Chair in New Media Forms of the Book

University of Bedfordshire – Professor Alexis Weedon

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Storytelling shapes the way we experience the world and advances human knowledge, but that’s only if everyone listens.

The thoughts and ideas that change humanity, by breaking down assumptions, barriers and prejudices, are co-created between individuals and communities. Although these stories advance development, western book publishing systems do not support such co-creation of knowledge between writer and reader. The University of Bedfordshire’s Chair in New Media Forms of the Book is responding to this need for a platform to share all stories, by changing publishing practices and widening humanity’s access to knowledge.


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UNESCO Chair in Reading

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro



“We must always listen out for the stories that are not being heard. No voices should be lost.”

Professor Alexis Weedon

UNESCO Chairs are based within Institutes for Higher Education and specialise in specific research fields. They provide policy advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO and HM government, as well as reviewing UNESCO applications.


Professor Alexis Weedon leads a diverse programme of projects, publications and events that examine how forms of collaborative authorship can break down assumptions and change publishing practices.

Drawing comparisons between fairy tales retold in different countries, this research-led programme has evaluated the importance of storytelling in a shifting society. As globalization brings pervasive, branded identities to different cultures, fairy tales such as Cinderella and Robin Hood often manifest themselves as stories of a person transforming their society. Through this onslaught of new media there has been increasing in the displacement of local and indigenous creative authorship.

Her team works with researchers, artists, writers, SMEs and policymakers to broaden global access to knowledge. Storytelling is a powerful method of communicating ideas that requires a range of cultural literacies and skills. From oral retelling and visual communication, to digital literacy and knowledge of IT, however they are told, stories inspire change across generations and actively combat injustice.


Having worked with partners across hugely diverse industries, Alexis works to bridge gaps in understanding and unite people through storytelling via innovative formats. With the Cinderella Project, for example, Professor Weedon and colleagues worked to identify and retrace it’s retellings throughout different countries and cultures. As it has become humanity’s shorthand for the unexpected success of the disregarded, Alexis explores how a story can be appropriated and reinterpreted to articulate how social and family relationships are adapting to modern society. Men as well as women, companies as well as people.

Sherwood Rise: A Transmedia Story Experiment.
The Robin Hood legend is often mistaken as a clear-cut discussion about the divide between rich and poor, yet the main character remains wholly ambiguous. Whether good, bad or evil, Robin’s ambiguity gave Professor Weedon the opportunity to tell one story from multiple perspectives and through different voices. Her version of the story, Sherwood Rise, is told through a range of media including printed newspapers, emails, hacker websites, sound, music and smartphone AR.

Professor Alexis Weedon

Professor Weedon’s expertise lies at the centre of transmedia storytelling and new forms of the book, literary production and publishing. As a Research Professor of Publishing, she is currently exploring the origins of transmedia storytelling in the 1920s and 1930s more specifically. She is the Director of the Society for the History of Authorship, Publishing and Reading, and her research in new media forms of the book explores how they should no longer be defined as pages bound together: instead they are entitled to take any shape that simply tells a story. This means Alexis’ work ranges from ‘Books as Media’, a chapter in the Cambridge History of the Book: The Twentieth Century, to augmented reality and digital innovation.


University of Bedfordshire
Professor of Publishing

SINCE 2005


University of Oxford

#Role at UNESCO

UNESCO Chair in New Media Forms of the Book

SINCE 2012



Read about some of the many projects that Professor Weedon has been a part of, alongside her team.



New Media is defined as any form of media that emerged in the late 20th and early 21st century. Read more about the work that Alexis has carried out in this field, below.


INTERNATIONAL DAY International Migrants Day 18.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 18 We celebrate the International Migrants Day on December 18. READ MORE BELOW MIGRANTS DAY Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nicola Fioravanti, UNESCO Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces. These start with aspirations for…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 3 We celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. READ MORE BELOW DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nathan Anderson, Arisa Chattasa. The annual observance of the…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 29 We celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. READ MORE BELOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Photo credit, from top to bottom: Ahmed Abu Hameeda, Cole-Keister.…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 25 We celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. READ MORE BELOW END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Photo credit, from top to bottom: United Nations, Karl…
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“I love to hear people’s stories and how they tell them. We all change our stories as our needs change and we use them to reform ourselves, our society and culture.”

Professor Alexis Weedon


#Culture #NewMedia


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