Dr Richard MacDonald

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Senior Tutor
Email r.macdonald (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 79197636
Dr Richard MacDonald

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

Teaching and Supervision

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. 2017. The Rise of the Film Society Movement. In: I. Q. Hunter; Laraine Porter and Justin Smith, eds. The Routledge Companion to British Cinema. London: Routledge, pp. 109-118. ISBN 978-0-415-70619-3

MacDonald, Richard. 2014. The Vanguard of Film Appreciation: The Film Society Movement and Film Culture, 1945-1965. In: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Christophe Dupin, eds. The British Film Institute, the Government and Film Culture, 1933-2000. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719095740

MacDonald, Richard Lowell. 2013. Studies of a Singapore Childhood. In: May Adadol Ingawanij, ed. Catalogue of the 6th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival: Raiding the Archives. Bangkok, Thailand: Aan Publishing, pp. 196-201. ISBN 9786167158303

MacDonald, Richard and Ingawanij, May Adadol. 2010. ‘Blissfully Whose? Jungle Pleasure, Ultra-Modernist Cinema and the Cosmopolitan Thai Auteur,’. In: Rachel Harrison and Peter Jackson, eds. The Ambiguous Allure of the West: Traces of the Colonial in Thailand. Southeast Asia Program Publications, Cornell University. ISBN 978-0877276081


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. 2015. “Going Back in a Heartbeat”: Collective memory and the online circulation of family photographs. Photographies, 8(1), pp. 23-42. ISSN 1754-0763

MacDonald, Richard; Couldry, Nick and Dickens, Luke. 2015. Digitisation and Materiality: Researching Community Memory Practice Today. The Sociological Review, 63(1), pp. 102-120. ISSN 1467-954X

MacDonald, Richard and Dickens, Luke. 2015. “‘I can do things here I can’t do in my own life”: The making of a civic archive at the Salford Lads’ Club’. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(2),

MacDonald, Richard; Couldry, Nick; Stephansen, Hilde and Clark, Wilma. 2015. Digital platforms and narrative exchange: hidden constraints, emerging agency. New Media and Society, 17(6), pp. 919-938. ISSN 1461-4448

Couldry, Nick; Stephansen, Hilde; Fotopoulou, Aristea; MacDonald, Richard; Clark, William and Dickens, Luke. 2014. Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture. Citizenship Studies, 18(6-7), pp. 615-629. ISSN 1362-1025

MacDonald, Richard. 2014. Film Appreciation and Cultural Leadership: Rudolf Arnheim, Roger Manvell and Two Books Called Film. Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 23(1), pp. 109-127.

MacDonald, Richard; Couldry, Nick and Stephansen, Hilde. 2014. Constructing a Digital Storycircle: Digital Infrastructure and Mutual Recognition. International Journal of Cultural Studies, ISSN 1367-8779

MacDonald, Richard. 2013. Book review of Expanded Cinema: Art, Film, Performance. Moving Image Review and Art Journal, 2(1), pp. 108-115. ISSN 20456298

MacDonald, Richard. 2013. Evasive Enlightenment: World Without End and the Internationalism of Postwar Documentary. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10(3), pp. 452-474. ISSN 1743-4521

MacDonald, Richard and Stollery, Martin. 2011. Interview with Dai Vaughan: “Between a Word and a Thing/You Encounter Only Yourself". Journal of British Film and Television, 8(3), pp. 430-446. ISSN 1743-4521


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

Further profile content

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

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