Dr Aristea Fotopoulou's research focuses on social transformations that relate to digital media and data-driven technologies (e.g. self-tracking, wearables, big data, AI).
Her new book is entitled "Feminist activism and digital networks: between empowerment and vulnerability" (2017, Palgrave/MacMillan). Positioned at the intersections of media and cultural studies with science and technologies studies, she has published widely in the themes of information politics and big data, digital engagement, media literacy, intersectionality and queer theory, digital networks and feminism.
Dr Fotopoulou is Chair of ECREA Digital Culture and Communication Section. She is Principal Lecturer in Media and Communications in the School of Media, University of Brighton, and Course Leader of the MA Digital Media, Culture and Society.
Dr Aristea Fotopoulou's research focuses on the social and cultural transformations that relate to digital media and data-driven technologies. Her new book is entitled "Feminist activism and digital networks: between empowerment and vulnerability" (2017, Palgrave/MacMillan). She is Course Leader of the MA Digital Media, Culture and Society, and Chair of ECREA Digital Culture and Communication.
Aristea has been awarded the University of Brighton 2017 Early Career Research and Enterprise Excellence Award for her research within 5 years of PhD graduation and 2 years of first academic post. Her current research project "Critical data literacy, Creative media and Social equality" focuses on big data and citizen engagement, with emphasis on Critical Data Literacy. She is also interested in cultures, practices and new subjectivities that relate to self-tracking and big data. Informed by feminist STS, she currently writes about self-tracking apps and technologies for various purposes, e.g. fertility, fitness, and about the notion of the quantified self. She is co-organising the DCC ECREA conference Digital Culture Meets Data: Critical Perspectives (November 2017, University of Brighton).
Her research about wearable sensors and about the Quantified Self in San Francisco were published recently in the online platform Open Democracy and in Health Sociology Review. Aristea has edited a special issue in digital media praxis for Ada: Journal of Gender, Technology and New Media, (Issue 5, June 2014, with Alex Juhasz & Kate O'Riordan). She serves as Chair of the Digital Culture and Communication Section of European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) since 11/2016 and served as Vice Chair (2014-2016) and as Early-career scholar representative (YECREA) of the section between 2012-2014.
Prior to joining the School of Media in 2015, Aristea worked at the University of Lancaster (Sociology), Goldsmiths College, University of London and the University of Sussex (Department of Media and Film). She was 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) (Integrated Assessment of Societal Impacts of Emerging Science and Technology from within Epistemic Networks, FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2012- European Commission. http://www.epinet.no/).After completing her PhD Thesis in 2012 ('Remediating politics: feminist and queer formations in digital networks', University of Sussex), she focused on new forms and understandings of political participation and knowledge production in relation to digital communication technologies. As postdoc, she worked in the research projects
In 2013, she 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). Prior to her academic career, she worked extensively in the digital media industry.
Dr Aristea Fotopoulou teaches in the fields of critical media theory, digital research methods and the sociology of media, with focus on the creative industries, innovation, social media and promotional culture. She is the MA Course Leader of the MA Digital Media, Culture and Society, and leader of the postgraduate module Big Data, Society and Culture.
Areas of supervision:
Aristea welcomes PhD supervision of research projects examining all aspects of digital culture and activism, 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.
Current PhD Students
Hannah Runham (ESRC South Coast DTP Scholarship in the Population Change, Health and Wellbeing pathway) (2017-2020). Theme: Mental health and Reality TV.
Jun Haelin (2018-2021). Theme: South Korean YouTube.
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2018) From networked to quantified self: Self-tracking and the moral economy of data In: Papacharissi, Zizi, ed. A Networked Self: Platforms, Stories, Connections. Routledge, New York. ISBN 9781138722675
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2017) Feminist Activism and Digital Networks: Between Empowerment and Vulnerability Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change . Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, UK. ISBN 9781137504708
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2016) Feminism in the era of the Quantified Self: agency, labour and future markets In: Selected Papers of AoIR 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, Berlin Humbholt University, Germany,5-8 October 2016.
Fotopoulou, Aristea and O'Riordan, Kate (2016) Training to self-care: fitness tracking, biopedagogy and the healthy consumer Health Sociology Review, 26 (1). pp. 54-68. ISSN 1446-1242
O'Riordan, Kate, Fotopoulou, Aristea and Stephens, Neil (2016) The first bite: Imaginaries, promotional publics and the laboratory grown burger Public Understanding of Science, 26 (2). pp. 148-163. ISSN 0963-6625
Couldry, Nick, Fotopoulou, Aristea and Dickens, Luke (2016) Real social analytics: A contribution towards a phenomenology of a digital world British Journal of Sociology, 67 (1). pp. 118-137. ISSN 0007-1315
Gunnarsdóttir, Kristrún, Wynne, Brian, Fotopoulou, Aristea, O'Riordan, Kate, van Dijk, Niels, Gutwirth, Serge, Hildebrandt, Mireille, Breitegger, Melina, Guimarães Peirera, Ângela and Vesnic-Alujevic, Lucia (2015) Gadgets on the move and in stasis Consumer and medical electronics, what's the difference? Summary of findings and policy recommendations [Report (for external body)]
Fotopoulou, Aristea and Couldry, Nick (2014) Telling the story of the stories: online content curation and digital engagement Information Communication and Society, 18 (2). pp. 235-249. ISSN 1369-118X
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2014) Digital and networked by default? Women's organisations and the social imaginary of networked feminism New Media & Society, 18 (6). pp. 989-1005. ISSN 1461-4448
Fotopoulou, Aristea and O'Riordan, Kate (2014) Feminist Digital Media Praxis: An Introduction Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, 5. ISSN 2325-0496
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2014) Tracking biodata: Ownership and sharing, Final report [Report (for external body)]
Couldry, Nick, Stephansen, Hilde, Fotopoulou, Aristea, MacDonald, Richard, Clark, Wilma and Dickens, Luke (2014) Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture Citizenship Studies, 18 (6-7). pp. 615-629. ISSN 1362-1025
Dickens, Luke, Couldry, Nick and Fotopoulou, Aristea (2014) News in the community? Investigating the new spaces of news production/consumption Journalism Studies, 16 (1). pp. 97-114. ISSN 1461-670X
Fotopoulou, Aristea (2013) Intersectionality Queer Studies and Hybridity: Methodological Frameworks for Social Research Journal of International Women's Studies, 13 (2). pp. 19-32. ISSN 1539-8706
Aristea's new research monograph "Feminist Activism and Digital Networks: Between Empowerment and Vulnerability” was published in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan.
This book sheds new light on the way that, in the last decade, digital technologies have become inextricably linked to culture, economy and politics and how they have transformed feminist and queer activism. This exciting text critically analyses the contradictions, tensions and often-paradoxical aspects that characterize such politics, both in relation to identity and to activist practice. Aristea Fotopoulou examines how activists make claims about rights online, and how they negotiate access, connectivity, openness and visibility in digital networks. Through a triple focus on embodied media practices, labour and imaginaries, and across the themes of bodily autonomy, pornography, reproduction, and queer social life, she advocates a move away from understandings of digital media technologies as intrinsically exploitative or empowering. By reinstating the media as constant material agents in the process of politicization, Fotopoulou creates a powerful text that appeals to students and scholars of digital media, gender and sexuality, and readers interested in the role of media technologies in activism.
Feminist Activism and Digital Networks has been endorsed by high profile academics in her field Prof Nick Couldry(London School of Economics and Political Science, UK), Prof Rosalind Gill (City, University of London, UK) and Prof Carol Stabile (University of Oregon, USA). The book was been described as:
“highly recommended”, “an urgently needed antidote to […] the invisibility of gender and sexuality as embodied practices in communication studies and social movement studies alike”; and deemed as “required reading for social justice classrooms.”
Fotopoulou, A. Forthcoming. (2018) Citizen Media and Gender. In Baker, M., Blaagaard, B. and Pérez-González, L. (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media. New York: Routledge.
Fotopoulou, A. Forthcoming. (2018) From networked to quantified self: Self-tracking and the moral economy of data. In Papacharissi, Z. (ed.) A Networked Self: Platforms, Stories, Connections. New York: Routledge.
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.
Fotopoulou, A. (2017) Can data be neutral? This Side of Reality podcast, Brighton Digital Festival. Available from https://www.totallyradio.com/shows/this-side-of-reality/episodes/this-side-of-reality-12-oct-2017
Fotopoulou, A. (2016) Gender and self-tracking, Digital Health/Digital capitalism podcast, Episode 8, This is not a Sociology Blog. Available from https://thisisnotasociology.blog/2017/04/09/podcast-episode-8-aristea-fotopolou-gender-self-tracking-and-feminist-activism/
Fotopoulou, A. (2014). The Quantified Self community, lifelogging and the making of "smart" publics, Open Democracy: Participation NowSection , 10 September 2014.
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.
'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
Rising Star 2017, University of Brighton. Role: PI. Project title: Critical data literacy, creative media and social equality. £10,000.
Early Career Researcher Excellence Award, 2017. University of Brighton.
RCUK Digital Economy, New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE). Role: PI. Project title: Tracking biodata – issues of sharing and ownership. Research placement grant. £12,000 (plus extra £2.5 K) awarded for Research secondment in USA, Research Center Science & Justice, University of California, Santa Cruz, Jan-April 2014. Aimed to understand novel types of publics & communities emerging around practices of sharing data and self-tracking.
RCUK Digital Economy 'Communities and Culture' Network+ (EPSRC/CCN+). Network Grant. Role: Research Co-Investigator. Title: SUSNET Sustaining networked knowledge: expertise, feminist media production, art and activism. University of Sussex.
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.
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).
Expertise (as Research Assistant, Digital Economy Communities and Culture Network+. University of Sussex, PI Caroline Bassett).