PCP's work will ask the questions: What does it mean to be an individual in the modern world; How important is persona to the modern construction of the self; What is the role of celebrity culture in shaping conceptions of individuality, self-worth, and belonging; Where, how and why does persona and celebrity emerge in the arts and sciences, in the promotional media, and in the political arena? How can the modern public be defined?
PCP understands that the mediated
nature of modern life has produced new social encounters and
relationships that recast what it means to be an individual, and
reshapes how the public is embodied and communicated. PCP will suggest
that we live in an age of persona construction and celebrity culture,
where the very mechanisms and operations of the public are turned into
presentations, spectacles, and event experiences. Theoretically and
conceptually, PCP will engage with these modern formations through
studying the way that affect and emotion are articulated and
experienced, with aspects of its research investigating sensory
aesthetics through close textual analysis.
PCP uniquely understands that the formation of the modern individual occurs through, and is mediated by, what it defines as the technologies of the social, the intimate, and the confessional. The new 'authentic' modes of screen media, such as therapy television, and the new online social media create spaces of interaction that are felt to be first-hand experiences, producing new definitions of the private and public self. This will involve PCP addressing traditional media technologies such as print, radio, television and film, and new media technologies such as gaming, the Internet, and mobile communication.