CUCR Researchers

CUCR researchers are made up of academics across disciplines at Goldsmiths as well as the crucial work done by Visiting Fellows

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Director of CUCR

Image of Les Back

Les Back

Les Back joined the department of Sociology in 1993. This was something of a return to Goldsmiths for him because he studied at Goldsmiths as both postgraduate and undergraduate during the 1980s. Prior to returning to the college, he taught at the University of Birmingham in the Cultural Studies department and before that worked as a contract researcher at Birkbeck College and the Institute of Education.

Les convenes a third year undergraduate option called Why Music Matters for Sociology and makes contributions to the core undergraduate courses across the degree programmes. Les is also significantly involved in teaching on MSc in Social Research.

Goldsmiths Researchers

Research Associates and Visiting Fellows

Integral to the CUCR's research is the work and support provided by a cast of Research Associates and Visiting Fellows.


Profile photo of Francisco Calafate

Francisco Calafate: Researcher and Visiting Fellow

Francisco is an urban ethnographer with research experience in London (UK), Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), L’Hospitalet - Barcelona (Spain), and Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal). During his PhD and in the subsequent years as a researcher and visiting fellow at CUCR, Francisco has been part of the Centre’s efforts to bring together research in other parts of the world with work and interventions in the surrounding area of Goldsmiths.

He works within the fields of Geography and Sociology and his primary interests are urban change, mobilities, recycling, and political ecology. Francisco convenes the Graduate School’s Module of Core Qualitative Research Methods. He also teaches Environmental Politics, Sociology, Criminology and Social Research Methods in other HE institutions.

Portrait of Peter Coles

Peter Coles: Visiting Fellow

I am a fine art photographer, journalist and editor and have been a Visiting Fellow in CUCR since 2007. I regularly teach on the MA in Photography and Urban Cultures and also the International Urban Photography Summer School at Goldsmiths. I am one of the founding members of the Urban Photographers Association (UPA). In 2016 I collaborated with the Conservation Foundation to set up Morus Londinium (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) to research, preserve and raise awareness of the cultural heritage of London’s historic mulberry trees. I hold an MA and D.Phil in psychology.

Peter Coles' website

Profile of David Kendall

David Kendall: Visiting Fellow

David Kendall’s practice explores how spatial, economic and design initiatives, as well as participatory practices, combine to encourage social and spatial interconnections or dissonance in cities. His photographs, spatial research and collaborative projects have been exhibited and presented at festivals, museums, cultural and academic institutions. 

David Kendall's website

Profile photo of Clair Levy

Claire Levy: Research Associate

Claire's research focuses on the comparative embodied experiences of young people in urban and rural locations, examining other forms of citizenship. She specialises in participatory practices, using visual methods. Her background is as a documentary film-maker and her film work is screened on UK TV and on the film festival circuit. Claire is also editor of Streetsigns, the online magazine, published by CUCR.

Streetsigns website 

Photo of Louise Rondell

Louise Rondell: MPhil/PhD Researcher

My research examines the co-constitutive relationship between bodies and cities by focusing on the work that goes on in London’s hair and beauty salons in order to understand the ways in which power is both embodied and spatialized and produced, reproduced and potentially contested through material-discursive bodily practices.

Profile of John Levett

John Levett: Visiting Fellow

John Levett is a member of London Independent Photography & holds a monthly photography discussion group at The Greenwich Photography Gallery. He is a Visiting Research Fellow in The Centre for Urban & Community Research. John Levett is a regular participant & convenor in the CUCR annual Urban Photo Fest. Crossing Lines was jointly founded by Britt Hatzius & John Levett in 2011.

At its foundation it was to act as a collaboration between the members of CUCR [The Centre for Urban & Community Research] & LIP [London Independent Photography]. It has gradually expanded to accommodate all who have an interest/practice in visual representation (however defined).


Photo of Sian Gouldstone

Sian Gouldstone: MPhil/PhD Researcher

Sian's research investigates the relationship between the body, materiality and home, and asks: how and where is home encountered in the houses of the British in Australia? It examines the way in which these spaces are negotiated, understood and practiced. Sian is a MPhil/PhD researcher at Goldsmiths College in Visual Sociology and received her MA in Photography and Urban Cultures from Goldsmiths in 2010. She has been teaching photography for the last six years.

Sian Gouldstone's website

Viktor Bedö

As an academic with philosophy and design theory background, Viktor Bedö is interested in experimental research methodologies that evolve around embodied knowledge, urban space and technology. As a street game designer, he creates low-tech physical games to understand better how cities work today and prototype how they could work tomorrow.

Viktor is also a researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures in Base and founder of Tacit Dimension, an independent street game research lab.

Profile of Rupert Griffiths

Rupert Griffiths: Visiting Research Fellow

Rupert is an artist, writer, and cultural geographer. His research and creative work considers artists’ representations of waste and wastelands, with an emphasis on the materiality and process. He is currently developing a research project and exhibition entitled Art and Waste, building on his recent work with Xinwei Zhu as guest editors for the Chinese art magazine Art World (艺术世界). Rupert’s recent artistic work has been through a collaboration Site/Seal/Gesture (SSG) with an artist and archaeologist.

Rupert is a visiting research fellow at Goldsmiths. He has a PhD in Social and Cultural Geography (Reimagining the Margins: The Art of the Urban Fringe, 2015), and an MA in Architecture and Urbanism (2010). He has worked as an artist since 1997, before which he studied Microelectronic Systems Engineering at UMIST, Manchester.

Photo of Imogen Slater

Imogen Slater: Visiting Fellow

Imogen Slater has extensive evaluation and research experience relating to: community, arts, creative sector, youth & CJS, health & well being, training, professional development, and informal learning.  Imogen has worked with CUCR since 2000 on numerous research and evaluation projects. Currently these include; Creative Families with the South London Gallery, Future Stages with Oval House, Silver Stories an EU Leonardo funded project and the Capital People Programme with the London Leading for Health Partnership (NHS).