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Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process

Marsha Rosengarten BA, Grad Dip Communications, MA, PhD

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7733

m.rosengarten (@gold.ac.uk)

Process-oriented theories, Science and Technology Studies, Feminist Theory (Butler), Queer Theory, Sexuality, Ethics.  

My academic career began in Australia as a mature age student after working in the non-government welfare sector on employment, housing and planning issues and thinking I wanted to make films. The more study I took—BA, Graduate Diploma in Communications with major in film and video production,  MA (by Research Thesis), PhD—the more engaged I became with the realm of ideas and ability of theory to turn the world I had assumed upside down or, at least, round about.


At the postgraduate level I contribute to the core courses of Theory, Concepts and Methods I & II in the MA Social Research and contribute to the core course ‘Gender, Affect & the Body’ in the MA Gender, Media and Culture. On some occasions I teach an option ‘Data Made Flesh’ which examines contemporary debates occurring in the social sciences/humanities that are linked to developments in the fields of biomedicine, biotechnology and science. At  undergraduate level, I teach an undergraduate option ‘Sex, Drugs and Technology,’ incorporating the work of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Giles Deleuze and others under the heading of Science and Technology Studies.

Areas of supervision

Process-oriented theories, Science and Technology Studies, Feminist critiques of matter, Sexuality, Ethics and Biomedicine.  I currently supervise six students covering topics ranging from the establishment of an archive on the history of HIV/AIDS in the UK,  the enactment of frequent attendance in Chilean primary care, enactments of HIV in UK and Polish clinical environments, an ethnography of HIV in a specialist antenatal clinic, Palestinian women’s experience of imprisonment, and   multisexual citizenship and human rights.

Professional activities

Unit of Play

In 2013, I set up the Unit of Play (UOP) with the intention of facilitating an intellectual space where ‘things,’ including theories, can be put into play in a manner that is distinct from but complementary to other Units and Research Centres in the Department of Sociology. The Unit ‘houses’ a number of projects, many linked to postgraduate research and others directed toward to methodological innovation in the social sciences and humanities on HIV.   One of the unique drivers of UOP is its commitment to provide opportunities for postgraduate students to take an active role in developing the intellectual culture of the College. The first event ‘Becoming a Nose’ involved two doctoral students participating in dialogue with a practitioner and Co-Director of CUCR. The Diagram Group (run over 2 terms) as well as a workshop on ‘Speculative Research and Practice: Workshop with Steven Shaviro’ brought together staff, academics beyond Goldsmiths and postgraduate students.   In 2014, doctoral students/members of UOP supported by the Goldsmiths/Queen Mary’s Doctoral Training Centre will convene a seminar series of international speakers in dialogue with postgraduates titled ‘Techniques of Existence.’  UOP houses The HIV Project Group (PhDs and Postdocs) in its work on methodological innovation and forging  international collaborative networks with ‘early scholars’ working on many aspects of HIV.  

During 2011-2013, I co-founded the Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV (ASSHH), the first international association to represent social scientists and humanities scholars in HIV and related areas. I was the first President of ASSHH and co-chaired its initial conference in Durban, SA in 2011 and the second in Paris, France in 2013. I am currently a director of the ASSHH Board and a member of the ASSHH Academy.

In addition to the above, I have been awarded the position of Visiting Fellow, Centre for Social Research in Health, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia: 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2016.


Research interests

I am especially interested in the possibilities afforded by process-oriented theories, including those identified with Science and Technology Studies (STS) for rethinking/reframing perceived challenges in the fields of health and medicine. In this sense my interest is primarily methodological although always motivated and responsive to a perceived empirical. Areas of special interest include the calculative and performative/exclusionary work of ‘gold’ standard randomized control trials, the materialization of the human immunodeficiency virus through diagnostic technologies and especially visualising technologies, innovative modes of ‘play’ in gay sexual cultures in dealing with HIV risk.  

Brocher Foundation (2014) in collaboration with Martin Saveransky and Prof Dan Neyland, Implementation Award. International Sympoosium: 'Is it feasible to conceive of ‘situated efficacy’?: A symposium on the distinction between efficacy and effectiveness in HIV health and medical research'. To be held in Geneva, February 2015

British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (2014. w/M. Savransky), Project: 'Towards a Concept of Situated Efficacy: An Alterntative Mode of Collaboration between Social Science and Biomedicine'.

Selected publications


Michael, Mike and Rosengarten, Marsha (accepted for publication) ‘HIV, Globalization and Topology: Of Prepositions and Propositions.' Theory, Culture and Society

Michael, Mike & Rosengarten, Marsha (forthcoming) Quantitative Objects and Qualitative Things: Ethics and HIV Biomedical Prevention in Objects and Materials. A Routledge Companion (eds) Eleanor Casella, Gillian Evans, Penelope Harvey, Hannah Knox, Chris Mclean, Elizabeth Silva, Nick Thoburn and Kath Woodward. Routledge.

Holt, Martin., Callander, Denton., Murphy, Dean., Ellard, Jeanne., Rosengarten, Marsha., Kippax, Susan and De Wit, John  (forthcoming) Willingness to use HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and the likelihood of decreased condom use are both associated with unprotected anal intercourse and the perceived likelihood of becoming HIV-positive among Australian gay and bisexual men Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Rosengarten, Marsha and Michael, Mike. 2009. The performative function of expectations in translating treatment to prevention: The case of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Social Science & Medicine, 69(7), pp. 1049-1055. ISSN 0277-9536 [Article]

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2009. Commentaries on the nature of social and cultural research: Interviews on HIV/AIDS with Judy Auerbach, Susan Kippax, Steven Epstein, Didier Fassin, Barry Adam and Dennis Altman. Social Theory & Health, 7(3), pp. 284-304. ISSN 1477-8211 [Article]

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2009. HIV/AIDS in its third decade: Renewed critique in social and cultural analysis – An introduction. Social Theory & Health, 7(3), ISSN 1477-8211 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha and Michael, Mike. 2009. Rethinking the Bioethical Enactment of Medically Drugged Bodies: Paradoxes of Using Anti-HIV Drug Therapy as a Technology for Prevention. Science as Culture, 18(2), pp. 183-199. ISSN 0950-5431 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2009. HIV Interventions: Biomedicine and the Traffic between Information and Flesh.Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0295989426  Winner of 2010 Sociology of Health & Illness Book Prize.

Rosengarten, Marsha, Michael, Mike, Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Imrie, J. 2008. The challenges of technological innovation in HIV. The Lancet, 372(9636), pp. 357-358. ISSN 0140-6736 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2006. AIDS, Rhetoric, and Medical Knowledge - Alex Preda (book review). British Journal of Sociology, 57(4), pp. 728-730. ISSN 0007-1315 [Article]

Flowers, Paul, Davis, Mark, Hart, Graham, Rosengarten, Marsha and Imrie, John. 2006. Diagnosis and stigma and identity amongst HIV positive Black Africans living in the UK. Psychology and Health, 21(1), pp. 109-122. ISSN 0887-0446 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2005. The Measure of HIV as a Matter of Bioethics. In: M Shildrick and R Mykitiuk, eds.Ethics of the body: postconventional challenges. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 71-90. ISBN 0-262-69320-8 [Book Section]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2004. The Challenge of HIV for Feminist Theory. Feminist Theory, 5(2), pp. 205-222. ISSN 14647001 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha, Hart, G., Flowers, P. and Imrie, J.. 2004. After the Euphoria: HIV medical technologies from the perspective of their prescribers. Sociology of Health and Illness, 26(5), pp. 575-596. ISSN 01419889 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2004. Consumer activism in the pharmacology of HIV. Body & Society, 10(1), pp. 91-107. ISSN 1357034X [Article]

Waldby, C., Rosengarten, Marsha, Treloar, C. and Fraser, S.. 2004. Blood and bioidentity: ideas about self, boundaries and risk among blood donors and people living with Hepatitis C. Social Science & Medicine, 59(7), pp. 1461-1471. ISSN 02779536 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha and Keane, H.. 2002. On the biology of sexed subjects. Australian Feminist Studies, 17(39), pp. 261-277. ISSN 08164649 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha, Flowers, P, Frankis, J, Davis, M, Hart, GH and Imrie, John. 2002. 'The transmission of HIV resistance: drugs, virus, gay men and prevention education'. In: XIV International AIDS Conference. Barcelona, Spain7 - 12 July 2002. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Frankis, JS, Flowers, P, Rosengarten, Marsha, Davis, M, Hart, GH and Imrie, John. 2002. 'Deconstructing 'efficacy' within studies of anti-HIV treatments: a systematic and critical review of the literature'. In: XIV International AIDS Conference. Barcelona, Spain7 - 12 July 2002. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Rosengarten, Marsha, Davis, M, Imrie, J., Hart, GH, Frankis, J and Flowers, P. 2002. 'Media involvement in the choice of HIV anti-retroviral therapy five years on from Vancouver: A case study of Trizivir in the UK'. In: XIV International AIDS Conference. Barcelona, Spain7 - 12 July 2002. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Flowers, P, Frankis, J, Rosengarten, Marsha, Davis, M, Hart, GH and Imrie, John. 2002. 'The scientific construction of the HIV positive person within studies of anti-viral efficacy: a systematic and critical review'. In:XIV International AIDS Conference. Barcelona, Spain7 - 12 July 2002. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2001. A Pig's Tale: Porcine Viruses and Species Boundaries'. In: Alison Bashford and Claire Hooker, eds. Contagion: Historical and cultural studies. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 168-182. ISBN 978-0-415-24671-2 [Book Section]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2001. Transmigrating Organs: Identity and Medical Technology. In: J Docker and G Fischer, eds. Adventures of Identity: Constructing Multicultural Identities. 15 Tuebingen: Stauffenburg, pp. 61-72. ISBN 3-86057-043-9 [Book Section]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2000. 'Prophylactic Slippage'. In: HIV/AIDS & Related Diseases Social Research Conference. Sydney, Australia13-14 May 2000. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2000. Thinking menstrual blood. Australian Feminist Studies, 15(31), pp. 91-101. ISSN 0816-4649 [Article]

Rosengarten, Marsha, Race, K and Kippax, S. 2000. "Touch Wood, Everything Will Be Ok": Gay Men’s Understandings of Clinical Markers in Sexual Practice. Project Report. National Centre in HIV Social Research, Sydney.

Content last modified: 14 Oct 2014

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