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Department of Media and Communications

Professor Joanna Zylinska

Position held:
Professor of New Media and Communications

+44 (0)20 7919 7696

+44 (0)20 7919 7616

j.zylinska (@gold.ac.uk)

See Joanna's website: http://www.joannazylinska.net


Joanna Zylinska is a cultural theorist writing on new technologies and new media, ethics and art. She is the author of four books - most recently, Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (with Sarah Kember; MIT Press, 2012) and Bioethics in the Age of New Media (MIT Press, 2009). She is also a translator of Stanislaw Lem's major philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

Together with Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Open Humanities Press, she runs the JISC-funded project Living Books about Life - consisting of a series of co-edited, electronic open access books about life which provide a bridge between the humanities and the sciences.


‌Joanna is one of the Editors of Culture Machine, an international open-access journal of culture and theory, and a curator of its sister project, Photomediations Machine.

She combines her philosophical writings with photographic art practice. Her current projects involve photographing media entanglements and writing a book provisionally titled Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene.

See an interview about Joanna's intellectual formation, academic career and current work in the Canadian journal Figure/Ground.


In 2013 Joanna served as Artistic Director of the 5th Festival of New Media Art and Video Transitio_MX 05 in Mexico City. The biggest new media festival in Latin America, this biennial festival, first launched in 2005, was supported by the Mexican Ministry of Culture (CONACULTA) and Mexico’s National Centre for the Arts (Cenart). Taking place from the 20th to the 29th of September 2013, the festival consisted of seven simultaneous exhibitions in some of the most prestigious arts venues in Mexico City (e.g. Cenart, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Fonoteca Nacional), a symposium, a competition for international and Mexican artists and a series of workshops. You can see the festival website, interviews (in Spanish) in the Mexican journals Codigo: magazine of architecture, art and design and Arquine: magazine of architecture, and with the Mexican TV channel El Muro and videos from Goldsmiths' symposium on Biomediations that served as a satellite event to the festival.


Joanna Zylinska teaches the following courses:

  • Media Arts (first-year undergraduate core course)
  • Technology and Cultural Form: Debates, Models, Dialogues (core course on MA Digital Media)

She also conbtributes to the PhD Methods course, interdepartmental MA Gender, Media and Culture and PG Certificate in the Management of Learning and Teaching in HE.

Areas of supervision

Past and current MPhil/PhD students supervised:

  • Federica Frabetti, ‘Technology Made Legible: A Cultural Study of Software as a Form of Writing in the Theories and Practices of Software Engineering’
  • Gabriela Mendez Cota, ‘The Genetic Contamination of Mexican Nationalism: Biotechnology and Cultural Politics’
  • Adam Bales, ‘Vernacular Photography’
  • Ben Craggs, ‘Technology and Bioart’
  • Natalie Dixon, ‘Affect and Mobile Telephony’
  • Panagiota Nigianni, ‘Affective Mediation and Relationality as Agential Modes in Media Arts’
  • Paolo Ruffino, ‘Gamers' Games, or the Invention of Video Game Consumers’
  • Phaedra Shanbaum, ‘Art and the Interface’

Selected publications


(2012) Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press) (with Sarah Kember)

(2009) Bioethics in the Age of New Media (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press)

(2007) Imaginary Neighbors: Mediating Polish-Jewish Relations after the Holocaust (collection co-edited with Dorota Glowacka) (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press)

(2005) The Ethics of Cultural Studies (London and New York: Continuum)

(2002) The Cyborg Experiments: the Extensions of the Body in the Media Age (London and New York: Continuum). (edited collection)

(2001) On Spiders, Cyborgs and Being Scared: the Feminine and the Sublime (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

Electronic books

(2011) BioethicsTM: Life, Politics, Economics (Open Humanities Press), ISBN: 978-1-60785-256-8, online book.

Online open access book, which is part of the ‘Living Books about Life' series, edited by myself in collaboration with Clare Birchall (Kent University) and Gary Hall (Coventry University), and consisting of 22 books which aim to bring research on life conducted in the sciences to humanities readers. The book series was supported with a major JISC grant as part of their e-Content Programme Strand A: Enriching via Collaboration. The project was described by Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, as a 'Remarkable series [that] transforms the humble Reader into a living form, while breaking down the conceptual barrier between the humanities and the sciences in a time when scholars and activists of all kinds have taken the understanding of life to be central' and by Tara McPherson, editor of VECTORS: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, as helping us 'reimagine everything we think we know about academic publishing'.   

(2010) Technology and Cultural Form: A Liquid Reader (Open Humanities Press; Liquid Books series) - online open-access book collaboratively edited with students from Goldsmiths’ MA Digital Media, supported with a grant from the Higher Education Academy’s Art-Design-Media Subject Centre.

Recent journal articles

(2012) 'Visuell kultur og Det etiske imperativ' (Visual culture and the ethical imperative), Ekfrase: Nordic Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 3, 2. (short piece)

(2010) ‘On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs’, Photographies, vol. 3, issue 2, August, pp. 139-153.

(2010) ‘Playing God, Playing Adam: The Politics and Ethics of Enhancement’, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Vol. 7, No 2, pp. 149-161.

(2010) ‘I Don’t Go to the Movies’, Culture Machine, Vol. 11, non-pag.

(2010) ‘Creative Media between Invention and Critique, or What’s Still at Stake in Performativity’ (with Sarah Kember), Culture Machine, Vol. 11, non-pag.

(2009) ‘You Killed Barack Obama, 2008’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 8 no 2, p. 190 [image and text].

(2007) 'Of Swans and Ugly Ducklings: Bioethics between Humans, Animals and Machines', Reality Made Over, part II, special issue of the journal Configurations edited by Bernadette Wegenstein, Vol. 14 No 2 (Spring), pp. 125-150.

(2007) ‘The Secret of Life: Bioethics between Corporeal and Corporate Obligations’, Cultural Studies, Vol. 21, No 1, pp. 95-117. A German translation of this article was published in the special issue of the journal Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie, Medien – KÅ‘rper – Imagination, eds Mark Poster and Christoph Wulf, 17.1

For a list of Joanna Zylinska's other publications, including some freely available oline, visit her website: http://www.joannazylinska.net

Content last modified: 10 Mar 2014

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