Creating Promising Futures Through Social Construction
Roskilde University, Denmark
Member of the Dialogic Communication Research Group
Lisbeth Frolunde research interests are collaborative creativity, learning and communication, especially on how media literacy relates to empowerment. Her current research project focuses on how stories emerge through processes of writing, drawing, and video production with youth who face challenging issues, such as immigration, loss of parents, and social inequity. Her research explores the impact of contexts for facilitating creative learning, such as formal school settings, museums, prisons, asylum centers, and after school programs.
Lisbeth is particularly interested in using arts-based methods, such as creative writing and visual methods, and exploring how they offer paths for developing multi-voiced, critical and productive media literacy. Moreover, she explores the impact of digital technologies on making and spreading trans-media stories (for example, using social media platforms for interactive storytelling).
Her qualitative research is about communication as sociocultural processes of shaping and being shaped by narratives – or how humans make sense of change through stories. Lisbeth sees changes as rooted in our everyday lived experience, with all the transformations we go through from child to adult and old age. Stories also connect us with each other, and common struggles about (in)equity, power, marginalization, loss, trauma, and hope. Her theoretical inspiration is pragmatics, dialogic theory, social constructionism, and social semiotics.
Lisbeth’s work in various educational and psychiatric contexts, as well as the IT, publishing, toy, and design industries and NGOs, have given her insight into the tensions of difference in organizations. It has fueled her urge to do and reflect on research collaboration across different cultures, universities and disciplines. Before starting her academic career in 2000, she was a concept developer of multimedia products, game illustrator, book designer, and clinical art therapist in the USA and Denmark. Lisbeth is experienced with participatory design, graphic arts, illustration, and have designed digital teaching materials (e-learning, websites, books), including for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Her work as a concept developer for the LEGO Group (1997-2000) had the aim to develop play and learning experiences with LEGO products. She harnessed children’s input to multimedia products (games, software, online communities, robot toys) and trained staff in applying interaction design methods. She cooperated with researchers at MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group (1997-2001), as liaison for LEGO, also on establishing the Computer Clubhouse network in Denmark (2001-03).
Lisbeth established art therapy courses for asylum seekers through the Danish Red Cross, the Refugee Council, and curated art shows of refugees’ art, as well as in private therapy clinics (1991-97). She worked as designer and art director in educational publishing in Boston (1987-91). Led expressive arts therapy (art and drama) at psychiatric hospitals and treatment programs for teens and adults in the Boston area, USA, affiliated with Harvard University Medical School (1980-87).
Recent publications include: the book chapters ”Reflexive Learning through Visual Methods” in Situated Design Methods. MIT Press (2014), and “Dialogical ethics and reflections on unfinalizability” in Knowledge and Power in Collaborative Research: A Reflexive Approach (Routledge, 2013), and the article "Animated War" in Convergence (Sage, Feb. 2012).