Dr Martin Webb

Staff details

Dr Martin Webb

Position

Lecturer

Department

Anthropology

Email

m.webb (@gold.ac.uk)

Active citizenship, ethical politics, transparency and accountability, urban governance, citizen-state interfaces.

My research engages with themes of activism and active citizenship, ethical politics, transparency and accountability, urban governance, mediation, and most recently, the effects of digital technology on citizen-state interfaces and access to social protection. I have carried out research exploring these themes in urban India and in the UK.

I am the anthropology convener for the MA Applied Anthropology, youth work, community development and community arts pathways. I also teach modules on the study of social movements and the anthropology of international development

I came to higher education in my mid-thirties as a mature student after a number of years employed in factories, on construction sites, and as a care worker. I am a firm believer in higher education as a way for adults to discover new directions and interests at any stage in their lives.

Academic qualifications

  • Access to Higher Education: City College Brighton 1999
  • BA Anthropology and Development Studies: University of Sussex 2003
  • MSc Social Research Methods: University of Sussex (assisted by seedcorn funding from the university) 2005
  • Dphil (PhD) in Anthropology: University of Sussex. (Supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Harrison and Dr. Geert de Neve) 2011

Teaching and supervision

Research interests

My doctoral research at the University of Sussex focused on the organisation of Right to Information (RTI) activism in Delhi, India, and how initiatives to promote transparency, accountability and state reform play out across the social and economic terrain of the city.

Subsequent research while at Goldsmiths has followed the rise of anti-corruption movement politics in India, and in the UK Indian Diaspora, which emerged contemporary to the protests of the “Arab Spring”, “Occupy” and anti-austerity movements in the UK and Europe. This work led to the publication, with Prof. Pnina Werber and Dr Kathryn Spellman-Poots, of "The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: Beyond the Arab Spring" by Edinburgh University Press in 2014.

I am currently the principle investigator of the Goldsmiths QR-GCRF funded project titled Jaankaar (Knowledgeable): Leveraging Everyday Innovations in Governance and Accountability. Jaankaar brings together academic and NGO partners in Delhi to explore the role of community advocates in helping people to negotiate encounters with an increasingly digitised bureaucracy. I am also exploring these themes of digital advocacy and mediation in Lewisham, south east London, as access to essential services and forms of social protection are increasingly shifted online in the UK.

Grants and awards

2018: Goldsmiths QR-GCRF award for Jaankaar (Knowledgeable): Leveraging Everyday Innovations in Governance and Accountability. Phase 1

2019: Goldsmiths QR-GCRF award for Jaankaar (Knowledgeable): Leveraging Everyday Innovations in Governance and Accountability. Phase 2

Publications and research outputs

Book

Ray, Avishek; Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel; Raman, Usha; Webb, Martin; Gupta, Neha; Komarraju, Sai Amulya; Premika, Anuja; Azam, Riad; Salim, Farhat and Subramanian, Pravanesh. 2024. Digital Expressions of the Self(ie): The Social Life of Selfies in India. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781032694788

Edited Book

Werbner, Pnina; Webb, Martin and Spellman-Poots, Kathryn, eds. 2014. The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: The Arab Spring and Beyond. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univerity Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-9334-4

Book Section

Ray, Avishek; Raman, Usha; Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel and Webb, Martin. 2024. Introduction: The digital self(ie) and world-making. In: Avishek Ray; E. Gabriel Dattatreyan; Usha Raman; Martin Webb; Neha Gupta; Sai Amulya Komarraju; Anuja Premika; Riad Azam; Farhat Salim and Pranavesh Subramanian, eds. Digital Expressions of the Self(ie): The Social Life of Selfies in India. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781032694788

Webb, Martin; Salim, Farhat and Azam, Riad. 2024. Putting the selfie to work: Image making and work/time discipline in the margins of the Indian state. In: Avishek Ray; E. Gabriel Dattatreyan; Usha Raman; Martin Webb; Neha Gupta; Sai Amulya Komarraju; Anuja Premika; Riad Azam; Farhat Salim and Pranavesh Subramanian, eds. Digital Expressions of the Self(ie): The Social Life of Selfies in India. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 50-73. ISBN 9781032694788

Webb, Martin. 2018. Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society in Development. In: Hilary Callan, ed. International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781118924396

Article

Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel; Ray, Avishek; Raman, Usha and Webb, Martin. 2023. Introduction: Expressing the (in)dividual: Social media and technologies of the self. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 29(6), pp. 1417-1421. ISSN 1354-8565

Webb, Martin; Khan, Aasim; Suri, Venkata Ratnadeep; Azam, Riad and Salim, Farhat. 2023. Between hunger and contagion: digital mediation and advocacy during the COVID-19 emergency in Delhi. Third World Quarterly, ISSN 0143-6597

Webb, Martin. 2020. Digital Politics in the Diaspora: U.K. Aam Aadmi Party Supporters Online and Offline. Television and New Media, 21(4), pp. 420-433. ISSN 1527-4764