Now Published : Self Representation and Digital Culture, Palgrave Macmillan.

Taking a close look at ordinary people ‘telling their own story’, Nancy Thumim explores self-representations in contemporary digital culture in settings as diverse as reality TV, online storytelling, and oral histories displayed in museums. Self-Representation and Digital Culture addresses the institutional contexts of production, technology and form of the texts, and the point of view of those who represent themselves. This original research examines how contradictory and widely different politics inform and shape examples of ‘speaking for oneself’. Thumim argues that analysis and theorization of the activity of self-representation is vital for media, communication and cultural studies at a time when examples of this genre both surround us and appear, at first glance, to all be alike.

‘In this elegantly written, clear sighted and yet theoretically rich book, Nancy Thumim offers a wealth of critical insights into the extraordinary contemporary explosion of opportunities presented to the public to represent themselves, speak out and, perhaps, be heard.’ – Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

‘I don’t simply ‘Like’ this book, I love it: self-representation has been studied in bits and pieces, but Nancy Thumim is the first to bring these different approaches together and brilliantly shows how various forms and contexts of self-representations are submitted to generic rules that – in fact – limit expressions of the self. On the other hand her analysis shows compelling sensitivity to the experiences of self-representing individuals who construct their sense of authenticity and uniqueness nevertheless. A must-read across the social sciences and humanities.’
– Liesbet van Zoonen, Loughborough University, UK

‘Nancy Thumim tells the fascinating story of how new representational practices have emerged in the digital era. She carefully guides us through the conceptual turbulence these changes have brought in their wake. It’s a sophisticated, scrupulous book – illuminating the social uses of media while rethinking basic assumptions in media studies.’
– John Hartley, Curtin University, Australia

‘This is an important and timely intervention in the study of self-representation that not only powerfully enhances our understanding of the role of digital media in public participation but urges us to think carefully about the current valorisation of ordinary voice in our public culture.’
– Lilie Chouliaraki, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Nancy Thumim  is a Lecturer in Communications Studies at the Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) University of Leeds.