 1. Comunication Researchers Research Groups
Communication, city and citizenship.
This line of research is focused on the study of the construction of discourses on the city and/or citizenship in the digital era. This approach stems from the interest in analysing the construction of the public sphere in the urban sphere and the right to the city. This framework can accommodate doctoral theses on the role of communication in the following areas:
  • Subaltern voices and urban margins.
  • Care networks in the city.
  • Communicative action as social activism in the urban context.
  • Audiovisual narratives and the city.
  • Women and the right to the city.
  • Participatory methodologies and urban studies.




Àgora research group

Communication and information from a gender perspective.

A gender perspective has become of particular importance from both a professional and an academic standpoint in recent years. The field of communication and information has not been immune to this interest, with regard to both the analysis of communication actions in gender terms, to understand current practices, their impact and the options for improvement, as well as demands for and defence of equality. 
Research themes that fall within this line include but are not limited to:
  •  The treatment of gender violence in the news 
  •  The presence of sexist microaggressions in the media
  •  The reproduction of stereotypes in advertising
  •  Social networks and online communities in defence of gender equality
  •  The presence and role of women in film
  •  Inequality in senior management, company representation and communication department positions
  •  Discrimination and hate speech with regard to gender issues on social media
  •  Inclusive communication in the media ecosystem.






Event organization and protocol.
Companies and institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of establishing good relations and efficient communications with all of their target publics and stakeholders. Given this, the organization of events and protocol are key tools in managing communication and helping successfully achieve each organization's mission and vision. 
Taking an academic approach, this line of research tackles the conceptualization of protocol and its implementation on the basis of existing standards, from both a theoretical and an applied standpoint. The study also focuses on the ceremonial and organizational aspects of corporate events, taking into account the different types of occasions, encompassing official acts, conferences, open-doors sessions, trade shows, among others, and the new trends that are being adopted in this growing sector.





New Trends in Persuasive Communication.
The field of advertising and public relations must permit students to research both the theoretical underpinnings and the current real-world application of corporate communications and public relations, performing in-depth analysis of aspects such as advertising creativity, marketing and market research and advertising management.
New Trends in Persuasive Communication 
The knowledge society has significantly altered the persuasive communication scene (advertising and public relations). Firstly, ICT make available to the members of the public a previously unimaginable volume of information and enable them to produce their own content, favouring the creation of a networked society in which pluralism and transparency are significantly reinforced. Secondly, organizations discover new tools at the service of persuasive communication in this ICT, but also new challenges in ensuring that their messages continue to be efficient and are not ignored amongst the unbounded flood of information with which the public is continually bombarded.
In this line of research, students will be analysing the ways in which advertising and public relations are changing to adapt to these new circumstances (social media, viral marketing, crisis communication websites, consumer insights, cyberactivism, advergaming, branded entertainment, creation of virtual communities, etc.) and will also study the extent to which they threaten to undermine the theoretical foundations of persuasive communication disciplines.
Diachronic studies encompassing the above fields of advertising and public relations prior to the emergence of the internet could also fit within this line of research.








Institutional relations, reputation and corporate social responsibility.
Nowadays, organizations need to establish, maintain and consolidate fluid, positive and productive relationships with those public and private undertakings capable of having an influence over their activities and/or those over which they seek to have some kind of influence to further their own interests. This is the field of institutional relations, which is one of the thematic focuses of this line of research.
With the effective carrying on of these institutional relations and other communication strategies, organizations have the possibility of bolstering their reputations, defined as a collective mental construct around their track record and the ability to fulfil the expectations of their strategic audience and/or stakeholders. Reputation and its implications are the second focus of this line of research.
Lastly, these days, reputation cannot be conceived of without paying due attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Given that the public is increasingly demanding greater transparency and a commitment to environmental and social issues, organizations must work on their communication strategies to demonstrate this responsibility and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the UN. So, CSR, when regarded from a communication standpoint, can also be the object of study within this line of research.
Cinema, image and audiovisual culture
Within the framework of the GAME research group, we are studying the cultural and historical transformations of the audiovisual media, its practices, communities and political imaginaries. We are focusing media from the film and television studies perspective and the critical cultural studies tradition. We encourage researchers to develop doctoral research about the plentiful history of motion pictures and their transformation into today's dynamic, ever-changing screen industries and cultures. In this sense, we offer the possibility of researching with us in the fields of:
  • Cultural History of Film and Television.
  • Cultural studies and communication.
  • Imaginaries, spaces and practices of audiovisual creation.
  • New forms of production, distribution and consumption of film and television.





The transformation of contemporary communication practices, focusing on the analysis of cultural models that are specific to the knowledge society.
The GAME research group is interested in studying the transformation of contemporary communication practices, focusing on the analysis of cultural models that are specific to the knowledge society:
  • The role of entertainment and its consumption as a basic part of emergent models of collaborative and participative cultures that are characteristic of the knowledge society.
  • The role of digital games in current society.
  • The analysis of emergent digital and audiovisual literacy patterns and needs.
  • The opening of lines of inquiry and experimentation in learning environments and processes based on collaboration, creativity, entertainment and use of audiovisual technologies.
  • The transformation of specific forms of communication – journalism, audiovisual, advertising, public relations, social media – in today's society.
  • Innovation and creativity in media and entertainment.






Science communication in the field of open science.
As a new scientific paradigm, open science needs to understand how traditional forms of science communication will evolve to reach the general public and also to allow it to participate in the design of research itself. Science communication can contribute new narratives and tools to help ensure that knowledge, principally in the form of academic monographs and articles, permeates through to the different layers of society. Additionally, it can include works on alternative bibliometrics to citations, often based on social network metrics, as well as forms of science communication that promote new ways of assessing the social impact of research.
Misinformation and fake news.
Disinformation in its various forms is becoming a serious problem for liberal democracies. Whether of a scientific nature related to COVID-19 or climate change, or on the more political side (elections and referendums), it becomes a challenge for administrations, but also for mass media and social networks. Beyond the emerging phenomenon of "fake news", knowing how to manage and deal with false information is also a need for individuals and organizations, who must assess the balances between freedom of expression, access to information, privacy and the right to personal and family privacy. This line of research aims to study the social, ethical and cultural issues that misinformation entails, the relationship with algorithmic filtering tools, and content curation as an alternative.
Critical studies in digital culture, design and networked communication.
Mediaccions is an interdisciplinary research group devoted to the study of culture and digital communication. Our vision involves a critical take of collective creation and online everyday practices as a source of transformative knowledge that contributes to the understanding of current communication forms.
We undertake a diverse and innovative methodological approach taking ethnography as a basis and that includes both digital methods and other methods based on action and citizen participation. From a broader perspective, candidates can engage in the study of:
  • Participatory and collective creative practices, their processes and structures both inside and outside the cultural and creative industries.
  • Citizen laboratories, communities, DIY creativity and self-managed processes of cultural action.
Our main line of research is:
Sustainability, storytelling and design: we study the role of storytelling and design actions as a way to express and communicate environmental and sustainability issues, from everyday activism through social media, future imaginaries on climate change and sustainability, the narrative turn in environmental communication, creative methodologies to foster collective imagination on possible futures and to create new spaces for public discussion and action through storytelling, world building, fictional (‘what if’) stories, the reimagination of cities and rural areas, etc.
Dr. Antoni Roig 
Design studies.
We investigate the disciplinary limits of design and its expansion to other fields of knowledge, and we delve into the methodological changes, research processes and the political pulse of the practice of design in the 21st century. We study the impact of the internet on design and how it has changed the way of production, distribution, professional profiles and research in an interconnected and interdependent society. Candidates are invited to explore the following topics:
  • Open design.
  • Technology and design.
  • Teaching design.
  • Design methods.
  • Innovation in brand design.






Experiential storytelling.
We research the role of stories, new narrative formats and collective forms of storytelling at the conceptualization, design, development and experience level. We want to observe the centrality of narratives from a social perspective, in different creative and professional fields, as they articulate expressive and personal forms, their interrelation with their audiences, as well as their potential to generate alternative imaginaries and possible futures.
  • Transmedial and transmodal projects, digital narratives (stories set in social media sites)
  • Fictional characters on Twitter
  • Hybrid media projects 
  • Alternate reality and immersive narrative experiences
  • Storytelling games, podcasting, etc.
Dr. Antoni Roig 






Communication, diversity and social inclusion.
The present proposal invites PhD candidates interested in exploring the multiple dimensions of diversity – including the processes of visibility and invisibility, inclusion and social exclusion – and how they are shaped in the contemporary communication dynamics. Candidates are invited to explore, among other topics: 
  • Discursive and visual representations of difference and diversity.
  • Gender and communication.
  • Emerging literacies and social inclusion.
  • Critical pedagogy and inclusive communication.
Specialized communication: linguistic strategies to foster understanding of specialized texts.
Communication between specialists in a field and non-expert recipients has always been a complex issue not without its problems. The cognitive domains of the two interlocutors are different and the originator must be able to adapt their discourse to make it understandable to the non-specialist recipient. 
With this research subject, the idea is to analyse, from a linguistics perspective, the factors that specialists need to bear in mind when drawing up texts written from their specialist field but aimed at non-experts. The goal is to detect those linguistic strategies that need to be implemented to avoid problems of understanding that hinder effective communication. Although the study is from a linguistics perspective, it also takes into account the cognitive dimension of specialized communication. 
The specialist fields proposed for the research are those of law and medicine, given that it is vital that recipients have a good understanding of the texts they receive in these fields. Nevertheless, it may be possible to agree to work on other specialist fields.

Narratives sobre la crisi medioambiental

Recerca sobre comunicació medioambiental orientada a la participació de la ciutadadania. Projectes en dues línies:

1) Mètodes participatius, gamificació i co-disseny d'experiències sobre aquest tema.

2) Storytelling a les xarxes socials a partir de les narratives personals i perfils emergents d'activisme.

Estem oberts a desenvolupar tesis en altres línies que aprofundeixin aquestes temàtiques i tinguin impacte social.