Dr Kerry McSeveny

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Dr Kerry McSeveny PhD

Senior Lecturer, Postgraduate Research Tutor - Media, Communication & Film


My research uses a range of qualitative approaches and encompasses a wide variety of topics, but my main research interests include the relationship between food and identity, regulation of the body, the discursive construction of social issues, and identity in interaction. I am Postgraduate Research Tutor for Media, Communication and Film, and teach research-focused modules at Level 7.


My PhD research investigated the management of identity and accountability in women’s online talk about dieting. This work is concerned with discourses around femininity, and offers a feminist reading of how these discourses intersect with those of bodily regulation, self-care, food, health and morality. The project also explored the management of advice-giving, and the functions of humour in interaction. Since then my research has continued to explore issues relating to both subjective and societal aspects of food and eating, and includes an examination of the discourse of commercial weight loss magazines, analysis of UK mainstream media representations of entomophagy (eating insects), and an investigation of the experience of eating in hospital. Another strand of research relates broadly to the use of social media and related technology in a range of contexts, including the use of social media in emergency crisis communication and the policing of protest events, an examination of communicative practices during an city music festival, and an exploration of the potential of virtual worlds for social interaction and physical rehabilitation in older people.

Senior Lecturer


Department of Media Arts and Communication

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Journalism and Public Relations

MA Public Relations

PhD Communication, Media & Film


Researching Communications

Dissertation (PR)


Journal articles

Bowen, S., Mcseveny, K., Lockley, E., Wolstenholme, D., Cobb, M., & Dearden, A. (2013). How was it for you? Experiences of participatory design in the UK health service. CoDesign, 9 (4), 230-246. http://doi.org/10.1080/15710882.2013.846384

Mcseveny, K., Heller, B., Light, A., & Machaczek, K. (2013). ‘You could, couldn’t you?’: a preliminary investigation of older people’s interaction with a bespoke virtual environment using a gesture interface. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 5 (3), 235-249. http://doi.org/10.1386/jgvw.5.3.235_1

Soltani, H., Furness, P., Mcseveny, K., Arden, M., Garland, C., Sustar, H., & Dearden, A. (2012). Women's and midwives' perspectives on the design of a text messaging support for maternal obesity services. Journal of Obesity. http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/835464

Furness, P.J., McSeveny, K., Arden, M., Garland, C., Dearden, A., & Soltani, H. (2011). Maternal obesity support services: a qualitative study of the perspectives of women and midwives. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 11 (69). http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-11-69

McSeveny, K. (2011). Book review: Helen Malson and Maree Burns (eds): Critical Feminist Approaches to Eating Dis/orders. Hove, Sussex and New York: Routledge, 2009. 257 pp. £15.95, ISBN 0415418100 (pbk); $80.00, ISBN 0415418119 (hbk). Feminism & Psychology, 21 (2), 279-284. http://doi.org/10.1177/09593535110210020903

Conference papers

Mcseveny, K., Grainger, K., & Doherty, K. (2010). I'm sooooo chuffed : face management in reports of success on an online weight loss message board. In Fifth International Symposium on Politeness, University of Basel, 30 June 2010 - 2 July 2010.

Mcseveny, K., Doherty, K., & Grainger, K. (2009). Laugh out loud : humour, confession and identity management in an online weight loss support group. In Laughter and Humour in Interaction Conference, University of Huddersfield, 24 June 2009 - 25 June 2009.

Mcseveny, K., Doherty, K., & Grainger, K. (2009). "I was in the same boat" : advicegivingand solidarity inan online weight loss community. In 1st Autumn Conference of Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Section of ECREA, Tampere, Finland, 21 October 2009 - 23 October 2009.

Mcseveny, K., & Doherty, K. (2016). "Confident, sexy and in control": Practices of self-transformation and representations of 'authentic femininity' in Slimming World magazine. In International Association of Media and Communication Researchers, University of Leicester, 27 July 2016 - 2016.

Mcseveny, K., & Doherty, K. (2005). Dieting discourses: the online interactions of women in a commercial weight loss group. In International Society of Critical Health Psychology Conference, Sheffield, 1 April 2005.

Grainger, K., Doherty, K., & Mcseveny, K. (2006). "Stop Cheating": impoliteness on a weight watchers message board. In 2nd International Symposium on Politeness, Huddersfield University, 1 July 2006.

Book chapters

Mcseveny, K., & Waddington, D. (2017). Case studies in crisis communication: some pointers to best practice. In Akhgar, B., Waddington, D., & Staniforth, A. (Eds.) Application of social media in crisis management : advanced science and technologies for security applications. Springer: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319524184?utm_campaign=bookpage_about_buyonpublisherssite&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=springerlink#otherversion=9783319524191

Lyle, A., Day, T., & Mcseveny, K. (2017). The final ATHENA test case: an integrated view of ATHENA. In Akhgar, B., Staniforth, A., & Waddington, D. (Eds.) Application of social media in crisis management. (pp. 205-224). Cham: Springer International: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52419-1_13

Waddington, D., & Mcseveny, K. (2012). Terrorism and the risk society. In Bennett, S. (Ed.) Innovative thinking in risk, crisis, and disaster management. (pp. 41-58). Farnham, Surrey: Gower Publishing

McSeveny, K., & Waddington, D. (2011). Up Close and Personal – The Interplay between Information Technology and Human Agency in the Policing of the 2011 Sheffield Anti-Lib Dem Protest. In Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing. (pp. 199-212). Springer London: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-2140-4_13

Mcseveny, K., & Waddington, D. (2011). Up close and personal : the interplay between information technology and human agency in the policing of the 2011 Sheffield Anti-Lib Dem protes. In Akhgar, B., & Yates, S. (Eds.) Intelligence management : knowledge driven frameworks for combating terrorism and organized crime. (pp. 199-212). Springer: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-2140-4


Booth, A., Garrison, L., Riches, T., Dearden, A., Glover, I., Hill, K., ... Westaway, S. (2015). BadgeLAB Leeds : Exploring Open Badges for the Arts. Research and Development Report. London: Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

Theses / Dissertations

Murphy, K.D. (2021). Joe Sugg: authenticity, self-branding and networking from YouTube microcelebrity to mainstream star. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Deller, R., & Mcseveny, K. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00399

Postgraduate supervision

Current supervision

Nittaya Boonchum - Self-management of diabetes in an online community in Thailand

Claire Allen - Living well with dementia - making sense of an individual's fashion self

Previous supervision:

Kathryn Murphy - Joe Sugg: Authenticity, Self-branding and Networking from YouTube Microcelebrity to Mainstream Star

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