16,693 Doctoral scholarship is available at UCLouvain

Andrea Catellani andrea.catellani@uclouvain.be a través de broadcast.iamcr-list.org 

A doctoral scholarship is available at UCLouvain. The research project focuses on the analysis of images and videos on climate change circulating in digital social networks.

Questions about this offer can be directed to Andrea Catellani (andrea.catellani@uclouvain.be).

PhD Position: Analysis of Images and Videos on Climate Change

Hiring Context

The Research Centre in Communication (part of the Institute for Language
and Communication, UClouvain, Belgium) has an opening for a fully funded
three-year PhD fellowship in video and images analysis. This opening is
done in the context of a pan-European interdisciplinary research project
on climate change communication analysis. You will work within a team of
more than 10 researchers and academics from Belgium, France and Norway.
The fellowship will start between 15 November 2020 and 15 January 2021
for 36 months. The offer is open until 30 September 2020, but candidates
that suit all requirements can be interviewed before this date. We
specifically encourage women to respond to this call for applications,
as we are committed to equality of opportunity. Due to the Covid-19
specific context, face-to-face & teleworking conditions will depend on
official conditions at the start of the job.

Research Context

Climate change today is undoubtedly a challenge for humanity. The
Special IPCC 1,5 °C report highlighted the numerous dramatic
consequences of climate change; yet, the response of our societies has
been slow, contradictory and elusive. The humanities and social sciences
are called on to make a crucial contribution to the understanding of how
humans approach and make sense of climate change, in order to reduce the
value-action gap, using innovative forms of communication to identify
entry-points for climate action.

This research project has the transformative aim to improve the
scientific understanding of why societies remain indifferent to the
risks of climate change, and to understand how multimodal devices and
recommendations can convert apathy into action. The project will focus
on Belgium, France, and Norway. The cooperation between specialists in
linguistics, semiotics, law and governance studies, anthropology and
psycho-social analysis can significantly improve the state of the art,
by combining expertise on texts and images as indications of sensemaking
by individuals and cultures, and expertise on social and psychological
factors that influence behaviours and attitudes. In Belgium, the
research will be undertaken in collaboration with some non-governmental
organizations: (1) a cooperative which will receive assistance
transforming their communication strategy for calls to action; and (2) a
network of organisations, which will contribute to a real-time
social-network analysis of a new communication strategy in 2020-2021.

One of the main tasks of the project is to increase knowledge on the
visual aspect of online discourses on climate change and climate change
mitigation. The analysis of the most “famous” (most seen, shared and
commented on) images and videos on climate change from YouTube,
Instagram, Twitter and Reddit and of the interaction between images and
verbal texts will also aim at improving our knowledge of the role of
visual content in climate change mitigation.

Job Description

On each platform, the most famous climate change images and videos will
be identified and collected. These images will be analysed with a
semiotic approach, which is useful for understanding the implicit
potential meaning of images, including interactions with texts. The same
approach will be applied to a corpus of comments on this visual content,
in order to analyse how real viewers produce meaning in relation to
images and videos. Intertextual connections will also be examined. This
analysis will allow for a comparison between different countries and
different platforms.

The aims of the research are the identification of patterns and
tendencies concerning the most influential images on climate change in
the countries of focus. We aim to 1) identify iconic, narrative and
rhetorical multimodal configurations in (dominantly) visual content
concerning climate change, and to 2) analyse the attitudes and
discursive forms of commentary concerning this content, whether in
favour of or against climate mobilisation. For example, how different
forms of opposition to climate change mitigation policies are expressed,
in comments on the visual content but also through recycling, use and
manipulation of this content? How do climate skepticism is expressed and
articulated through disagreement and conflict, in particular in relation
to and through visual contents? This analysis will contribute to the
understanding of how people interpret and manipulate these images, and
of how images participate in creating meaning concerning climate change
and climate change mitigation practices. The global approach is inspired
by the semiotic tradition of analysis, taking into consideration also
the theoretical and methodological contributions of social semiotics and

On this basis, the PhD aims to offer advice on effective climate change
communication. A result of the research will be also a scientific
support to the production and test of prototypes of multimodal and
innovative communication devices on climate change for the partners,
including for example augmented and virtual reality. Devices and
prototypes will be produced by the project team with the support of MIIL
(Media Innovation & Intelligibility Lab, UCLouvain); they will be tested
by the PhD student with techniques that are made available by the Social
Media Lab of UCLouvain, in particular, eye-tracking, interviews, and
user experience tests.

The PhD candidate will work mainly in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, under
the supervision of Andrea Catellani (IL&C, UCLouvain) and Louise-Amélie
Cougnon (MiiL, UCLouvain). S/he will be affiliated with the Institute
for Language and Communication. Applicants from outside the EU are
responsible for obtaining the necessary visa or permits.

The candidate’s activities will include the following:

– taking part in the doctoral training programme;

– working actively on a PhD thesis, with the aim of defending it by the
end of the three-year position;

– contributing actively to the global research project;

– reporting on the results of the PhD project in scientific articles and
at conferences, with the support of the supervisors.

Research Profile

•A master’s degree in Semiotics, Visual Studies, Communication,
Information and Communication Studies, Linguistics or any similar degree.

•Excellent academic record and strong interest in visual and multimodal
analysis and on climate change communication analysis.

•Fluency in French; good level of English (minimum B2); proficiency in
Dutch and/or Norwegian will be considered as an add-on.

•Skills in semiotic analysis or willingness to acquire such skills.

•Skills and familiarity with the analysis of social media corpora and
images or willingness to acquire such skills.

•An experience in climate change or political discourse and images
research are an asset, but not a requirement.

•Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

Application Procedure and Timetable

If you are interested in this position, please send to Prof. Andrea
Catellani andrea.catellani@uclouvain.be:

– a detailed CV in English or in French;

– a copy of Bachelor’s and Master’s diplomas;

– a transcript of records for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees;

– a cover letter, describing, at least, your motivation and how your
profile responds to the offer;

– a sample piece of academic writing in English or French;

– the names and contact details of two academic referees.

Deadline for application: 30 September 2020

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (in
Louvain-la-Neuve or online) in October 2020.

Questions about this offer can be directed to Andrea Catellani

Mr. Andrea Catellani
PhD, professeur
Président du jury du master en communication – President of the Jury of the Master in Communication
Animateur du Groupe d’Études et de Recherche “Communication, environnement, science et société” (SFSIC) – Facilitator of the Study and Research Group “Communication, Environment, Science and Society” (SFSIC) https://comenvironnement.hypotheses.org/
École de communication, COMU
Ruelle de la lanterne magique, 14 bte L2.03.02 B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium
Tél. 32 (0)10 47 27 63
Last publications:Andrea Catellani, “Religions and Communication: Digital Transformations”, Communication and Learning in an Age of Digital Transformation, Kergel et al., Routledge, 2020, https://www.routledge.com/Communication-and-Learning-in-an-Age-of-Digital-Transformation-1st-Edition/Kergel-Heidkamp-Kergel-Arnett-Mancino/p/book/9781138366770Andrea Catellani, “Rhétorique environnementale”, Dictionnaire critique de l’anthropocène, CNRS Éditions, 2020, p. 728-732 (ISBN : 9782271124272), https://www.cnrseditions.fr/catalogue/societe/dictionnaire-critique-de-l-anthropocene/
Andrea Catellani, Céline Pascual Espuny, Pudens Malibabo Lavu et Béatrice Jalenques Vigouroux
, “Les recherches en communication environnementale”, Communication [online], Vol. 36/2 | 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/communication/10559 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/communication.10559


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