Toija Cinque

Toija Cinque is a Senior Lecturer in Communications (Digital Media) at Deakin University, Australia. Cinque’s research encompasses media and communication studies, communications policy, digital cultures, ecopedagogy, studies in radical and participatory transparency/surveillance practices, digital ethnography, audience and reception studies. Her expertise lies in exploring the intersections between scalable media with the reconfigurations of networked publicness tied to mediating technologies such as mixed Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR-VR) and social media. Published works include: Changing Media Landscapes: Visual Networking, OUP, 2015; Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd edition, OUP, 2015 (co-written); and, Materializing Digital Futures: Touch, Movement, Sound and Vision (co-edited, Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

Dreaming in Extreme Reality: Step into the Western Volcanic Plains
In this seed-funded project, I address the problem that Victorian students and the public don’t often get opportunities to learn from Victorian scientists about what is happening in our ecosystems. There is an imperative to support people (across Australia and beyond) to learn alongside our scientists. Accessing such science can support the public to value biodiversity and work towards developing sustainable futures. My prototype affords learning about local science from research scientists through digitally mediated technologies (VR-AR) to enhance and deepen student learning and radiate outward to engage extended family and communities more broadly.


Project Highlights


Augmenting Greener Futures: Educating the Next Generation of Citizen Scientists
In this project, I apply augmented reality (AR) to create interactive biodiversity maps of the local environment, working with students in their schools. Under guidance, students develop a series of AR ‘games’ to increase or decrease biodiversity, reimagining what areas could look like if they were conserved or increasingly urbanised. The project offers students opportunities to use pre-formatted AR-VR devices on mobile phones, and creates interactive student experiences that allows them to visualise how green the future can be, creating a space where technology is experienced as an enabler. The impact of the project is that it introduces school children to the concept of citizen science and their on-going role in conservation as well as leveraging community engagement and social innovation.

Memories That Make Us: Storying Post WW2 Italian Migration to Victoria
In partnership with the Italian Assistance Organisation, Co.As.It., this $250,000 funded empirical project collects and archives the stories of post-World War Two migrants from Italy, recounting their experiences of settlement in Australia. The project is important because it gathers the Italians’ memories of migration to Victoria which have rarely been shared, but urgently need to be because of their advanced age of 70 years and over. The stories will also move across the generations. The project’s outputs include an interactive website as an inclusive space, and feature length documentary.


Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship Pilot Program
This project was funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victoria) to the value of $166,890. Its aim was to develop young people’s knowledge and critical literacy skills to recognise and build resilience to manipulative, coercive forms of hate speech and extremism that encourage them to think and behave in harmful ways. The project also emphasised the positive dimensions of supporting young people’s development as capable and critically literate users of digital media. The project afforded deep knowledge of the challenges presented by the use of social media and the internet on processes of radicalisation and recruitment to violent extremism, of the nature of social media and digital culture and their place in young people’s lives, and of best practice educationally in teaching with and about these issues.

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