Professor Sarah Kember

Staff details

Position Professor of New Technologies of Communications
Email s.kember (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7629
Professor Sarah Kember

Sarah is Director of Goldsmiths Press and her research focuses on the future of publishing, digital media, smart media, questions of mediation and feminist science and technology studies. She has investigated the possibilities of life after new media (studies), and has engaged in debates on artificial life and other aspects of the convergence between biology and computer science. She also works on imaging technologies and the relationship between photography and the digital and, as a writer as well as acedemic, she explores the ‘fusion’ of science and literary fiction.


Sarah Kember convenes MA Digital Media and teaches the option course for the MA Digital Media - Digital Media, Critical Perspectives. She also offers a masterclass on the online, non-assessed module After New Media, based on her book Life After New Media (MIT Press 2012).

Areas of supervision

Sarah has seen many PhD students through to the successful completion of their dissertations. Previous students include: Andre Favilla (digital photography and genetics); Sen Yin Li (representations of GM food in the press); Jonas Andersson (p2p file sharing); Eleanor Dare (intelligent/intra-active books) and Gavin Mackie (artificial life and evolutionary computer games). Current students include: Gabriela Mendez Cota (biotechnology and Mexican nationalism); Paolo Ruffino (independent video games); Ben Craggs (tissue culture and the re-materialisation of life); Natalie Dixon (affect and mobile phones); Phaedra Shanbaum (the digital interface in new media art) and Adam Bales (vernacular photography).

Research Interests

Sarah Kember is a writer and academic. Her work incorporates new media, photography and feminist cultural approaches to science and technology. Publications include a novel and a short story The Optical Effects of Lightning (Wild Wolf Publishing, 2011) and ‘The Mysterious Case of Mr Charles D. Levy’ (Ether Books, 2010). Experimental work includes an edited open access electronic book entitled Astrobiology and the Search for Life on Mars (Open Humanities Press, 2011) and ‘Media, Mars and Metamorphosis’ (Culture Machine, Vol. 11). Her latest monograph, with Joanna Zylinska, is Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (MIT Press, 2012).

She co-edits the journals of photographies and Feminist Theory. Previous publications include: Virtual Anxiety. Photography, New Technologies and Subjectivity (Manchester University Press, 1998); Cyberfeminism and Artificial Life (Routledge, 2003) and the co-edited volume Inventive Life. Towards the New Vitalism (Sage, 2006). Current research includes a funded project on digital publishing and a feminist critique of smart media.

Publications and research outputs


Bassett, Caroline; Kember, Sarah and O'Riordan, Kate. 2019. Furious: Technological Feminism and Digital Futures. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 9780745340500

Kember, Sarah. 2016. iMedia: The gendering of objects, environments and smart materials. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137374844

Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2012. Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01819-7

Kember, Sarah. 2011. The Optical Effects of Lightning. Newcastle upon Tyne: Wild Wolf Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907-95411-5

Kember, Sarah. 2003. Cyberfeminism and Artificial Life. Routledge. ISBN 0415240271

Kember, Sarah. 1998. Virtual Anxiety. Photography, New Technologies and Subjectivity. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719045295

Edited Book

Jefferies, Janis K. and Kember, Sarah, eds. 2019. Whose Book is it Anyway?: A View from elsewhere on publishing, copyright and creativity. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. ISBN 9781783746484

Kember, Sarah, ed. 2011. Astrobiology and the Search For Life on Mars. Open Humanities Press. ISBN 978-1-60785-255-1

Fraser, Mariam; Kember, Sarah and Lury, Celia, eds. 2006. Inventive Life: Approaches to the New Vitalism. London: Sage. ISBN 9781412920360

Edited Journal

Kember, Sarah, ed. 2008. Editorial, Photographies, 1(2). 1754-0763

Fraser, Mariam; Kember, Sarah and Lury, Celia, eds. 2005. Inventive Life: Approaches Towards a New Vitalism, Theory Culture and Society, 22(1). 0263-2764

Book Section

Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2016. “Media Always and Everywhere: A Cosmic Approach.”. In: Ulrik Ekman; Lily Diaz; Morten Søndergaard; Jay David Bolter and Maria Engberg, eds. Ubiquitous Computing, Complexity and Culture. New York: Routledge, pp. 226-236. ISBN 9780415743822

Kember, Sarah. 2013. Ambient Intelligent Photography. In: Martin Lister, ed. The Photographic Image in Digital Culture. Second Edition. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 1-21. ISBN 978-0415535298

Kember, Sarah. 2011. Face Re-Cognition. In: Gordon MacDonald, ed. Photoworks: Issue 17. Photoworks, pp. 50-55. ISBN 978-1903796344

Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2009. Creative Media: performance, invention, critique. In: Maria Chatzichristodoulou; Janis K. Jefferies and Rachel Zerihan, eds. Interfaces of Performance. England and USA: Ashgate, pp. 7-23. ISBN 978-0-754-67576-1

Kember, Sarah. 2007. Cyberlife’s Creatures. In: David Bell and Barbara M Kennedy, eds. The Cybercultures Reader second edition. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415410670

Kember, Sarah. 2006. Doing Technoscience as ('new') Media. In: James P. Curran and David G. Morley, eds. Media and Cultural Theory. Routledge, pp. 235-249. ISBN 9780415317054


Boden, Margaret; Bryson, Joanna; Caldwell, Darwin; Dautenhahn, Kerstin; Edwards, Lilian; Kember, Sarah; Newman, Paul; Parry, Vivienne; Pegman, Geoff; Rodden, Tom; Sorrell, Tom; Wallis, Mick; Whitby, Blay and Winfield, Alan. 2017. Principles of Robotics: Regulating Robots in the Real World. Connection Science, 29(2), pp. 124-129. ISSN 0954-0091

Kember, Sarah. 2016. Why publish? Learned Publishing, 29(S1), pp. 348-353. ISSN 0953-1513

Kember, Sarah. 2014. Why Write? Feminism, Publishing and the Politics of Communication. New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory, Politics, 83, pp. 99-116. ISSN 0950-2378

Kember, Sarah. 2014. Face Recognition and the Emergence of Smart Photography. Journal of Visual Culture, 13(2), pp. 182-199. ISSN 1470-4129

Kember, Sarah. 2011. No Humans Allowed? The Alien in/as Feminist Theory. Feminist Theory, 12(2), pp. 183-199. ISSN 1464-7001

Zylinska, Joanna and Kember, Sarah. 2010. ‘Creative Media between Invention and Critique, or What’s Still at Stake in Performativity’. Cultural Machine, 11, ISSN 1465-4121

Kember, Sarah. 2010. Media, Mars and Metamorphosis. Culture Machine, 11, xx-xx. ISSN 1465-4121

Kember, Sarah. 2008. The Virtual Life of Photography. Photographies, 1(2), pp. 175-203. ISSN 1754-0763

Kember, Sarah. 2006. ‘Creative Evolution? The quest for life (on Mars)’. InterZone,

Kember, Sarah. 2005. Metamorphoses: The Myth of Evolutionary Possibility. Theory Culture & Society, 22(1), pp. 153-173. ISSN 02632764

Kember, Sarah. 2002. Reinventing cyberfeminism: cyberfeminism and the new biology. Economy and Society, 31(4), pp. 626-641. ISSN 03085147

Conference or Workshop Item

Kember, Sarah. 2013. ''A Case for Feminist Futurism' (with reference to doing smart media smarter)'. In: Opening Lecture for Centre for Feminist Research. Goldsmiths, Universirty of London, United Kingdom.


Jefferies, Janis K.; Kember, Sarah; Papadimitriou, Irini Mirena and Sahin, Ozden. 26 September 2015 Friction and Fiction: IP, Copyright and Digital Futures, V&A.


Jefferies, Janis K. and Kember, Sarah. 2012. CREATe (the Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology), Whose Book is it Anyway?.

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