Ana Luisa Sanchez Laws
Professor in Interdisciplinary Methodologies and Methods at CPS/SKK/SESAM
My research focuses on questions of identity-(ies) and belonging. I am interested in understanding the historical, cultural, social and psychological boundaries of the self (as individuals or collectives).
One strand of my research focuses on the use of new technologies to address contested topics in museums and issues of identity, diversity and social inclusion (see Panamanian Museums and Historical Memory, Berghahn Books 2011). This research deals with the creation of digital artifacts to communicate cultural and natural heritage, with projects involving institutions such as the Panama Viejo Museum and Questacon Science Centre (see Museum Websites and Social Media, Berghahn Books, Oxford and New York, first ed. 2015, second ed. 2019).
This strand comes from my PhD at University of Bergen, Norway, where I studied the inclusion of diverse audiences in representations of identity and history in Panama. As part of this, I developed a digital game about Panamanian contemporary history, which was installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Panama, and at the Museum of Art and Design, Costa Rica.
A second branch of my research concerns the role of new technologies such as virtual reality in topics related to peace and conflict transformation, body self-consciousness, and the relationship between self, presence, emotion and identity.
I have developed theoretical and practical work for this topic within the area of immersive journalism, with the book Conceptualizing Immersive Journalism, Routledge, 2018 and in a series of research articles. My latest book is an edited collection on this topic, Insights on Immersive Journalism, for Routledge Insigths on Journalism Series (2023).
With Kamilla Bergsnev, I am working on perception and learning. My contribution to this research area concerns the application of new technologies (for example, novel virtual reality-based systems and methods), for use in psychological research. This work includes articles on uses of subjective and physiological measures in VR, and on presence.
Between 2015 and 2020, I was Associate Professor in Media and Design at Volda University College, Norway. I taught in the areas of media, design, research methods and web documentary. I supervised students at the Master of Media Practices program at Volda.
Between 2011 and 2015 I worked as Assistant Professor at University of Canberra, where I taught sustainable design and media production. I supervised and co-supervised master and PhD students in the areas of digital design and digital heritage.
I have worked with media production (web and audiovisual) for more than 20 years. I’m also a video artist with work exhibited in Bremen, Bergen, San Diego, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, Madrid, Panama, San Jose, Buenos Aires, Baja California and Havana. My work Angie Contra el Mundo is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Panama.
My master's thesis was entitled Queer Cinema in Latin America, and concerned the representation of queerness in a series of films from the Latin American region, from the perspective of narratology. I argued in the thesis that the selected films could be seen as encoding queerness in a way that made it possible for these films to bypass existing censorship.
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