Communication technologies can give victims of disaster a voice. But those who are most in need are not heard because they lack access to these technologies and the skills to use them, writes Mirca Madianou.
As protesters demand justice following a violent attack against a domestic worker in Sri Lanka, Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam asks: "Isn’t it about time that we all became sick and tired of the exploitation of the vulnerability of all those who live and work in our homes?"
With notions of ‘Britishness’ at the forefront of political and social debate, do we actually know what this concept means?
The concept of Britishness is complex, problematic and ambiguous – it means different things to different people. Classifying the national identities of nearly 64 million people in one definition does not mirror the complexity and diversity of people’s identities.
In our short video, Professor Aeron Davis, joint director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths, explains how "even in 1997 when, supposedly, the Labour Party had made great efforts to become pro-business, only seven per cent of the captains of industry voted for Labour. 69% voted Conservative and things haven't changed much".
In our short video, Dr Alberto Toscano comments on the televised debate of 16 April, which saw Ed Miliband (Labour), Nigel Farage (UKIP), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) and Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) discuss key issues without the Prime Minster, David Cameron.
Every so often I write thoughts and responses to what's going on around me, sometimes political, sometimes educational, sometimes personal, sometimes experimental, says Michael Rosen, Professor of Children's Literature, writer, poet, performer and broadcaster. Here you'll find some of his new political poetry, inspired by a General Election that seems to have involved even more sleights of hand than usual.
This year’s election is said to be the hardest one to call since the Second World War. In this short video, Dr Will Davies, joint director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths, explains why such unpredictable forces have been unleashed.
Ellie Levenson, lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications and author of the children’s picture book, The Election, argues that it is vitally important to introduce children to politics early.
"There’s a growing and very powerful cynicism or apathy or contempt for the political sphere as a whole," explains Dr Alberto Toscano, joint director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, in our short video.
Dr Dave O’Brien, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths and Dr Ben Walmsley, Lecturer in Audience Engagement at the University of Leeds, explore the state of arts funding in England today, and explain why the use of Lottery money to compensate for cuts in core funding is highly controversial.
In our short video, Professor Aeron Davis, joint director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths, explains that in the UK "we have the resemblance of growth and a resuscitated economy but the reality is a lot of it is built on a mirage".
To celebrate British Science Week (13-22 March), we share some of our academics’ stories and how their work is making waves within the science and technology industries.
Aminul Hoque's new book, British-Islamic Identity: Third-Generation Bangladeshis from East London is an account of the lives and multifaceted identities of six teenagers. Do they see themselves as Bangladeshi, British, Muslim, Londoners? None of these? Or all? In this article, Dr Hoque discusses the migrant story of non-belonging, the eternal search for a place to call ‘home’.
Historically, the sense of smell has played a crucial part in shaping the social and economic life of the city. But in a modern city so known for its visual and aural culture, is a Londoner’s sense of smell simply something to be sniffed at?
Telegraph chief political commentator Peter Oborne's resigation on the 17th February 2015 raises multiple issues concerning journalistic integrity at a time when public trust in institutions is virtually non-existent, writes Professor Des Freedman. Will any of the big parties pledge serious media reform in their manifestos?
Dr Heidi Mirza spoke at St Paul’s Cathedral to commemorate 50 years since Dr Martin Luther King Jr addressed an audience in the same venue. During the week SELMA is released in UK cinemas, Heidi reflects on her speech and how we can end racism today.
Dr James Moore from the Department of Psychology explains why lack of diversity in the science community is a concern, and why we must tackle the under-representation of people from low-income backgrounds.
The author of ‘Michel Houellebecq and The Literature of Despair’, Dr Carole Sweeney, Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature wrote for The Conversation on Houellebecq’s latest novel ‘Soumission’, which was published just hours before the attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January 2015.
After the horrific attacks on Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed, many have turned to social media to express their feelings, show solidarity with the attack’s victims, or to produce or consume information regarding the attack. Reader in Sociology Dr Dhiraj Murthy explains how and why people use social media in times of crisis.
Dr Alex Rhys Taylor analyses the outrage from both social and mainstream media over the launch of a cereal cafe on Brick Lane. Was public indignation centred more around the gentrification of east London, or on the infantile regression of adults eating cereal in public?
Researcher, Michael Cook is named on Forbes 2015 Top 30 Under 30 for his research project ANGELINA, an artificial intelligence expert that can design its own original games.
PhD Researcher John Woolf, has produced a series of documentaries with the BBC. After pitching his PhD topic, 'freak shows in the nineteenth century' John was asked to work with the BBC as a researcher to produce two documentaries The Real Tom Thumb and Queen Victoria’s Letters: A Monarch Revealed.
Dr Johnna Montgomerie examines the FCA's new credit cap and questions the impact to payday lenders in Britain.
On World Habitat Day, Dan McQuillan, Lecturer in Creative and Social Computing explores how smart-city sensor technology can empower or disempower slum dwellers.
The Apple Watch is just the latest exciting development in wearable technology. But the prospect of consumers interacting with Siri on their smartwatches also hints at another impending revolution in how we access digitised knowledge. Today, we stand on the brink of the third wave of computing – where machines become capable of learning and self-reflexively developing knowledge about the people and objects around them.
Angela McRobbie comments on some of the failures of the British care system, in relation to children and young people. But reflects on past models of good practice, especially those which were associated with feminist youth work projects from the mid 1970s, and how these models are well worth remembering, and even reviving in the Rotherham case in the UK.
"We need a newly invigorated national conversation around the future of RE in the UK, one that addresses the lack of clarity about how and where learning about religion and belief should take place, what it should consist of, and what it should be for."
Adam Dinham speaks about concerns that religious education is letting children down in this country, and why religion is still important.
In the UK and other parts of the Western world, the notion that we are progressing towards a better future has been a consistent, if not entirely uninterrupted, ideal. But in recent years, this idea seems to be changing and it doesn't bode well for a future that's more socially equal.
"That so much attention is now being placed on FGM and forced marriage is good news. But we cannot escape the possibility that there is a certain level of hypocrisy in the UK government's drive."
Pat Caplan talks about the government's recent drive, as seen in the Girl Summit led by William Hague and Angelina Jolie, to end female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.
There was a brief flurry of panic as Ofqual, the UK government agency charged with looking after school qualifications, left both film studies and media studies out of the list of subjects students would be allowed to take after a big reform they are pushing through. The good news is that they are safe … for now.
100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, Richard Grayson tells us the story of his great uncle Jimmy, and how this turned him into an historian.
Just before the summer break the government pushed through the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIP) in less than three days. Marianne Franklin talks about how this new legislation will legitimise questionable levels of surveillance in the online environment.
Ahead of the 100 year commemoration of the First World War, Carrie Paechter tells the story of her grandfather - a man celebrated for his efforts in the War, but later sent to Auschwitz by Hitler's government.
"The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has found a tool to enable it to strike targets it should not be striking at all - targets of little military effect, in built-up areas that house many civilians. Since it now has such a tool, the IDF will go on using it until somebody forces them to stop. Confronting Israeli tactics of warning is now a matter of utmost urgency."
Following Facebook's recent controversy over its psychological 'experiment', Dhiraj Murthy argues that Facebook could learn a thing or two from a university's approach to ethics.
Endorsement of exorcism by the Vatican will do nothing to prevent future tragedies like the death of Victoria Climbié, as Chris French explains.
When asked by Richard Grayson about his family's involvement in the First World War, Jan Plamper was stumped. He did not know. In this piece, originally published in the Independent, Jan explores why he and other Germans are so uncomfortable about their military past.
It's tempting to dismiss visionaries as being a bit "out there" but don't forget that many of the best ideas and most deeply held values were once derided by the mainstream.
Lionel Laborie from the Department of History looks at prophets in the modern era.
The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 triggered the First World War, the causes of which are deeply complex. Disagreements regarding the responsibility for and legacy of the war seem to have exacerbated in the centenary year, which provides an opportunity for Dejan Djokić to revisit and contextualize the assassination.
Following allegations that Luis Suárez bit opposition player Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's game against Italy, Ariel Hessayon outlines football's violent and bloody past. From kickabouts with the heads of defeated enemies, to stabbings, football was (and clearly still is) a sport rooted in violence.
"Muslim girls are simultaneously 'hypervisible' due to the Islamophobic rhetoric that is flying off the front pages and around the playground, and yet, at the same time, invisible, caught-up in the anti-feminist backlash of the failing boys debate."
Following the 'Trojan horse' fiasco, Heidi Mirza talks about Muslim girls in education.
With England out of the World Cup in the group stages, Suzanne Martin reflects on the horrifying fact that domestic violence incidents spiked by 38% in some areas when England lose a match.
Julia Hope has worked as a refugee support teacher for 12 years. In these 12 years, she has found that children's literature can play a huge role in helping refugee children to understand their experiences, but also help others understand and sympathise with the plights they have faced.
"One girl always comes to mind. A young girl who had fled the Congo and was barely able to speak let alone talk about what she had been through. Years later when she could not only laugh and chat with people, but speak out with confidence for her fellow countrymen and women who were still suffering, I knew that it was art therapy which had enabled her to do so."
Gorkan Ahmetoglu and Patrick Fagan don't think that the talent on the pitch at this year's World Cup is all that good. They also don't think that it is talent alone that will win the World Cup. They both look at how personality types like conscientiousness and agreeableness could go a long way to help win the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Professor Des Freedman, from the Department of Media and Communications, explains why Ed Miliband's decision to pose with the Sun was a strategic blunder.
Gisela Castro is a Visiting Tutor from Brazil. On the day the World Cup kicks off, she talks about why she and her fellow country men and women are ambivalent about the World Cup - ranging from the huge financial costs to put on a tournament of this scale, to the ill-conceived demands being placed on Brazil by FIFA.
With the World Cup about to kick off, there are many out there who have no idea about the history of this long-loved sport. If you love football, you're probably only aware of its history from recent times. But football has a long, gruesomely violent, and hugely interesting past. And so begins a tale of how a violent peasant pastime became a multi-million pound industry.
Jamaica has the double problem of being described as "the most homophobic place on earth", but also being one of those places where little or no research is done to explain these anti-gay sentiments. This is why Keon West, together with colleagues from the University of the West Indies, conducted the largest piece of research into its kind, to try to find out exactly why Jamaicans hate gay people so much.
"The question we might want to ask ourselves today is whether contemporary Europe is confronting a Muslim question similar to the Jewish question 170 years ago. Is European antipathy towards Muslims comparable to that first stage of hatred towards Jews, a hatred that culminated in one of the darkest pages of human history?"
Anamik joined the Department of Media and Communications in January 2014. This is his third stint at Goldsmiths, though his first as a member of staff. He is particularly interested in identity and popular culture, and diversity in the media.
How did mounting inequality succeed in proving culturally and politically attractive for as long as it did? Will Davies writes that rather than speak in terms of generating more inequality, policy-makers have always favoured another term, which effectively comes to the same thing: competitiveness. In this article, and in a new book, he attempts to understand the ways in which political authority has been reconfigured in terms of the promotion of competitiveness.
In the political economy of modern dying, Stephen's Sutton's death from cancer - wrapped up in cheery charity fundraising - made headlines, while the worst ever Turkish mining disaster went under the radar.
Writing is something of a lawless place. Lawless, because there's no clear indication that your effort will bring success; or that an answer will ever emerge from the mud; or that the most insane, most unpromising idea won't reward you eventually.
A fast train passes the platform of an Overground station. Statistics show that one in ten people standing on that platform may be considering jumping under this train. Statistics also suggest that this is less likely to be the one carrying a yoga matt.
Christy Kulz, Associate Lecturer in Sociology, recently published in-depth research into an academy school in London which found "inequalities of race and class are reinforced through its practices, despite appeals to equality". In this article she visits and reflects on the Academies Show in London - a a dedicated event focusing on all aspects of converting and managing Academy schools.
"I celebrate the way she has confidently challenged gender norms especially in a time when ultra-conservative groups like UKIP and openly homophobic regimes in Russia, Africa and Eastern Europe, seem to be on the rise. To these bigots Conchita is showing them the clenched-fist salute with middle finger extended."
Natacha Kennedy discusses Conchita Wurst's Eurovision win this weekend, and the implications that this may have on the acceptance of the trans community.
In addition to charting cultural trends, there are other realities behind the impetus to desensitise death and dying. Encouraging people to talk about their end-of-life choices is thought to be one way of moving towards better end-of-life care, but this is only part of the story. Death plans and choices are also constrained by who you are, where you live and what you are dying from.
There is evidence to suggest that a high level of psychological flexibility, something LGBT employees often need to develop at work, can help people cope better, and indeed flourish, in the workplace.
Emma Dabiri argues that the tragedy of the two hundred girls kidnapped in Nigeria will never be as high-profile a story as individual western kidnap victims – and points part of the blame at the Nigerian authorities.
"The recent tabloid attacks on foodbanks shows once again why reform of the media is so urgent." - Professor Des Freedman, from the Department of Media and Communications, argues there is a serious problem with news diversity in the UK.
UNESCO's International Jazz Day is designed to celebrate the music for promoting "peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity." Quite right: over more than a century, jazz’s players, listeners and promoters have done all those things.
But they have also done the exact opposite. Jazz has been a loudspeaker through which governments have asserted ideology and exerted power.
UNESCO's warm-milk platitudes are hardly objectionable. But that's the point. In soothing away the rough-and-tumble of jazz's past, that language seems not just to recognise the music, but also to help render it lame.
"David Cameron wants to appeal to those I describe as 'ethnic Christians' who do not attend church, do not believe in core tenets of Christianity – the resurrection, for example – but want to claim national and moral superiority by aligning themselves to what they perceive as the national identity. This apparently closed, fixed identity characterises the nation and not, of course, those 'others' who arrive as immigrants, or even their children."
Abby Day speaks about David Cameron's recent rhetoric around Christianity.
On April the 25, the last 21 years of urban 'regeneration' in Deptford will be discussed in an event at Goldsmiths, organised by the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR) in collaboration with local historian Jess Steele. The event will take place at Deptford Town Hall in New Cross.
In this article, Francisco Calafate-Faria discusses the history of 'regeneration' in Deptford throughout history, and most specifically, since the establishment of the CUCR.
"One reason I am so excited to be coming to work on this new degree is that it combines many disparate elements of my career and intellectual interests to date."
Will Davies has just started at Goldsmiths this April (2014). He will be leading on the development of the new Politics, Philosophy & Economics degree. In his Just Joined, Will goes into detail about his time studying his PhD at Goldsmiths, and his career to date.
Twenty years. The Rwandan genocide took place nearly fifty years after the Holocaust. On the eve of the genocide of 1994, people were certain to have learned the lesson of Auschwitz. And yet how wrong they were.
Will we do the same in twenty years time? Will our collective amnesia make us once again scandalised and powerless? Yes, this is the moment when we need to remember and reflect. This is the moment to mark this twentieth anniversary with as much gravity as possible.
With the smog in London dominating the news, Jennifer Gabrys talks about her European Research Council funded project Citizen Sense, which will investigate how successful citizen-led activities can be in monitoring air quality and helping to alleviate pollution. In this article, she talks about how you can help clear the smog out of London.
On World Autism Awareness Day (2 April), Head of Psychology, Elisabeth Hill, asks the question: "what happens when children on the spectrum leave education and enter into the world of employment?"
With best estimates indicating that 80% of adults with Asperger Syndrome (i.e. a proportion of those at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum) have been unable to secure long term employment, Elisabeth argues that more time, money and research needs to be invested into autism in employment.
"The incessant demands of online digitality generate a curious paradox. In one sense, we never live in the present - we start to live in a mode whereby everything is experienced in advance as a Facebook photo-opportunity or Twitter quip. In another sense, we never get beyond the now."
Following his talk at Keeping Tracks at the British Library, Mark Fisher talks about who owns the future...
"The tradition of literary Decadence is not for the faint-hearted." - Dr Jane Desmarais, Senior Lecturer in English & Comparative Literature, explores the relationship of Decadence and the senses ahead of a conference on the subject due to be hosted at Goldsmiths.
On World Poetry Day, Blake Morrison writes a poem in the sestina form for Our Academics.
We are prone to see intent rather than accident in the unexplained. Cue conspiracy theories when a plane goes missing, says Rob Brotherton from the Department of Psychology.
Ahead of the launch of her new book, Digital Dilemmas, Marianne Franklin writes about how corporate and state powers are looking to own and control our every day lives. Whether we want to admit or not, Franklin argues, Big Brother is watching us online. And Big Brother is not necessarily our own government, but someone else's. Big Brother is not a government acting on its own - data collection and retention is being done as we fill up our petrol tanks, withdraw or move money online, enrol in university, or exit the country.
Adam Dinham, Professor of Faith and Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, reflects over the relation between the Church, the state and the social care of our communities and what role The Church of England should play in facilitating multi-faith social action.
Today, is a nervous day for the arts and cultural world, as funding for the Arts Council's National Portfolio closes. While applications for funding are assessed, Gerald Lidstone argues that sometimes, the nature of arts funding is 'survival of the fittest'. Arts organisations will fall to the waste side fighting for funding. But that isn't always a bad thing.
Dr Carla Figueira, Director of the MA in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy and the MA in Cultural Policy and Tourism, explains why in today's super-connected world, cultural diplomacy and cultural relations cannot be effectively served by career diplomats only.
Whether the UK is in recovery or not depends on who you ask and, more importantly, the political stake they have in the answer. However, there is very little acknowledgement that these are all merely surface disagreements because, whatever spin politicians put on new economic figures, Britain's political elite are in lock-step in their support of finance-led growth both past and present.
Johnna Montgomerie argues that is no longer enough to think of a 'recovery' from finance-led growth, but that we need a 'discovery' of potential futures for the UK economy.
The film world is still quite suspicious of art as film, film as art, artists' films and other varieties of this relationship. But gallery artists like Steve McQueen, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are standing their ground and proving that they can make great filmmakers on their own terms, and on the terms of the mainstream itself.
Nina Danino discusses how the film world is opening up and taking notice of artists' skills and taking them seriously as producers of films .
Carrie Paechter from the Department of Educational Studies on why she found it so hard to be a married feminist.
Will the so-called Honeyball Resolution, adopted by the EU Parliament on 26 February, contribute to gender equity or further marginalise sex workers? Sophie Day from the Department of Anthropology has her say.
Welcome to the world of computing! I hope it is all that you hoped. It may not be quite what you expected, writes Kate Devlin from the Department of Computing
Sara R Farris from the Department of Sociology asks us to consider what feasts we celebrate during International Women’s Day.
If the media are to change how they portray women, they'll need more than a new Getty stock photo collection says Angela Phillips from the Department of Media and Communications.
Mass migration is a huge issue in China's fast-growing cities, deepening existing anxieties about urban sprawl, the overheated real estate markets, overcrowding, land disputes, and social unrest. Caroline Knowles explores two very different migrant experiences in Beijing: those of UK migrants, and those of internal migrants.
Find out more about Dr Rachel Doern who joined the Institute of Management Studies in January 2014 after being attracted to Goldsmiths' inter-disciplinary nature, its creative heritage and strong emphasis on research.
Mijke van der Drift, who is studying a PhD in the Centre for Cultural Studies, talks about their work as programmer of TranScreen, the Amsterdam Transgender Film Festival, how film is important to the trans* community, and how Goldsmiths is getting involved this year.
Cisgenderism is tacit. This means that, although it is ubiquitous, it is communicated without language. People don't go round saying "gender is unchangeable, fixed at birth, etc.", it is something we take for granted and have grown up knowing without actually having to be told in so many words.
Natacha Kennedy discusses cisgenderism is, what it is, and the implications of a cisgenderist society.
Anna Carlile writes about what it's like to be a lesbian mum in the playground. She explains how sometimes the expectation of a negative response can be worse than the actual experience.
Trans is a word in its own right now, rather than simply an abbreviation of 'transsexual'. The meaning of trans is still changing and developing, while other understandings of gender, such as gender-queer and gender-fluid, are also being established. In this article, Andolie Marguerite tries to understand how trans youth speak their identities.
Professor Angela McRobbie remembers Stuart Hall, the influential cultural theorist who died on Monday 10 February aged 82.
Research suggests 88% of men buy presents for Valentine's Day - the most popular being cards, plush toys, candy, flowers and jewellery. Pointless tat, in essence. But why do men do this? Patrick Fagan explores a number of different psychological studies to try to answer this very question.
It is often said that, without interns, London Fashion Week wouldn't run at all. It is an issue that has not changed much for the better over recent years, despite increased scrutiny and media attention. But, as Ruby Hoette and Sian Prime explore, it is taking its toll not only on the interns but on the very fabric of the fashion industry.
Ruby and Sian will be taking part in a live chat on all topics to do with fashion on Monday 17 February at 1pm. Send your questions into @GoldsmithsUOL using #fashchat.
Eva Aldea, who specialises in the intersection of literature, philosophy and contemporary fiction, she answers questions about progress, evolution and why human culture may not be that unique after all.
On Saturday 8 March 2014, Goldsmiths will host a one-day conference on vampires, jointly organised by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) and the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU) at Goldsmiths.
Professor Chris French, Head of the APRU, outlines the many perspectives that researchers have taken in exploring this intriguing phenomenon.
Through original interviews shot in London, Berlin and New York, twelve artists unfolded their individual stories of creative possibilities through accessible and affordable forms of moving-image technology. Taken together, their narratives add up to an idiosyncratic romp through four decades of avant-garde experiment, from the Warholian underground, to contemporary cabaret, club performance and gallery art. Gavin Butt and Ben Walters talk about their film, This Is Not A Dream.
When Cameron used the phrase 'progressive conservatism' many assumed that he was moving the party to the centre and would promote some form of social justice. Not so, says Simon Griffiths. Cameron's progressive conservatism can be seen, therefore, as progressive in the same specific – and less used – sense that Thatcherism was: the state has become an obstacle to progress rather than its conduit, and progress is equated with radical marketisation.
In popular culture, the great English polymath Alan Turing is perhaps best remembered for his work on the BOMBE, the giant electro-mechanical devices that broke the German Enigma code. Mark Bishop talks about how Turing is also known in the world of Artificial Intelligence for his seminal reflections on machine intelligence.
Dr Ayesha Hameed has joined the Department of Visual Cultures as a Lecturer and Joint Programme Leader of the BA Honours in Fine Art and History of Art. This follows her position as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, and continues her role as Research Fellow with the ERC-funded Forensic Architecture project.
Why did Madonna use the n-word on Instagram? And why is it that what happens online is perceived as less 'real' than what happens offline? Dhiraj Murthy answers all.
Over the last ten years, Facebook has gone from being an unknown website to a social network we can't imagine life without. But it's easy to forget that like all social networks, it's really just a mirror of the real world. Professor Jonathan Freeman speaks to The Sun.
On Facebook's ten year anniversary, Dhiraj Murthy discusses the impact Facebook has had on the world, and what will kill it off.
The first Monday of February is the day that most people pull a sickie. Patrick Fagan discusses why this is so, and also why pulling a sickie isn't always such a bad thing...
Ahead of Chinese New Year, Dr Yunxiang Chen from the Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance explains the Chinese Zodiac and its significance in Chinese society.
When Tony Blair claims it is religious or cultural difference that will fuel 21st century wars, not the ideologies that caused past wars he shows only a skewed notion of religion's place in society and history. He projects a narrow idea of what it means to be religious, and diverts attention from other, more systemic problems.
Patrick Fagan explores the psychology behind the increasing cost of train travel, from the rail companies hiking up the prices, to the commuter who moans and grumbles but continues to pay.
Anna has moved to Goldsmiths from the University of Sydney, where she was based in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies. She is interested in generating new stories about disadvantaged and disabled youth in ways that do not re-inscribe marginalisation. Her work can be described as a cultural studies approach to youth arts as a subcultural form of humanities education.
Dhiraj Murthy talks about the controversy around Lisa Bonchek Adams, a breast cancer patient, and Emma Keller, a US journalist who describes Lisa's tweeting about her cancer as 'TMI'.
Caroline Knowles from the Department of Sociology discusses how, upon death, the lives of divisive leaders are reduced to saints and sinners. With Nelson Mandela beatified as a saint, and Margaret Thatcher reduced to a sinner, how will Ariel Sharon be interpreted?
Sharon leaves behind a legacy of construction and destruction that has shaped today's Israel and Palestine.
Rebecca Fiebrink has joined Goldsmiths as a Lecturer in the Department of Computing. See more about Rebecca's academic career which encompasses working on technologies to help people create new instruments, work on a number iTunes app, and work as an Assistant Professor at Princeton University.
Can a mere jumper, whether Christmas themed in a traditional or novelty way, possibly contribute in any way to a real Christmas feeling? Ruby Hoette questions the authenticity of the Christmas jumper trend.
Beware of your brain this Christmas. Patrick Fagan lists eight ways that our brain tricks us into splashing our Christmas cash...
If you’re looking to write that next catchy holiday hit that just won’t leave peoples’ heads, there are a few things that research from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths may help you with.
Gift-giving is possibly the most sacred Christmas act we can perform, and not just because it’s what the Wise Men did when they arrived at the crib bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
In this year's festive John Lewis advert, why do they use stop motion? In this article, Ceiren Bell questions the common assumptions surrounding animation and its connection to deeply problematic notions of authenticity, integrity and tradition; notions inextricably linked to the idea of Christmas.
South Africa – and the world – has said its formal goodbye to Nelson Mandela. It was a celebration of a life gloriously lived, an event that united us as a global family. But at the centre of an increasingly acrimonious family dispute over the location of Mandela's eventual grave site lie the bodies of his own three children, who died in 1947, 1969 and 2005.
Dr Alexander Watson has joined Goldsmiths as a Lecturer in History. He specialises in Central Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, especially during the First World War.
"Why is memory of the First World War still controversial in Ireland?"
Taking a stance of researching 'military history from the street', Head of History at Goldsmiths and Professor of Twentieth Century History, Richard Grayson works closely with community groups, especially in Northern Ireland, as they tackle issues around remembrance.
"Britain’s recovery, the little bit of economic growth finally experienced after years of economic malaise, is built on household debt." - Goldsmiths Economist Dr Johnna Montgomerie comments on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement
"How will people continue to develop an understanding of the social world as it is changing?"
Professor Angela McRobbie combines the study of different dimensions of youth culture with a commentary on development in cultural theory and politics. Her essays reflect on young women and the contemporary world of neo-liberal culture and neo-liberal politics.
"How do we experience the world? What can we learn about the way we experience the world? How can we apply this to all the things we do?"
Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, Kate Devlin is a qualified computer scientist and archaeologist who combines both disciplines into her research on digital cultural heritage. She also works in human-computer interaction (HCI), applying knowledge of perception to assess how people interact with, and react to technology.
Britain (Europe, America and much of the so-called advanced industrial world) is in the grips of seemingly never-ending crises. It is a financial crisis, a debt crisis, a growth crisis, a political crisis of the elites, a socio-economic crisis of inequality. The good news is that the winds of change are blowing and a new excitement is in the air. This time there is real potential for meaningful change because the demands for new ways of thinking are coming from the young.
Halloween will bring many of us into contact with what we can all agree is the harmless side of ghouls, ghosts and all things paranormal. But there are many people who experience seemingly unexplainable 'paranormal' experiences on a regular basis, and for them it is far from harmless. Professor Christopher French critically examines these 'paranormal' experiences through the lens of psychology.
Lecturer in International Politics, Dr Bernadette Buckley is interested quite simply, in why things are the way the are.
Her research investigates the connections and disconnections between art and politics and explores the kinds of resistance to looking at these connections and disconnections.
Dr Julia Ng joined the Centre for Cultural Studies in September. She is currently working on two book projects: the first, Conditions of Impossibility; and the second, Body, Force, Right: Towards a Literary Theory of Posthumous Life.
"Everything comes down to the relationship between everyday assumptions and what research can do to unsettle those assumptions.”
Emma has been at Goldsmiths for over ten years researching various aspects of visual culture. In particular her research looks at material culture, issues of dress, identity and cultural politics linked to appearances. Her work investigates the relationship between cities, urban environments and people’s experiences in relation to state policies.
Dr Keon West has joined Goldsmiths as a Lecturer in Social Psychology. His research focuses on understanding and improving relations between people of different social groups. In particular, he focuses on applications and extensions of Contact Theory that can be used to reduce bias and prejudice.
“How can theory, thinking, and critical thought impact on practice?”
“Can art help change the current education system and the disruptions that are happening within the UK?”
Professor Rob Imrie joined the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths in October 2013. He has a background in geography, sociology, and planning studies, and a doctorate in industrial sociology. He was previously Professor of Geography at Kings College London and at Royal Holloway University of London.
Anja Kanngieser joined the Department in Sociology in September. Anja is a lecturer with a background in geography and communication studies. Prior to joining Goldsmiths, Anja was at Royal Holloway, doing an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geography.
In a hyper-connected world, the regulation of movement is more complex and technologically sophisticated. It is not just that migrants face institutionalised forms of marginalisation – without leave to remain they cannot work or have recourse to public funds – they also have to live with a sense of insecurity enhanced by the mobile phone in the palm of their hands.
“My interests have always been in the idea that performance making is a laboratory process and that it is rooted in the body.”
As head of the Department of Theatre and Performance and leader of the MA in Performance Making programme at Goldsmiths, Anna Furse was one of the first generation of women directors in the UK, who uniquely combined feminist concerns with Laboratory theatre research in the late 1970s.
Georgina Hosang joins Goldsmiths as a Lecturer in Psychology following positions at Middlesex University and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Her research focuses on the role of life adversity on the development and course of psychiatric and physical disorders.
"If any single article demonstrates the abuse of press power, the Daily Mail's hatchet job on Ralph Miliband, the father of Labour leader Ed Miliband, has got to be right up there with the best of them."
The astonishing rise of firms like Twitter (founded just seven years ago, yet now expected to float for $10bn), is often seen as a grand romantic narrative – an exciting story, difficult to predict. But transformation, disruption, and change should be easier to forecast.
For the average soldier on the Western Front, very little happened on a day-to-day basis. Even when soldiers were at the front line, they watched and waited. Boredom was a major problem. But the prospect of action gave soldiers plenty of opportunity to feel not just boredom, but fear. Both could be relieved by humour. And The Wipers Times was partly a product of soldiers' need to tackle both the boredom and the fear.
Dr Evelyn Ruppert joined the Department of Sociology in April 2013 from the Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change (CRESC), a collaboration between the Open University and the University of Manchester. She is a data sociologist and her research focuses on how different socio-technical arrangements organise and constitute populations as objects of knowledge and governing.
Vigilante archetypes and the spread of 'real life superheroes'
The exponential rise of superheroes throughout popular culture is seeing a corresponding increase in related news stories: the Burka Avenger’s role model status in the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a portly gentleman dressed as Batman handing over a wanted criminal to the police in Bradford, or the galling details of the Aurora theatre killings are just the tip of the iceberg.
Following the arrest of man in connection to abuse aimed at Caroline Criado-Perez on Twitter; an online petition demanding a Twitter abuse button has reached nearly 75,000 signatures.
Cognitive psychologist Fiona Gabbert joins Goldsmiths as a Reader in Psychology following posts at Abertay University and Aberdeen University. Her research interests are centralised around the strengths and weaknesses of human memory.
Gabbert’s PhD focused on Social Influences on Memory, exploring how remembering with others in a social context can have both positive and negative influences on the quantity and quality of information recalled from memory. This research has generated a lot of interest, as the majority of previous psychological research focuses only on individual memorial performance.
London-based visual artist Oreet Ashery has joined Goldsmiths as a Lecturer in Fine Art (Studio Practice). Her practice is based in visual art, working in performance, still and moving image, objects and writing, mainly in the context of post-identity and minority discourses. She continuously explores the participatory nature of events, situations and public platforms.
A day may soon be approaching that most South Africans hope will never come - the day their former President, and beloved standard-bearer of the nation, Nelson Mandela dies.
At 94 years-old, his declining health has been well documented and - though it might have bypassed us here in the UK - his future funeral has already become the source of much controversy.
Last night the deafening frequency of the sirens was reminiscent of London after the 7th July bombings, as the police cars and vans hurtled down the New Cross Road towards Woolwich. It is the soundtrack of the ‘war on terror’ and lasted deep into the night. Against this piercing sonic backdrop the streets remained unnerving quiet and without people. Most residents stayed inside watching the news of violence in familiar places unfold on screens via Twitter, Facebook and often last of all the TV news. It was as if South East London was holding its breath.
The greatest achievement of the Victorian era was the public library. Machine-readable catalogues were the precursor to the web, which still has some of the utopian orientation of the library voiced in Antonio Panizzi's evidence to the Select Committee on the British Museum in 1836:
"I want a poor student to have the same means of indulging his learned curiosity, of following his rational pursuits, of consulting the same authorities, of fathoming the most intricate inquiry as the richest man in the kingdom, as far as books go, and I contend that the Government is bound to give him the most liberal and unlimited assistance in this respect."
'White Working Class Children': Classism, Racism, 'Extremism', And the Young Voters of 2015
Young people are an easy target for new governments. They don't vote; their voice is not yet taken seriously; and any policy embedded in schools both represents and functions as the projection of political ideology into the future.
“Goldsmiths allows me to think about the socio-cultural consequences of how sound can play in everyday life.”
Operating at the intersection of sonic arts, soundscape studies, and acoustics, Drever’s work represents an inquiry into the practice and design of environmental sound and human utterance. He has a BMus from University of Bangor, MMus from the University of East Anglia, a PhD from Dartington College of Arts and a Diploma from the Institute of Acoustics.
The government has announced it is setting the minimum price per unit of alcohol at 45p. Much has been written about the potential effectiveness of this policy on reducing problematic and binge drinking. Other than the stated aims of this policy, I believe there are some rather troubling broader issues.
Let’s start by focusing on who are the winners and the losers of this policy. The obvious beneficiary is the alcohol industry who, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is set to receive an increase in revenues in excess of £850m.
Professor Anna Furse was one of the first generation of women directors in the UK, who uniquely combined feminist concerns with Laboratory theatre research in the late 1970s.
Anna began the project "The art of ART*" after she herself had a baby using IVF methods. During this experience, she encountered all sorts of relationships between her body and medical technologies. Converting this real-life experience into a series of performance works that have been commissioned by the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Anna drew inspiration from 3D and 4D ultrasound technologies.
The European Convention of Human Rights is not popular in the UK. Nor is the European Court of Human Rights given its role in the Abu Qatada extradition affair. Despite a belief that civil liberties are a domestic matter, mobilisation against the UK Communications Data Bill highlighted how governmental “snooping” of ordinary people online is very much about human rights, like privacy and freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and British law.
Senior Research Fellow in, and Project Coordinator of, the ERC funded project: Forensic Architecture, Centre for Research Architecture, Susan Schuppli is a practicing artist and cultural theorist.
Forensic Architecture refers to the presentation of spatial analysis within contemporary legal and political forums. The project undertakes research that maps, images, and models sites of violence within the framework of international humanitarian law and human rights.
Unilever's double standards in cleaning up a mercury contaminated site and compensating affected workers in its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, India, came up for criticism by shareholders during the AGM of Unilever PLC in London.
This AGM intervention was noteworthy because Unilever is widely regarded as having an exemplary reputation in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. The AGM intervention comes at a time when the UK public is paying particular attention to the behaviour of the country’s corporations.
Businesses can now record pretty much everything we do while we're at work, and they can find out a lot about what we're up to when we're not at work.
For Human Resources departments, having access to ‘big data’ is great progress. But what they really need are big insights, and how to get to this heightened level of understanding hasn't been worked through. Examples put forward by proponents of HR data analytics to date show we're making progress, but they tend to link data within rather than across HR functions, and so they represent isolated advances in narrow pockets of the information frontier.
Goldsmiths, University of London is packing away the stalls after the last Open Day of the academic year. As an institution we are putting more effort than ever before in reaching out to our potential students so that they will choose us come September.
It has also meant that we are doing more outreach work to schools where students will be the ‘first in family’ if they attend higher education. The publication this week of research showing that a falling proportion of ‘socially disadvantaged’ students are attending Russell Group universities is particularly telling.
“My research is about trying to find new ways of exploring creative activity through technology with a wide range of different people and cultures.”
Dr. Mick Grierson is an experimental artist specialising in real-time interactive audiovisual research, with specific focus on cognition and perception. He works in film, music, and software development, both inside and outside industry, designing, developing and producing new approaches to creating audiovisual experience.
Saturday 29th June marks the 400th anniversary of the original Globe Theatre in London, built and owned by Shakespeare's company of players, being destroyed by fire.
‘See the World’s ruins’ said Ben Jonson as he surveyed the remains of the Globe after the fire that destroyed it that summer’s evening in 1613.
“Anthropology is important in highlighting both the differences and the commonalities across diverse cultures.”
Dr. Ricardo Leizaola is a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist specialising in visual anthropology and ethnobotany. Ricardo trained in anthropology at Venezuela (Universidad Central de Venezuela) and UK (Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology & Goldsmiths, University of London).
Whether you're a keen gamer yourself or subjected to those around you incessantly tapping away at their smartphone or games console, interactive gaming is becoming increasingly prominent in our daily lives. Rapid growth in personal and online games, and an influx in gaming being incorporated into digital media, advertising and education, has led to a growing gap in the market for skilled games programmers, designers and artists.
Sara's research interests include sociological theory; political sociology; international migration, focusing on female migration and care-domestic work; feminist theory and gender studies; theories of migrants’ integration; nationalism and racism; political economy; Marxist theory.
The Microsoft Kinect is the device that has promised to change the way we play games and interact with computers by making real time motion tracking possible on commodity hardware, but its potential doesn’t stop there. We've been exploring how it can massively expand the way players can customise their games.
Max Hattler teaches animation on BA (Hons) Media & Communications. He is a moving image artist who has had solo exhibitions across the world, his works have been shown at hundreds of film festivals as well as in museums and galleries and he has collaborated with music acts such as Basement Jaxx.
"Can you teach creative writing?"
Blake Morrison is best known for his autobiographical works ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’ and ‘Things My Mother Never Told Me’, which redefined the memoir form. He has also written fiction, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and libretti, and has adapted plays for the stage. Blake has been a Professor at Goldsmiths since 2003 and is the director of the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre.
Lecturer and Director of Digital Entrepreneurship within the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, Gorkan Ahmetoglu’s big question is ‘how do we increase our knowledge’?
Gorkan’s research focuses on the psychology of entrepreneurship. He is interested in the person, or people, behind entrepreneurial activity and aims through his research to capture ‘entrepreneurial potential’ - what it is, how it develops, and what entrepreneurial people do and achieve.
"The future of most created art of a high standard will be international, and I believe it is critical to combine different cultures in interesting ways."
As Director of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Gerald Lidstone find the most exciting thing about his research to be about working with diverse groups of people.
For Les Back, the big issue in his research is what it means for young people to ‘come of age’ in the 21st Century.
Author of the acclaimed book ‘The Art of Listening’, Les’ research focuses on the sociology of racism and ethnicity, popular culture and music, urban life, community, social divisions class, social theory and sociological methods.
"As we commemorate the Great War we must look beyond the popular myths of poetry and television."
Content last modified: 16 Jul 2015
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