Lauren Eva Dyll

Lauren Eva Dyll

Associate Professor

Leadership Role Academic Leader: Research
Discipline Centre for Communication, Media and Society
Contact Number 031-260-2298
Campus Howard College Campus
Office Address G011
Last Updated 6 months ago


  • Lauren Dyll is Associate Professor in the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Her research interests include participatory communication, critical indigenous qualitative methodologies and issues around cultural heritage and tourism in terms of the relationship between social change and identity. She has been a key contributor to the long-standing Rethinking Indigeneity project that signals strategies that aim to facilitate the participatory and transformative aspects of the research (and/or development) encounter. The majority of her fieldwork has been conducted in the Kalahari area of southern Africa, and more recently in Mpumalanga (South Africa) where she is project leader for the South African National Heritage Council (NHC)-funded project, Mashishing Marking Memories. She is a member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Clearinghouse and Associate Editor on the editorial board for journal, Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies (Taylor and Francis).

Degrees Held

  • PhD, The Centre for Communication Media and Society (University of KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Master of Arts, The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Culture, Communication and Media Studies (University of Natal)

Research Interests

  • Critical Indigenous Qualitative Methodologies
  • Social Change Communication
  • Participatory Communication
  • Cultural tourism-as-social change
  • Heritage and identity
  • South African Television

Teaching Interests

  • Research methodologies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Participatory communication
  • Media Theory


Current Research Project

(August 2019 – currently) Principal Investigator for National Heritage Council-funded project, Mashishing Marking Memories Project conducted in Mpumalanga in eastern South Africa. The project aims to operationalise indigenous knowledge. The rock engravings and remnants of the Late Iron Age stone wall settlements are the data collection sites located at the Boomplaats Farm, Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve and Lydenburg Museum. The project team comprises of academics and graduate students from varying disciplines such as communication and architecture, archeologists, local community members managing the sites, local secondary school educators, NGO workers, heritage practitioners and members of the ǂKhomani community who live in the Kalahari. Previous research has attributed the engravings and stone wall settlements to the Koni people, a Nguni farming community who lived in the area between 1500s – 1820s. Although the engravings’ authorship and subject matter is becoming clearer its meanings and motivations for creation are poorly understood. This project examines the potentiality of participation as a tool in post processual archeology, as the project records the intangible cultural heritage associated with the sites via storytelling and oral interpretations by the diverse research team, as well as their contemporary educational and tourism resource potential. The project’s inclusion of contemporary local custodians of knowledge and the significance placed on the material and spiritual landscape creates a dialogic democracy in heritage recording.

Community Engagement

Teaching Expertise

  • (2008 – currently) Lecturing and course co-ordination in The Centre for Communication, Media and Society graduate modules:
    • Media Theory
    • Media in the Global World
    • Development, Communication and Culture
    • Social Change and Health Communication
    • Research Methodology
  • (2012 – 2014) Exchange Lecturer at Högskolan i Gävle, Department of Humanities. Media and Communication Studies (Sweden), as part of the Linnaeus-Palme lecturer exchange programme:
    • 2 Feb – 16 March 2012: lectured 1) Media and Cultural Theory and 2) Strategic Communication
    • 27 Aug – 21 Sept 2012: lectured Media and Communications Advanced Level.
    • 25 Aug – 23 Sept 2014: lectured Media and Communications Advanced Level.
  • (2010 – 2017) Guest lecturer for School of International (SIT) Study Abroad Program for a course held twice a year, Health Communication: Paradigms, Strategies and Participatory Processes.
  • (Feb 2007- July 2008) Part-time Lecturer at Durban University of Technology (DUT) for second year Video Technology students on Film and Television Appreciation and Development.
2020 - 2023

Academic Leader: Community Engagement. Read More

2018 - 2019

AHS Community Engagement Committee – CCMS representative:

  • Establishing and supporting the CCMS Stakeholder Committee
  • Creating and maintaining links with communities outside of the University.
  • Establishing linkages, which may include setting up and monitoring internships and service  learning, with organisations such as NGOs, public service, national and provincial government, municipalities and companies.
  • Facilitating, on occasions with the UKZN Foundation, the raising of external third-stream funding which will benefit the school and individual disciplines.
  • International Association for Communication and Media Research (IAMCR) Clearing House,

    Board and task team member managing the process of signing statements generated by others when they are principally concerned with issues relating to media/communications and where IAMCR members have substantive scientific expertise that provides a basis for seeking to influence discursive or material practice, see:

  • ARROWSA, Art, Culture and Heritage for Peace (Reg 088-058 NPO),

    Head of the Research Portfolio: primary role is to co-ordinate, supervise and edit research associated with ARROWSA and its associated projects. Member of the Financial Portfolio: primary role is as a co-signatory for banking and co-organising fundraising efforts.

  • Associate Editor for Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies (Taylor and Francis), reviewing articles, attending meetings/feedback via email. 2018 impact factor 0.225,
  • (Since 2015) Academic Journal reviewer:
    • Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies
    • Communicare: Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa
    • Communitas
    • Journal of African Media Studies (JAMS)
    • SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS
    • Global Media and Communication
    • Current Anthropology