University staff profile
Dr Aristea Fotopoulou
Dr Aristea Fotopoulou is Lecturer in the School of Arts, design and Media. She researches new subjectivities, cultures and practices emerging around self-tracking and the sharing of personal data. Dr Fotopoulou is interested in critical aspects of digital culture, emerging technologies and social change and her work is located at the intersection of media & cultural studies with science & technologies studies. Her research combines media analysis approaches with ethnographic methods, and seeks to produce critical and responsible research about the digital transformations of our social worlds.
Dr Fotopoulou is currently writing a monograph, published by Palgrave/MacMillan, with the title Feminist activism and new media: Digital and networked by default?. She has published widely about information politics, digital networks and feminism.
Prior to joining the School of Art, Design and Media, Dr Fotopoulou worked at the University of Lancaster (Sociology), Goldsmiths College, University of London and the University of Sussex (Department of Media and Film), Visiting Scholar at the Research Center Science and Justice (University of California, Santa Cruz) and researcher in the EU-funded project EPINET, a technological assessment of emerging technologies (smart grids, wearable sensors and in-vitro meat). She holds degrees in Media and Cultural Studies (PhD, MA, University of Sussex), Social Science Research Methods (PGCert, University of Sussex), Physics & Social sciences (BSc Open University), Art & design (BA Hons, Middlesex University). She has worked extensively in the digital media industry as an animator and 3D cg-artist.
How I like to teach
I teach in the field of critical media theory, digital research methods and the sociology of media, with focus on the creative industries, innovation, social media and promotional culture. I welcome PhD supervision of research projects examining all aspects of digital culture, big data & society, feminist STS, digital tools for health and wellbeing, issues of gender and sexuality in relation to media, technology and culture, as well as projects with innovative methodological approaches.
- Creative Industries and Promotional Culture
- Producing and Consuming Social Media
- Social Media: Applications and Debates
- Introduction to Media Studies
I have taught Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University and the University of Sussex since 2009.
My research interests
My work is a sociology of media located at the intersections of media & cultural studies with science & technologies studies. I am currently researching new subjectivities, cultures and practices emerging around self-tracking and the sharing of personal data. I am interested in critical aspects of digital culture, emerging technologies and social change. My research combines media analysis approaches with ethnographic methods, and seeks to produce critical and responsible research about the digital transformations of our social worlds. I have written about digital networks and feminism, and recently, on web analytics, big data, information politics, knowledge production, digital literacy and digital engagement.
After completing my PhD Thesis in 2012 ('Remediating politics: feminist and queer formations in digital networks', University of Sussex), I focused on new forms and understandings of political participation and knowledge production in relation to digital communication technologies, in the following projects.
Current research projects:
- Research Center Science & Justice, University of California, Santa Cruz, Jan- April 2014. Funded by RCUK Digital Economy NEMODE). Aimed to understand novel types of publics & communities emerging around practices of sharing data and self-tracking. (https://trackingbiodataproject.wordpress.com/)
Previous research projects:
- EPINET (Integrated Assessment of Societal Impacts of Emerging Science and Technology from within Epistemic Networks, FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2012- European Commission), a media analysis of three emerging technologies – smart grids, wearable sensors and in-vitro meat (http://www.epinet.no/).
- Susnet: A network of feminist media, art, activism, and sustained knowledge production (Researcher Co-I, funded by EPSRC/CCN+) (http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/susnet/).
- Storycircle, an action research project that focused on the social and digital conditions for narrative exchange and knowledge production, at Goldsmiths University of London (as Research Assistant, PI Nick Couldry, Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK, Goldsmiths) (http://storycircleuk.com/) .
- Expertise (as Research Assistant, Digital Economy Communities and Culture Network+. University of Sussex, PI Caroline Bassett) (http://expertiseepsrc.wordpress.com/)
Social media links
School of Art, Design and Media
University of Brighton
Brighton, BN2 4GJ
I joined the University of Brighton in 2015 as Lecturer in the School of Art, design and Media. My research combines media analysis approaches with ethnographic methods, and seeks to produce critical and responsible research about the digital transformations of our social worlds. Currently I explore new subjectivities, cultures and practices emerging around self-tracking and the sharing of personal data. I am widely interested in critical aspects of digital culture, emerging technologies and social change.
I have published widely in the themes of information politics and big data, digital engagement, media literacy, intersectionality and queer theory, digital networks and feminism. I am currently writing on digital health and the datafied self, and working on a monograph with the title Feminist activism and new media: Digital and networked by default?, which will be published by Palgrave/MacMillan.
Prior to joining the School of Art, Design and Media, I worked as Lecturer at the University of Lancaster (Sociology), and as researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London and the University of Sussex (Department of Media and Film), Visiting Scholar at the Research Center Science and Justice (University of California, Santa Cruz) and in the EU-funded project EPINET, a technological assessment of emerging technologies (smart grids, wearable sensors and in-vitro meat). I holds degrees in Media and Cultural Studies (PhD, MA, University of Sussex), Social Science Research Methods (PGCert, University of Sussex), Physics & Social sciences (BSc Open University), Art & design (BA Hons, Middlesex University).
Before my academic career (2000-2007), I had a successful career in the media industry in Greece. I worked as a media practice tutor (Autodesk 3ds Max); in media production (3D animation & motion graphics) in advertising (JNL Leoussis) & for the UNESCO Heritage project (Talent Information Systems S.A.); and as a freelance digital artist.
Book in preparation:Fotopoulou, A. (2014) Feminist activism and new media: Digital and networked by default?, Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change, Palgrave MacMillan. (monograph).
Peer-reviewed journal articles:
Fotopoulou, A. (in preparation) 'All these emotions, all these yearnings, all these data': big data and the moral economy of data sharing (invited, Big Data and Society).
Fotopoulou, A. and O'Riordan, K. (under review) Training to self-care: Fitness tracking and the knowledge-able consumer.
Gunnarsdóttir, K., Breitegger, M., Fotopoulou, A., O'Riordan, K., Peirera, A., Rommetveit, K. and van Dijk, N. (under review) Tracking biosensors: healthcare, wellbeing and new-emerging markets.
O'Riordan, K., Fotopoulou, A. and Stephens, N. (forthcoming) The first bite: imaginaries of food, publics and the laboratory grown burger. In Public Understanding of Science, Special issue: Public Issues in the Technosciences.
Couldry, N., Fotopoulou, A., and Dickens, L. (2015) Real social analytics: a contribution towards a phenomenology of a digital world. British Journal of Sociology.
Bassett, C., Fotopoulou, A. and Howland (2015) Digital Expertise: report and manifesto, Convergence.
Fotopoulou, A. (2014) 'Digital and networked by default? Women's organisations and the social imaginaries of digital engagement', in New Media and Society: 1461444814552264.
Fotopoulou, A. And Couldry, N. (2014) 'Telling the story of the stories: Online content curation and digital engagement', in Information, Communication and Society 18.2 (2015): 235-249.
Fotopoulou, A. and O'Riordan, K. (2014) 'Feminist Digital Media Praxis: An Introduction', Ada: Journal of Gender, Technology and New Media, (5").
Couldry, N, Stephansen, H., Fotopoulou, A., Clark, W., MacDonald, R. and Dickens, L, (2014) 'Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture', Citizenship Studies,18 (6-7), 615-629.
Couldry, N., Dickens, L. and Fotopoulou, A. (2014) 'News in the community? Investigating the new spaces of news production/consumption', Journalism Studies, 16 (1), 97-114.
Couldry, N, Stephansen, A., Clark, W., MacDonald, R., Fotopoulou, A., and Dickens, L, (2014) 'Constructing a digital storycircle: digital infrastructure and mutual recognition', International Journal of Cultural Studies (IJCS), 1367877913519313.
Fotopoulou, A. (2013) Remediating politics: Brand(ed) new sexualities and real bodies online', Journal of Lesbian Studies, 17 (3-4), 253-266.
Fotopoulou, A. (2013) Intersectionality, queer studies and hybridity: Methodological frameworks for social research', Journal of International Women's Studies, 13 (2), 19-32.
Fotopoulou, A. and van Dijk, N. (forthcoming) Data management transparencies and obscurities in wearable fitness tracking, in Gunnarsdóttir, K. and Peirera, A. (eds.) Making sense of wearable care: Markets, mediascapes and the informational person, Palgrave.
Fotopoulou, A. (2009) Translocal Connectivity and Political Identity: Brighton Queer Cultural Activism, in Carpentier, N., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P., Kilborn, K., Olsson, T., Nieminen, H., Sundin E,. and Nordenstreng, K.(eds.) Communicative approaches to politics and ethics in Europe, 165. ISBN 978-9949-19-250-2.
Fotopoulou, A. (2014) Final Report Tracking biodata: Ownership & sharing, research placement output, RCUK Digital Economy, NEMODE+.
Gunnarsdóttir, K., Wynne, B., O'Riordan, K., Fotopoulou, A., van Dijk, N., Hildebrandt, M., Gutwirth, S., Peirera, A., Rommetveit, K., & Strand, R. (2013). EPINET Deliverable D8.4, 'Tracking biosensors: healthcare, wellbeing and new emerging markets'.
Bassett, C., Fotopoulou, A., and Howland K. (2013). Scoping study report for the Digital Economy 'Communities and Culture' Network+ (EPSRC CCNetwork+): Literacy, Expertise & Knowledge.
Journalistic pieces/ Public commentary:
Fotopoulou, A. (2014). The Quantified Self community, lifelogging and the making of "smart" publics, Open Democracy: Participation NowSection , 10 September 2014.
Fotopoulou, A. (forthcoming) 'Start-ups, quantification and personal data', in The Conversation (invited).
Fotopoulou, A. (2012). Book review, Milestone K., and Meyer, A. (2012) Gender and Popular Culture. Gender, media & Cultural studies text book supplement, Times Higher Education (THE), November.
Fotopoulou, A. (2011) Cover image/artwork for special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 17: 1, January 2011, edited by Ann Cvetkovich, Annamarie Jagose, Heather K. Love.
Fotopoulou, A. (2011) Digital lives and LGBT politics, BSSN Column, Gscene Magazine, March 2011.
I have edited a special issue in digital media praxis for Ada: Journal of Gender, Technology and New Media, (Issue 5, June 2014). With Alex Juhassz & Kate O'Riordan. I serve as Co-chair of the Digital Culture and Communication Section of European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) since 11/2014 and have served as Early-career scholar representative (YECREA) of the section between 2012-2014.
In 2013, I participated in the British Consulate Knowledge Exchange as delegate in the establishment of international knowledge exchange activities with Institute of the Future, the Computer Museum, Loyola University Chicago, Science and Justice Centre, Santa Cruz, Centre For Digital Storytelling, Berkeley and University of San Francisco (2013).
I have served as peer reviewer for
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Ashgate Books Publishing
- New Media and Society
- Information, Communication and Society
- European Journal of Cultural Studies
- Feminist Review Journal
- Feminist Theory
- Reframing Activism
- Studies in Social and Political Thought (SSPT) Journal
- International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS)
- ECREA European Media and Communication Conference, Digital Culture & Communication Section, Hamburg 2010, Istanbul 2012, Lisbon 2014. Section meetings Barcelona 2011, Bonn 2013, Salzburg 2015.
- 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science)
- Association of Cultural Studies (ACS)
- Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)
- European Media and Communication (ECREA)
- Feminist and Women's Studies Association (FWSA)
- International Communication Association (ICA);
- Publics, Now, Then and Beyond Network;
- RCUK Digital Economy, Communities and Culture Network+ (CCN+);
- RCUK Digital Economy, NEMODE +. ;
I have a strong presence in international conferences and have been invited to present numerous talks in the UK and outside the UK (see below).
List of invited Lectures and papers.
Invited talk at the Research Seminars of the School of Media and Communications, University of Leeds.
Invited talk at the Westminster Sociology Research Seminars.
Invited talk at the University of Sussex, even Art, Publics, Biosensors.
Invited seminar talk about big data, wearable sensors and mobile apps, to PhD students of the programme Digital Media/Electronic Art at the Digital Arts Research Center OpenLAB, University of Santa Cruz.
'All these emotions, all these yearnings, all these data': platform openness, data sharing and visions of democracy, at Center for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, 5th February 2014, USA.
'Smart Publics? Public engagement with science and technology', at University of Sussex, 6 December 2013. Co-organised by Publics Then now and beyond network (Open University) and Sussex Public Culture Hub.
'Storycircle: The Materiality of Voice' (co-presenter ,witb Nick Couldry, Richard MacDonald and Hilde C. Stephansen), at University of Bremen, 28 November 2013, Germany.
'Technoscientific publics', at the Publics then, now and beyond workshop, The Open University, 4 – 5 June 2013, UK.
'Digital networks and women: emerging political subjectivities in a time of crisis', at the workshop Articulating alternatives: agents, spaces and communication in/of a time of crisis, Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, Goldsmiths, University of London, 3 May 2012.
'The truth in Computing?: Issue Crawler and Cultural Research'. A Workshop organised by Digital Humanities, Digital Methods, Research Centre for Digital Material Culture, Digital Theme, University of Sussex, UK
May 2013 Role: PI. Project title: Tracking biodata – issues of sharing and ownership.
RCUK Digital Economy, New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE). Research placement grant. £12,000 (plus extra £2.5 K) awarded for Research secondment in USA, University of California, between January 2014 and April 2014.
Jan 2013 Role: Research Co-Investigator (with Dr Kate O'Riordan). Title: Sustaining networked knowledge: expertise, feminist media production, art and activism.
RCUK Digital Economy 'Communities and Culture' Network+ (CCN+). Network Grant.