My research is concerned with mobilities, digital cultures, gender relations and grassroots hands-on DiY and DiT (Do-It-Together) technology communities. I am particularly interested in mundane everyday materials and practices; the use of found, purchased and resourcefully adapted materials and improvised methods to re-imagine understandings of and relationships to technology.
Making and engaging are integral to my work. My practice is informed by my interest in different ways of ‘telling about society’ (Becker 2007). This means my creative interdisciplinary approach, methods and modes of transmission take many forms – from websites, blogs, machines, films, printed materials, photographs, exhibitions, performances, installations and even, most recently, costume (and sewing patterns). These varied ways of investigating and telling about society entangle diverse audiences and provide new perspectives into my work.
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. I teach on a range of UG and MA courses. I Co-Direct the Methods Lab with Beckie Coleman and co-lead the Digital World Making stream across college. I am also a member of the Public Engagement and Practice Research Working Groups at College.
Prior to this I held a postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2010-11) in the Sustainable Mobilities Research Group at the University of East London on the ethnographic ESRC-funded project Cycling cultures in a mass motorised society: a multi-method case study of four English urban areas. I have a PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths College (2009) for an ethnographic study of the culture of wireless technology networks. My interest in practice-led multi-dimensional ethnographic research draws on a BA Communications at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia (1993) and an MA in Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London, UK (2003).
I regularly give talks and run public engagement activities such as hacking and sewing workshops, in a range of places such as London Science Museum ‘Lates’, Victoria and Albert Culture Salon, Feminism in London Annual Conference, London Bike Kitchen, Somerset House, London Cycle Campaign Transport Policy seminars, The New School (NYU), College of Art (Edinburgh), Institute of Textiles (UK), Institute of Design Projects (Warsaw), Digital Cultures Research Lab (Lüneburg).
Bikes & Bloomers: Victorian women inventors and their extraordinary cycle wear (Goldsmiths Press/MIT Press) is due out Spring 2018. An edited collection from my ESRC grant called Transmissions: critical tactics for making and communicating research (MIT Press) is currently under review. I also also working with Larissa Hjorth and Anne Harris on Ethnography, Creative Practice & Play (Lexington Press).