Curriculum Vitae

Name: Maria (Mia) Bäcke
Citizenship: Swedish
E-mail: mail[at]

Personal Profile
A lifelong interest in people and human communication has brought me from design, marketing and communication at an advertising agency via language and media and communication studies to a PhD in TechnoScience. In my research, my focus has been on interaction, leadership, power, hierarchies, and subversion primarily in online social game environments, which also accentuates my interest in information and communication technologies. I very much enjoy teaching as well as learning, and, when needed, I do not hesitate in taking initiatives. Over the years I have developed good analytical and communicative skills. I am thorough, honour deadlines, and I am used to working hard.

Key Skills
Research and teaching
As a PhD my analytical abilities, to think and work independently, as well as critically assess various phenomena are highly developed. I am very used to gather, process, structure, and present information in the appropriate manner, orally or in writing, depending on the target audience, which is necessary for instance in my role as a teacher on the university level. Every presentation builds on planning, execution, and feedback, and I build a coherent story which explains my research in an easy way, which is then intended to initiate a discussion which, in turn, will provide me with ideas to move on. Both as a researcher and as a teacher it is important to me to draw parallels between theory and practice, to see the world in a grain of sand and vice versa. In both activities dialogue and discussion are central for me. I thoroughly appreciate a good discussion with students and colleagues. As researcher and teacher I am also good at running and finishing large projects within the allotted timeframe, and, as a result, I have published four articles and a doctoral dissertation.

Second Life/Social Online Worlds
Since 2005 I have spent time in and held many lectures on different aspects of the social online 3D world Second Life, where people from all over the world meet to create objects, environments, teaching and learning opportunities, role-play and communities together. I have taught everything from introductions to courses more focused on 3D-building at universities and schools in Sweden and internationally (for instance Finland, USA, Australia) and I have presented my research at conferences and workshops in the Nordic countries as well as in the UK.

Project Leader/Organisation
I am thorough, responsible and conscientious, have a good overview, and administered the Translation project at Karlstad University, which aimed to translate 1600 syllabi from Swedish to English. In order to facilitate this task I initiated the creation and influenced the design of a database, which became the standard tool for translators and course administrators at the university. My organisational abilities were put to the test once again as I organised the ”League of Worlds 4” conference at the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona in October 2007, and I have administered three conference websites in total. At Karlstad University I was also the course administrator as well as the one responsible for two distance courses in English, as well as the entire scheduling of the teaching of the undergraduate courses at the Department of English.

Visual communication
After having worked almost five years at Trentera Reklambyrå (advertising agency) in Norrtälje, I am good at graphic design. I am well acquainted with Adobe Creative Suite, to create logotypes and profile programs, and I have made both analogue and digital originals ready for print. When I worked at Karlstad University I used this knowledge to do the layout for two books, to create two conference websites, and to teach Photoshop. More recently, 3D building in Second Life has provided an outlet for my design interest, and this also becomes apparent in the visual aspect of PowerPoint and Keynote presentations.

Career History
2013- Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Sciences/English, Högskolan i Kristianstad. 2012-2013 Senior Lecturer, Department of Languages/English, Karlstad University.

2011-2012 On parental leave with a seriously ill child.

2006-2011 PhD Candidate, Department of Culture and Communication, The Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona. Courses taught: Gender and Technology; Digital Cultures; Media Labs (Dreamweaver, Photoshop etc); Language & Communication 2 (essay writing); The Time Machine (sci-fi literature); and 3D building in the online world Second Life on the Crossmedia programme. Most courses were taught in the field of English.

2004-2006 University lecturer, Department of Education, Karlstad University. Courses taught: Ungdomars sociala och psykologiska utveckling sedd ur olika kulturella perspektiv; Lärande, undervisning och språk

2003-2006 University lecturer and project assistant, Department of English, Karlstad University. Courses taught: Text, Media, and Culture; Bild och Grafisk Form.

1993-1998 Art Director assistant, Trentera Reklambyrå AB, Norrtälje.

Educational Qualifications
2007-2011 PhD Candidate in TechnoScience at the Blekinge Institute of Technology. I successfully passed at the defence on May 27, 2011. The title of my dissertation is Power Games: Rules and Roles in Second Life.

2006-2007 PhD Candidate in American Literature at Uppsala University and the Blekinge Institute of Technology before changing field.

1999-2004 406,5 hp in total (out of which English encompasses 150 hp, German 80 hp, and Media and Communication Studies 60 hp) at Karlstad University. 32 out of 65 courses were passed with distinction.

1992 Song and Theatre course. Stockholms Folkhögskola, Rinkeby, Stockholm.

1988-1989 Sekreterarskolan, Kursverksamheten vid Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm, Personal Assistant, tourism. I spent eight months abroad in total. Locations: Great Britain (Brighton) and Switzerland (Davos and Ascona). Languages: English, German, and Italian.

1985-1988 Västerdalarnas Gymnasieskola, Malung. Humanistisk linje, 3 years. Languages: English, German, and French.

Publications – Articles
2012 ”Make-Believe and Make-Belief in Second Life Role-Playing Communities.” Included in a special issue of Convergence. (Feb 2012)

2011 ”Power Games: Rules and Roles in Second Life.” PhD thesis. Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctorial Dissertation Series. No 2011:09. ISSN 1653-2090. ISBN 978-91-7295-209-6.

2009 ”Self, Setting, and Situation in Second Life.” Included in Performing Digital Literature: Case Studies and Critical Positions published by Continuum Books.

2008 "Decolonizing Cyberspace." Included in the Cybercultures volume, 'At The Interface/Probing the Boundaries' series, published by Rodopi.

2007 "'Freedom for Just One Night': The Promise and Threat of Information and Communication Technologies" (Winter 2007 special issue of Women, "Digital Eves: Transgression/Transcendence in Cyberspace.")

Conferences, Lectures & Consultancies
October 2010 “The Culture of Ubiquitous Information.” Seminar. IT University of Copenhagen.

June 2010 “Midian City Role-Play.” Workshop presentation. “Making Sense of Virtual Worlds and User-Driven Innovation.” Virtual Worlds Research Workshop, Magleås Kursuscenter, Roskilde Universitet.

December 2009 “Applying Discourse Theory and CDA in the study of Media, Images, and Film.” Workshop. Roskilde Universitet.

October 2009 “Analytical Strategies and Methodologies for the Study of Virtual Worlds.” Workshop. Roskilde University.

June 2009 “Neko Culture in Second Life.” Conference paper. Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer. University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK.

Nov 2008 Lecture on building with sculpties in Second Life. HUMlab, Umeå University.

Nov 2008 “The Weaving of the 3D Web: Hierarchies and Subversion in online worlds.” Talk at HUMlab, Umeå University.

June 2008 “Avant-Garde and Subversion in an Online 3D World.” Conference paper. Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer. University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK.

May 2008 Introductory workshop to Second Life. Learning Lab, Blekinge Institute of Technology.

Nov 2007 "User-Generated Content in Second Life" Talk at the Plan B seminar at InDiMedia (Research Centre for Interactive Digital Media) at Aalborg University.

Nov 2007 "Money-Making Avatars?" Talk at the ComlTop and Dreamgames Network workshop, Aalborg University.

Oct 2007 Introductory workshop to Second Life. Learning Lab, Blekinge Institute of Technology.

Sept 2007 Introductory workshop to Second Life. Learning Lab, Blekinge Institute of Technology.

Aug 2007 “What is Second Life?” Talk at TEK-dagen, Gullberna Park, Blekinge Institute of Technology.

2006-2007 Introduction to and course building in Second Life (roleplaying and design) for students and staff at GippsTAFE (Gippsland Institute of TAFE, Newborough, Victoria, Australia)

2006-2007 Collaboration with Fablusi Pty Ltd and, Melbourne, Australia in Second Life.

Nov 2006 ”The League of Worlds 3.” Conference Boone, North Carolina, US.

2005-2006 Introduction to Second Life (building, scripting and design) for students on the Interactive Media Programme at the Department of Media at Arcada Polytechnic, Helsinki, Finland

Voluntary Work
July 2008 – June 2009 Chair of the Doctoral Candidate Council at the Blekinge Institute of Technology and in this capacity I was the DCC representative on the Blekinge Institute of Technology university board.

July 2007 – June 2008 Treasurer of the Doctoral Candidate Council at the Blekinge Institute of Technology.

1993 Singing in the choir of the theatre play ”De Vita Korparna” at Orionteatern, Stockholm.

Additional Information
Computer skills: Adobe Creative Suite, Office package, Pages, Keynote, Macintosh platforms. PC (limited).

Driving licence, B.

I live in Tygelsjö, just south of Malmö, together with my partner and my two boys, 14 and 17 years old. I was on parental leave in 1995 and in 1998-1999. Spare-time interests include 2D and 3D design, photography, art, genealogy, singing, and exploring new places, physical as well as digital.

Provided upon request.