Dr Richard MacDonald

Staff details

Dr Richard MacDonald


Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Senior Tutor


Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


r.macdonald (@gold.ac.uk)

Richard is a media ethnographer who investigates infrastructure, publics and urban life.

I am a media ethnographer with an interest in the relationship between technological infrastructures and publics. I look at the way infrastructural systems address and implicate publics, and the spaces of participation and contestation that crystallise around their planning, construction and use. I have also published on the historiography of film and screen culture (projection practices, film publications and writing, film education and the amateur film society movement) and on memory, images and archive practices.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Media & Communications (Goldsmiths, University of London) 2009
  • MRes Cultural Studies and Humanities (London Consortium, University of London) 1998
  • BSc Anthropology (Goldsmiths, University of London) 1996

Grants and awards

2018: Newton Fund Institutional Links (British Council)

2016: Newton Fund Mobility Grant (British Academy)
Mobile Media Practices in Everyday Life: Negotiating Commercial Infrastructures and State Control in Mainland Southeast Asia

2014: British Academy/ASEASUK Visiting Fellowship
Projecting for the Spirits: Film Projection as Ritual Offering in Thailand

Publications and research outputs


MacDonald, Richard. 2016. The Appreciation of Film: The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain. Exeter: University of Exeter Press. ISBN 9780859898881

Edited Journal

MacDonald, Richard, ed. 2022. Archaeology of the Moving Image (Volume 1, Summer 2022), Archaeology of the Moving Image, 1.

Book Section

MacDonald, Richard. 2022. The Smart City and the Extraction of Hope. In: Joanna Zylinska, ed. The Future of Media. London: Goldsmiths Press, pp. 297-312. ISBN 9781913380144

MacDonald, Richard L. 2020. Film Projection and the Sacred Geography of Site-Specific Cinema in Contemporary Thailand. In: Virginia Crisp and Gabriel Menotti, eds. Practices of Projection. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190934125

MacDonald, Richard. 2018. A place for memory: Family photo collections, social media and the imaginative reconstruction of the working class neighbourhood. In: Silke Arnold-de Simine and Joanna Leal, eds. Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 151-170. ISBN 9781474283601


MacDonald, Richard and Songkhunatham, Peera. 2021. Conjuring the People: Entrepreneurial Localism and the Case of the Khon Kaen Model. Way Magazine,

MacDonald, Richard L. 2017. Projecting Films to Spirits: on shrines as conjunctural space and the ritual economy of outdoor cinema in Bangkok. Visual Anthropology Review, 33(2), pp. 152-163. ISSN 1058-7187

MacDonald, Richard. 2016. Elevating the Film Review: Critics and Critical Practice at the Monthly Film Bulletin. Film Studies, 14(1), pp. 93-111. ISSN 1469-0314


MacDonald, Richard and Stollery, Martin. 2012. For Documentary: Remembering Dai Vaughan.

Areas of supervision

I am interested in supervising MPhil/PhD students in any of the following areas

• Film culture, technology and historiography
• Media apparatus and ritual practice
• Rogue archives and collective memory
• Contemporary documentary film and video
• Experimental moving image in Southeast Asia
• Infrastructures and urban life