Welcome to the Centre for Women, Ageing and Media (WAM)! WAM is a Research Centre at the University of Gloucestershire.
In 2007 a group of academics working at the universities of Gloucestershire, West of England and York (UK) secured a Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Networking Grant in order to bring together scholars and practitioners from across the globe to study the relationship between older women as consumers, producers and subjects of popular media. As a result of this successful project a collaborative Centre for Women, Ageing and Media (WAM) was formed at the University of Gloucestershire in 2010.
WAM is a research group consisting of scholars who are working together to explore a range of research themes focusing on older women and popular media forms (digital technologies, film, popular music and television).
Existing academic studies and cultural policy work on ageing are dominated by knowledge created in the areas of healthcare policy, gerontology, economics, social care and sociology. WAM’s aim is both to challenge and enhance this knowledge base.
Taking a broadly feminist and cultural studies approach, WAM aims to position emerging research on older women in relation to popular media/popular culture alongside the more established areas of ageing studies research and, where possible through collaboration, make beneficial interfaces that will lead to more nuanced understandings of the representations, identities and lived experiences of ageing.
WAM are aware that the many public expressions of ageing in the West (such as in a proliferation of representations of old age in the news media and popular media forms such as film and television) are highly instrumental in the formulation of superficial and limited views of ageing and old age (lacking awareness of diversity and in-depth engagements with everyday cultural encounters/experiences). These understandings and representations are also highly instrumental in the formulation of intergenerational misunderstandings and divisions, where flows of knowledge, creativity, emotional and economic resources become popularly conceived as flowing in one direction only, from young to old.
Current research taking place at the Research Centre questions this model of one directional flow by exploring issues of ageing, intergenerationality, creativity, identities (kinship, individual, community, national and international) in relation not only to representations, but to experiences, practices and also investments in popular cultural forms such as film, music, television and digital forms of media communication such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Skype.
In the following pages you will find information about WAM’s work and academic activities, our International Summer School, our work on funded projects, and the rigorous and supportive, peer reviewed Postgraduate Journal of Women, Ageing and Media (PGWAM).