Fay Dennis

Staff details

Position Wellcome Research Fellow
Department Sociology
Email f.dennis (@gold.ac.uk)
Fay Dennis

Fay’s work explores the socio-material effects of illicit and licit drug use. She has been working and researching in the substance use field for fifteen years. Her work is driven by a commitment to understanding the complexity of peoples’ drug-using practices and disrupting views, technologies and techniques that seek to curtail and control them.

Research interests

Fay’s research interests include sociological theories of the body, Science and Technology Studies, the governance of pleasure, substance use, and ‘inventive’ research methods.

Her current project ‘“Ripping up the rulebook”: Experiments in post-pandemic substance use treatment’ and tracks changes and innovations in the UK substance use sector after Covid-19.

Through experimental methods, it uses these inventions as an invitation to think differently on what future treatment could be. This project takes a multimodal ethnographic approach and is funded by a Wellcome Trust University Award (2022-2027).

You can read more about the project here.

Previously in the Department, Fay held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship in Social Science (2018-22) which explored rises in drug-related deaths in the UK through a feminist technoscience lens.

Prior to that, Fay was a FSHI Mildred Blaxter Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018) where she worked on disseminating her PhD research (conducted at LSHTM) on injecting drug use experiences and practices, with a particular interest in pleasure as a neglected topic in drug research and policy.

Fay has published articles in journals such as BioSocieties, Body & Society, Critical Public Health and the Sociology of Health & Illness.

She recently published her first book ‘Injecting bodies in more-than-human worlds’ (Routledge), which explores ‘bodies’ as a concept and method for understanding injecting drug using practices.

This book was shortlisted for the Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness book prize.

Fay is Co-Director of the Centre for Invention and Social Process.

She is an Associate Editor at the International Journal of Drug Policy and sits on the editorial board for Contemporary Drug Problems.

She co-convenes the BSA Study Groups in New Materialisms and Medical Sociology (London).

She is also a member of Goldsmiths Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee.

Publications and research outputs


Dennis, Fay. 2019. Injecting Bodies in More-than-Human Worlds. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138609556

Edited Book

Dennis, Fay; Pienaar, Kiran and Rosengarten, Marsha, eds. 2023. Narcofeminisms: Revisioning drug use. London: SAGE Publications.

Edited Journal

Henry, Jade Vu; Nicholls, Emily Jay and Dennis, Fay, eds. 2021. Introduction: Critical Friends and the Choreographies of Care, London Journal of Critical Thought, 4(1). 2398-662X

Dennis, Fay and Farrugia, Adrian, eds. 2017. Materialising drugged pleasures: Practice, politics, care, International Journal of Drug Policy, 49. 0955-3959


Dennis, Fay. 2023. Chemical species: the art and politics of living with(out) drugs after addiction. BioSocieties, 18(3), pp. 545-566. ISSN 1745-8552

Dennis, Fay; Pienaar, Kiran and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2023. Narcofeminism and its multiples: From activism to everyday minoritarian worldbuilding. The Sociological Review, 71(4), 723 -740. ISSN 0038-0261

Bessonova, Alla; Byelyayeva, Olga; Kurcevič, Eliza; Plotko, Maria; Dennis, Fay; Pienaar, Kiran and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2023. Living and responding at the margins: A conversation with narcofeminist activists. The Sociological Review, 71(4), pp. 742-759. ISSN 0038-0261

Dennis, Fay; Pienaar, Kiran and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2023. Afterword: Tensions and possibilities for a narcofeminist sociology. The Sociological Review, 71(4), pp. 945-954. ISSN 0038-0261

Dennis, Fay and Pienaar, Kiran. 2023. Refusing recovery, living a ‘wayward life’: A feminist analysis of women’s drug use. The Sociological Review, 71(4), pp. 781-800. ISSN 0038-0261

Dennis, Fay. 2021. Drug fatalities and treatment fatalism: Complicating the ageing cohort theory. Sociology of Health & Illness, 43(5), pp. 1175-1190. ISSN 0141-9889

Nicholls, Emily Jay; Henry, Jade Vu and Dennis, Fay. 2021. ‘Not in our Name’: Vexing Care in the Neoliberal University. Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, 9(1), pp. 65-76. ISSN 1894-4647

Dennis, Fay. 2021. Advocating for diamorphine: Cosmopolitical care and collective action in the ruins of the ‘old British system’. Critical Public Health, 31(2), pp. 144-155. ISSN 0958-1596

Dennis, Fay. 2020. Mapping the Drugged Body: Telling Different Kinds of Drug-using Stories. Body & Society, 26(3), pp. 61-93. ISSN 1357-034X

Dennis, Fay; Rhodes, Tim and Harris, Magdalena. 2020. More-than-harm reduction: Engaging with alternative ontologies of ‘movement’ in UK drug services. International Journal of Drug Policy, 82, 102771. ISSN 0955-3959

Dennis, Fay. 2019. Making Problems: The Inventive Potential of the Arts for Alcohol and Other Drug Research. Contemporary Drug Problems, 46(2), pp. 127-138. ISSN 0091-4509

Dennis, Fay. 2017. Conceiving of addicted pleasures: A ‘modern’ paradox. International Journal of Drug Policy, 49, pp. 150-159. ISSN 0955-3959

Dennis, Fay. 2017. The injecting ‘event’: harm reduction beyond the human. Critical Public Health, 27(3), pp. 337-349. ISSN 0958-1596

Dennis, Fay. 2016. Drugs: Bodies Becoming “Normal”. Journal of Media and Culture, 19(1), ISSN 1441-2616

Dennis, Fay. 2016. Encountering “Triggers”. Contemporary Drug Problems, 43(2), pp. 126-141. ISSN 0091-4509


Dennis, Fay; Millar, Isla and Maltby, Penny. 2022. "I am a work in progress": The art of living with(out) drugs. In: ""I am a work in progress": The art of living with(out) drugs", Constance Howard Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 7 February - 25 March 2022.


Miller Oduniyi, Susie; Blair, Jeff and Dennis, Fay. 2022. Brown Bread. The Sociological Review Foundation.

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