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Photo of Christos Varvantakis

Christos Varvantakis

Research fellow
c.varvantakis (@gold.ac.uk)

Christos is an anthropologist currently working as the research fellow for the Connectors Study (Goldsmiths/ ERC) in Athens, an international longitudinal ethnography which studies the relation between childhood and public life.

Christos is an anthropologist currently working as the research fellow for the Connectors Study (Goldsmiths/ ERC) in Athens, an international longitudinal ethnography which studies the relation between childhood and public life, with a particular interest on how an orientation towards social action emerges in middle childhood, and how does it look like (more at: connectorsstudy.com). 

His research focuses on the intersections of childhood and public life, politics and urban environments, as well as on visual and multimodal research methodologies. Christos completed his PhD at the Freie Universität in Berlin (2014), having previously trained as a sociologist (University of Crete) and visual anthropologist (Goldsmiths College).

Christos has undertaken research in Germany, South India and Greece, and has previously worked as a research associate in the University of Crete and as a visiting scholar in the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.  He has published papers on children and youth, politics and activism, on visual research methods and theory, and on the politics of urban public space.

Photo of Fay Dennis

Fay Dennis

Wellcome Research Fellow
f.dennis (@gold.ac.uk)+44 (0)20 7919 7733

Fay Dennis is a Wellcome Research Fellow in Social Science and Bioethics in the Department of Sociology (mentored by Professor Marsha Rosengarten and Dr Rebecca Coleman). Her research explores the increase in drug-related deaths in the UK through an ethnographic method of body mapping.

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, substance use, and ‘inventive’ research methods.

Fay has published articles in Critical Public Health, Contemporary Drug Problems, International Journal of Drug Policy, Journal of Media and Culture, and co-edited a themed collection on 'Drugged Pleasures' for the International Journal of Drug Policy. She currently has a book under contract at Routledge with the provisional title: ‘Injecting bodies in more-than-human worlds’.

Fay is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Drug Policy and the Sociology of Health & Illness. She co-convenes the BSA Study Groups on 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.

See Fay's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

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Ella Harris

Postdoctoral Researcher
e.harris (@gold.ac.uk)

Ella is a postdoctoral researcher currently working on a project called “Re-imagining Crisis: Pop-up Cultures and Precarious Lives in Austerity London”

The project explores how precarious ways of living and working are reimagined positively through the discourses, logics and aesthetics of pop-up culture. 

Prior to this, Ella worked as a research assistant, in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway University, on a collaborative project on pop-up social housing. She completed a PhD in Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway University in 2017, having previously taken an MA in Cultural Geography (Royal Holloway) and BA in English Language and Literature (Oxford University).

Ella’s research focuses on urban spatiotemporality and the affective dimensions of precarity. She is particularly interested in “compensatory” ways of living in cities in the current climate of recession and austerity. Ella also works with creative digital methods and her PhD project experimented with the methodological values of interactive documentary (i-Docs) for exploring urban space-time and its politics.

Ella has published widely on subjects including the cultural geographies of precarity, pop-up housing, the housing crisis as a structure of feeling, the spatiotemporal logics of commercial pop-up culture, immersive cinema, precarious labour and container architectures, and interactive documentary.

See Ella's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

Photo of Monk


Research Fellow
m.motamedi-fraser (@gold.ac.uk)

Monk is a black Labrador. He has accompanied Mariam Motamedi-Fraser to Goldsmiths since September 2015, when he was seven months old.

Monk is a black Labrador. He has accompanied Mariam Motamedi-Fraser to Goldsmiths since September 2015, when he was seven months old. He comes to staff and student meetings, and to the lectures and seminars on Mariam's third year option module, Thinking Animals, and on her MA option, Animals in Theory and Practice. Monk's role is to help sensitise both Mariam and students to the lessons that animals can teach, even – or perhaps especially – in unusual contexts (Oliver, 2009, Animal Lessons).

Monk has participated in many training sessions at The Dog Hub, where Mariam is a volunteer apprentice. Like most Labradors, who were originally bred for hunting and fishing, and who are hard-working and companionable, Monk enjoys the energy and shared focus required for training. He loves to 'work' for a ball, and any game that involves his sniff will have his full attention. Compared to humans, who have six million olfactory receptor cells in their noses, dogs have between two hundred million and one billion (depending on breed). They also have more than eight hundred different kinds of receptors. In celebration of this glorious nose, Monk and Mariam are currently learning about scent work, trailing and tracking. 

Given that he is virtually waterproof (webbed toes, rudder tail, double-coat), Monk has a curious dislike of rain.


Photo of Emily Nicholls

Emily Nicholls

e.nicholls (@gold.ac.uk)+44 (0)20 7919 7733

Emily Nicholls is a Postdoctoral Researcher on ‘Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health’ (EUROPACH). The Project is funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) under the auspice of a collaborative network of universities in the UK (Goldsmiths, University of London), Germany (Humboldt University), Poland (Jagiellonian University) and Switzerland (University of Basel). It seeks to explore the “uses of the past” in HIV policy and activism.

Emily’s PhD in Visual Sociology was awarded in 2017 and supervised by Marsha Rosengarten and Monica Greco. Her thesis was entitled: The Making of an AIDS archive: an account of expertise, inter/disciplinarity, and the process of researching and considered the various forms of expertise employed and fostered in the course of creating an archive of the UK HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Photo of Clare J. Prater

Clare J. Prater

Project Coordinator
c.j.prater (@gold.ac.uk)

Clare is the Project Coordinator for the ERC funded Connectors Study.

Clare is the Project Coordinator for the ERC funded Connectors Study.

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John Lea

Visiting Professor
j.lea (@gold.ac.uk)

John Lea is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology

John has a distinguished record in the research and teaching of criminology, including such topics as organised crime, terrorism, war, criminal justice, and the history of crime and punishment. He spent many years at Middlesex University where, during the mid 1980s together with Jock Young and others, he developed what came to be known as 'left realist' criminology. The main output of that period 'What Is To Be Done About Law and Order' (Penguin 1984) was a much discussed text across both the academic and policy-making fields in criminal justice and crime control. Since retiring from Middlesex in 2005 he has held a number of honorary and visiting posts, at Brighton, Leicester and Roehampton Universities and now at Goldsmiths.

His work covers a number of fields related to criminology. He continued to develop the 'left realist' perspective in criminology in 'Crime and Modernity' (Sage 2002) and his most recent output has focused on the interface between crime and warfare and the role of the private sector ('War, Criminal Justice and the Rebirth of Privatisation' in Sandra Walklate & Ross McGarry eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and War. Palgrave 2017)

In 2015 John was awarded the British Society of Criminology Outstanding Achievement Award