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 drug use. Her current Wellcome Trust Fellowship in Social Science and Bioethics (mentored by Professor Marsha Rosengarten and Dr Rebecca Coleman) draws on feminist theories of science to study rising drug-related death rates in the UK.

Fay was previously a Mildred Blaxter Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department, funded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. During this time, she worked on disseminating her PhD research (undertaken at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), which explored injecting drug use experiences and practices, with a particular interest in pleasure as a neglected topic in drug research and policy. She has also worked as a researcher at King’s College London on a national project investigating the role of substance use in intimate partner violence. 

Research Interests

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

Fay has published articles in journals such as Body & Society, Contemporary Drug Problems, and Critical Public Health, and has co-edited a themed collection on 'Drugged Pleasures' for the International Journal of Drug Policy. She recently published her first book ‘Injecting bodies in more-than-human worlds’, 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 on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Drug Policy, Contemporary Drug Problems and Sociology of Health & Illness, and a new Emerald book series on the Regulation of Pleasure. She co-convenes the BSA Study Groups in New Materialisms and Medical Sociology (London). She is a member of the London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) collective and Goldsmiths' Centre for Invention and Social Process.

Publications and research outputs


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

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. 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