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Dr Aristea Fotopoulou

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview

Aristea works at the intersections of media and cultural studies with science and technology studies. Her current research explores everyday digital practices of data sharing (such as the Quantified Self) and aims to understand the emergence of publics around 'smart' technologies. It combines traditional media analysis approaches with ethnographic methods, and seeks to produce critical social theory about digital culture.


Aristea was 2014 Visiting Scholar at the Science and Justice Research Center, University of California Santa Cruz (Tracking biodata: sharing and ownership, RCUK Digital Economy NEMODE, Research secondment grant). She also works on the collaborative project EPINET Integrated Assessment of Societal Impacts of Emerging Science and Technology from within Epistemic Networks (FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2012- European Commission), in a technology assessment of smart grids, wearable sensors and in-vitro meat.


Before joining the Department of Sociology, Aristea worked as postdoctoral researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Sussex, and as Visiting Lecturer at Brighton University. At Goldsmiths, she was involved in the research project Storycircle  (Department of Media and Communications, PI Nick Couldry) (Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK (FIRM). This was an action research project that examined the social and digital conditions for narrative exchange and knowledge production. At Sussex, she acted as research Co-I in the one-year network project Susnet - Sustaining networked knowledge: expertise, feminist media production, art and activism, funded by the Digital Economy ‘Communities and Culture’ Network+ . The network brought together feminist cultural production, art and activist practices and enables exchanges between different researchers, activists, artists and dimensions of community. It aimed to produce a sustainable co-created platform for critical and creative conversations about digital engagement. The project led to the a special issue on Digital Media Praxis, Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology (Issue 5, July 2014). She was also involved in the Horizon Scoping Study Digital expertise, literacy and knowledge funded by the Digital Economy Communities and Culture Network+/EPSRC (University of Sussex, PI Caroline Bassett). This project considered questions of digital literacy and, more broadly, questions of digital engagement (See Scoping study report for the Digital Economy ‘Communities and Culture’ Network+ (CCNetwork+): Literacy, Expertise & Knowledge Scoping Report).


Aristea is currently writing a book monograph entitled 'Feminist activism and new media: digital and networked by default?', Palgrave MacMillan (expected publication date 2016), based on her PhD Thesis, which was completed at the University of Sussex in 2012.




PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising projects on themes and aspects of:
- digital economy, digital labour
- big data & society, Quantified Self, digital health
- emerging technologies, feminist STS, social justice
- media sociology
- gender and media
- activism and digital media
- cultural studies of science and technology

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