Alistair Bernal Holmes
Alistair’s thesis working title is: “Utopia from the ashes: thinking the future in an age of permanent catastrophe”
Alistair Bernal Holmes is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology at Goldsmiths. His research focuses on the politics of futurity in the contemporary era, with a particular interest in potential and emergent ‘exits’ from a crisis-stricken capitalist present.
Before joining Goldsmiths, he completed a BA in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield and an MA in European Culture & Thought from UCL, as well as worked as an educator in France, Spain and China for over eight years.
Andrés Cabrera Sanhueza
Andrés’s thesis working title is: “Crisis of Hegemony and Constitutional Process in Late Neoliberalism: The Case of the Chilean ‘Laboratory’ (2019-2022)”
Andrés Cabrera is director of the Instituto de Filosofía Social y Crítica Política (Chile). He has a Master’s degree in Systemic Analysis Applied to Society from the Universidad de Chile and a Master’s in Philosophy from the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, as well as a BA degree in History with a focus on Political Science from the same University.
His research focuses on the contemporary political history of Chile and critical theory, combining analysis of the political crisis and the evolution of the political party system in Chile with the study of Antonio Gramsci’s work.
His writings have appeared both online and in print, with articles in scientific reviews and opinion columns in Chilean media like El Mostrador and the Centro de Investigación Periodística (Ciper). In 2017, along with the sociologist Alberto Mayol, he published Frente Amplio en el momento cero. Desde el acontecimiento del 2011 hasta su irrupción electoral en 2017, the first study examining the origins of the left coalition that came to government in 2022.
Andrés’s research proposes a historical, sociological, and political interpretation of the crisis that has occurred in Chile in recent years. Its chronological framework is determined by two crucial events: the uprising of October 2019 and the second referendum held in September 2022.
Beyond the immediate causes that led to the emergence of the October uprising in 2019 – i.e., the secondary student protest against the increase in public transport fares in the capital city, Santiago – this research suggests that it is not possible to explain the political and social crisis revealed since 2019 if the paradigmatic transition from the Chilean Way to Socialism (1932-1973) to the Chilean Highway to Neoliberalism (1973-2019) is neglected.
Considering this historical background, Andrés offers a preliminary analysis of the political crisis and constitutional process experienced in Chile between 2019 and 2022, interpreting this almost three-year period as a moment in which a crisis of hegemony has been revealed and intensified in a context of late or ‘mature’ neoliberalism.
Angela's thesis working title is: “An Analysis of the Pain of Women of Colour in Childbirth and the Vernacularisation of Human rights”
Angela Loum is a social researcher with an interest in critical race theory and intersectionality. She has completed, with distinction, an MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice, at Goldsmiths University and a first-class BA in Sociology and Politics with a focus on race, class and gender. Angela is also the winner of the Generation Delta scholarship and mentor to women in both Undergraduate and Postgraduate education.
Her experience of working with women and families spans thirty years. With a background in Children Centre management and social research, Angela has worked closely with women from diverse racialised backgrounds to improve their outcomes and address complex power differentials.
According to the UK Government’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, Black women have been found to be four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. It is therefore with urgency that this project aims to explore why there is a difference in mortality and morbidity rates between women of colour and white women and how this can be reduced.
This project builds on Angela’s previous research, wherein she completed a qualitative research project revealing an important clue: that one of the earliest, and potentially most significant signs of trauma during childbirth is pain and it appears that the way pain is subjectively experienced, perceived, and responded to is racialized. Building on the assumption that ignoring pain can lead to death, this project will contribute new, more nuanced knowledge about how perceptions of pain are racialised and the implications of this for morbidity and mortality.
- Twitter: @AngelaLoum1
Brenda’s thesis working title is: “More Than That! The Everyday Lives of Children Who Have Experienced Domestic Abuse and Social Work Interventions”
Brenda is a part-time PhD Sociology student and a counsellor working with children who have experienced domestic abuse. She has a special interest in researching with children using multimodal ethnography.
Her research project is a multimodal ethnographic study with children who have experienced domestic abuse and social care interventions. This thesis explores the everyday lives of children. There is significant literature about domestic abuse and children, but very few have been done with children themselves (Callaghan, Fellin and Alexander, 2017). Even when research has been done with children there is little exploration of their lives beyond the remit of domestic abuse.
Using multimodal ethnography, the thesis attends to the everyday lives of children who have experienced domestic abuse and social care interventions. The research foregrounds children’s knowledge and experience of their lives, and it uses a multimodal method to enable children to express themselves. The research shows how, in paying close attention to the mundane practice and materiality of everyday life, we can experience how children make sense of their lives and experiences, resulting in children creating knowledge about themselves that is beyond the constraints of domestic abuse and adversity.
Corine van Emmerik
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
Corine’s thesis working title is: “Reclamations of minoritarian futures: minor practices and aesthetic-politics in Palestine”
Corine van Emmerik is a PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research project is a speculative exploration into how minor practices are capable of taking life and the senses back from the Occupation and how their aesthetic politics makes arts of living possible even under brutal conditions of oppression in Palestine.
Her research interests include speculative thought and practices, pragmatism, potentialities and futures, and minor theory. She is a member of the Center for Invention and Social Progress (CISP) and the Unit of Play (UoP), both based at Goldsmiths.
- Twitter: @c_vanemmerik
Dinesh’s thesis working title is: “Immigration and Integration Policies in the UK: Nepalese Migrants’ Integration Status in the UK”
Dinesh Poudyal is a current PhD researcher in Sociology. Mr. Poudyal is a Gold Medalist, being awarded the Gold Medal by the then king of Nepal for acquiring the first position in his MA in Sociology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Along with his good experiences in teaching Sociology at a higher level, he also has experience in social research. As an author, Mr Poudyal has published a book called: Sociology of Economic Development. His active involvement in Nepalese diasporic organisations in the UK has helped him to widen his opportunity to work as a student representative of PhD Sociology, and a student community leader in this university.
Following the global trends of recent migration, immigrants’ integration has been considered a major challenge for European nations. In light of its colonial past, the United Kingdom has practised different integration strategies to accommodate its diversified immigrants, especially its commonwealth dominions.
In the context of Nepal, due to the Nepalese soldiers’ (known as Gurkhas) distinct and diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, the subject of Nepalese migration and integration has been considered a significant area of study. Therefore, Mr. Dinesh Poudyal’s research aims to explore Nepalese migrants’ immigration and integration status in relation to the immigration and integration policies adopted by the UK.
- Sara Farris
- Les Back
Eleanor D C Smith-Hahn
Eleanor’s thesis working title is: “Interconnection, Participation and Belonging among Learning Disability Communities”
Eleanor Smith-Hahn is a researcher and facilitator. Her practice centres on creative, participatory and accessible methods and outputs. Her research aims to deepen her understanding of communities and networks of people with learning disabilities. Eleanor has 6 years of experience working with people with learning disabilities and autism, including as a self-advocacy project worker and as a one-to-one SEN teacher. She completed the BA in Anthropology and Sociology, as well as the MSc in Social Research at Goldsmiths. Her research is funded by a SeNSS ESRC Studentship.
Eleanor's research traces formal and informal learning disability networks in the UK. People with learning disabilities are a marginalised group in the UK. Government policy on their inclusion has been criticised as an attempt to ‘normalise’ people, through expectations based on hard outcomes, such as employability and independent living (Cameron 2005; Hall 2010; Cushing 2015).
Eleanor’s PhD research provides a contribution to the field through the exploration of how people with learning disabilities themselves enact, experience and conceive ‘meaningful inclusion’ (Oliver and Barnes 2010). In the study, members are viewed as community practitioners – and their networks as a product of their practices and associated values. Close attention is paid to ways in which people with learning disabilities traverse and co-create their communities. The research is designed to respond to the communication needs of people with mild through to profound learning disabilities.
In her thesis, Eleanor primarily considers to what extent and how learning disability networks are produced by their community members in particular yet intersecting modes of participation and belonging. A speculative element of the project invites members to wonder what their communities could become and how broader society could adopt aspects of their practice.
Floriane’s thesis working title is: “When an image challenges gender & sexuality: Negotiating fashion photography production in a womenswear/menswear industry”
Floriane Misslin (they/them) is a researcher and design educator whose practice focuses on developing participatory and visual research methods. Floriane is a lecturer at the London College of Communication (UK), a tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL), and a PhD candidate in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths University of London (UK).
For their doctoral research, Floriane studies the production of fashion photography that challenges gender, sexuality, and the distinction between womenswear and menswear. The practice-based research explores the negotiations of creative ideas between various stakeholders in the industry, with a focus on the use of mood boards.
Floriane's doctoral research investigates how fashion images challenging gender and sexuality are produced, but also limited to the industry’s framing of womenswear/menswear. The practice-based research focuses on the use of mood boards to identify the different stakeholders taking part in the negotiation of creative ideas, from a pitch to the publication of images.
The study inquires into how LGBTQ+ creative workers navigate the industry in order to produce fashion stories that resemble their own relation to dress and identity. What can the alternatives set up to otherwise standardized sample sizing, casting, styling or commissioning reveal about the industry's relation to gender and sexuality? How do creative teams negotiate their ideas to queer fashion in a heteronormative industry? What power dynamics take place in these negotiations? What limits the potential for the fashion industry to transform its normative approach to bodies and identities?
- Vikki Bell
- Nina Wakeford
- Rebecca Coleman (former)
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
George’s thesis working title is: “Becoming Manuals: Home-Making in the London Greek Queer Diaspora”
George Kalivis (he/they) is a PhD candidate in Visual Sociology and Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, with a background in Gender Studies (Goldsmiths) and Architecture (University of Thessaly). Their doctoral research looks at the homemaking tactics of the Greek queer diaspora in London, with a focus on how alternative modes of pedagogy, care, and kinship are being shared inventively among its members.
The project elaborates conceptually and methodologically on a practice-based ethnographic exploration of “how-to” guidance manuals as performative devices for doing the self and its affinities, arguing for the bodily counter-normative potentials that such devices may take within the queer-diasporic community.
George has collaborated with scholars, artists, institutions and collectives on cultural and academic projects in Greece and the UK as a researcher, designer, director, curator, artist, educator, author and editor. Among further projects, he is Podcast and Visual Coordinator at The Sociological Review, Research Assistant at Politics of Patents, and Podcast Researcher, Artist and Presenter for Who Do We Think We Are?
Jordan’s thesis working title is: “Becoming a Young Woman in the High Atlas Mountains: A Study of Experience and Embodiment through the Lens of Yoga Practice”
Jordan is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. She obtained her MA in Human Rights, Culture, and Social Justice from Goldsmiths, University of London. She founded Souljourn Yoga Foundation, a US 501(c)3 non-profit that raises awareness and funds for young women’s education and empowerment by using yoga as a platform for social activism. Jordan has been featured in Forbes, Yoga Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Evening Standard, and Marie Claire UK. Jordan is an activist, writer, yoga teacher, and TEDx speaker.
Originating from India, yoga is a 4,000-year-old practice, which has become a global phenomenon. Even the United Nations chose to deem June 21st as International Yoga Day thus “recognizing that yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being” (UN, 2014). But can the benefits of yoga be accessible and adaptable for populations who have never been exposed to a ‘downward facing dog’?
This project explores how learning yoga and other holistic practices, including elements of self-care, such as meditation and creative expression through movement, can positively impact female, and adolescent Berber students in the High Atlas Mountains of rural Morocco. The study looks at how yoga can be a bridge between the internal and external world by offering a variety of practices and tools that help to bridge the two worlds together through embodiment.
Jordan’s project explores what it means to think with, and through, the body as the vehicle for all other forms of empowerment. How to understand the term ‘embodiment’ is central, and the women in the program guide the project here. Trainees will learn about physical yoga practices and how those can be used, be it for self-practice or teaching a group. Jordan is leading yoga classes virtually through Zoom so that the students become familiar with the yoga practice before the intensive training sessions that she will teach in person in Morocco.
The project’s methodology employs qualitative research methods to assess the journey of each young woman involved in the On the Ground Training. Jordan will follow the same group of baccalaureate students for two years as they study yoga, prior to their graduation from EFA. Interviews are the main method for collecting research data, but the project also uses observation, and written reflections – Jordan’s own, the students’ and the housemothers.
Karl’s thesis working title is: “Cartographies of Indifference: Resistance in Western Contemporary Critical Thought”
Karl is a PhD student in the department of sociology. He obtained his MA in sociology from the University of Malta in 2018. His research primarily foregrounded the relationship between reproduction and resistance in the context of constructing one’s body in contemporary consumer cultures.
His more current research interests include theoretical topics such as political resistance, indifference, power, subjectivity and ethics through the lens of French and Italian critical thought. His PhD in progress explores the relationship between indifference and resistance in western contemporary critical thought. Karl co-organises a yearly seminar on Michel Foucault’s thought.
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
Kim’s thesis working title is: “Reassembling non-religion: veganism as an ethical belief”
Kim is a PhD researcher and Associate Lecturer in the sociology department at Goldsmiths. Her doctoral research investigates how non-religious ethical beliefs are acquired, formed and transmitted through media practices.
Using digital ethnographic methods, the research explores how vegan activists and their audiences create, and engage with, moral discourses; and to what extent their ethical beliefs are shaped by their media practices. Prior to joining Goldsmiths, Kim completed an MA in Religion in Contemporary Society at King’s College London.
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
Louise’s thesis working title is: “Wax works: Hairlessness, infrastructure, and the air that we breathe”
Louise is a PhD candidate in sociology and teaches in sociology and criminology. Working across urban sociology and critical beauty studies, her research interests include beauty work, urban spaces, materials, infrastructures, bodies, water, air, geographies of toxicity, and questions of social and environmental justice.
She has worked as a Research Assistant for the Centre for Urban and Community Research (Goldsmiths) on The Fellowship Inn Project Evaluation and Sounding the Quaggy. Louise also co-curates Infrastructural Explorations, a series of interactive walking workshops which invite participants to critically engage with the impacts of infrastructure on the urban landscape.
Louise’s doctoral research examines the materials, spaces, infrastructures, and embodied labour which affect the production of feminine bodies in London’s beauty salons. Interrelatedly, it explores the toxic harms imbricated in beauty work. The role of oil is underscored: as a key raw material which affords depilatory wax, other beauty products, and their packaging certain ways of performing; as powering their journey to the salon; and as enabling their easy disposability and replacement. Following the wax through the city, the forms of toxicity co-extensive with beauty practices are put into relief.
Taking materials, places, and bodies to be in de/generative interchanges, the harms are epitomised in the air that we breathe where vulnerability is patterned by intersecting structural disadvantages. Drawing these together, the research shows that the production of feminine bodies in the beauty salon is materially and spatially affected, heavily permeated by oil, and inseparably entangled with unevenly-distributed toxic harms.
- Twitter: @louiserondel
Maria Georgouli Loupi
Maria’s thesis working title is: “The Social Reproduction of the Greek Middle Class in the 20th century”
Maria started her PhD in the Department of Sociology in 2021. She has a background in economics and economic & social history, having studied in the Athens University of Economics and Business (BSc) and the University of Exeter (MRes).
She is part of the Rethinking Economics and D-Econ networks, the International Association for Feminist Economics and a founding member of Critique Athens. Maria is also a member of the Feminist Library collective and works with the Brilliant Club charity to widen participation in high-profile UK universities.
Maria’s research sits on the intersections of women’s labour, the reproduction of the Greek middle class and global care chains. She is using social reproduction theory to research domestic workers in late 20th century Greece and their role in the (re)production of the middle class – physical, social and cultural; the existence of paid and unpaid care workers in it; and the cultural representation of care work and the gendered division of labour.
Maria explores the ways in which workers formulated by an in-migration in the 1960s are similar to those from the so-called wave of migration after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but also their differences: poor, young girls often working unpaid, compared to live-in care workers and precarious cleaners from Albania and Ukraine. She is also interested in the (failed) attempts at unionisation that occurred until the 2000s and how these were received by the workers themselves as well as existing unions and leftist formations.
Mickey’s thesis working title is: “Critique and the Management of Crisis in the Wake of the Grenfell Tower Fire”
Mickey is a doctoral researcher in the Sociology Department. Mickey’s research looks at the capacity of situations designated as crises to function as reflexive events which expose previously unrecognised or unarticulated aspects of the social order.
Taking the Grenfell Tower fire as a case study, this research examines how different groups of ‘insiders’ invested in the official response perceive, and participate in, the processes instigated in the wake of the fire and what effect this has on prospects for critical thought and action.
Oliver’s thesis working title is: “How do transitions from private to community ownership reshape power and possibility?”
Oliver is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology of Goldsmiths College, studying transitions to community ownership. He helped to take Bath City FC into community ownership and previously served on the board of Supporters Direct (now part of the Football Supporters Association). He also works as Research Director of New Citizenship Project, a consultancy and think tank specialising in participatory culture and strategy.
Oliver has an MA in Critical and Creative Analysis from Goldsmiths College and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.
Using an ANT-inspired ethnographic approach, Oliver’s research takes a closer look at the nuts and bolts of how groups come together and take the things that matter to them into community ownership. He explores such transitional processes as sites of contest and negotiation in which old assumptions are rendered mutable and new possibilities arise; different conceptions of the asset and its communities are mobilised, and various power asymmetries are reshuffled.
- Further channel: holtaway.wixsite.com/research
Phavine’s thesis working title is: “‘Stitched with Love’: Using collaborative quilt making as a campaign tool to respond to the UK family migration rules”
Phavine Phung is a doctoral researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London. She's working on her PhD in visual sociology. Her research employs textile craft to enquire into topics such as immigration and family. Her action research takes a collaborative approach in which she works closely with a community of families affected by the UK immigration system.
- Nirmal Puwar
- Rebecca Coleman
Rachel’s thesis working title is: “Health Professionals’ Responses to Deathbed Events: Implications for Medical Knowledge and Care”
Rachel studied english, nursing and sociology before starting her PhD. She works part-time in primary care.
Rachel’s work looks at extraordinary experiences at the end of life: reports of patients and those around them seeing bright lights, deceased relatives, beautiful gardens or similar during the dying process. She is interested in how health workers respond to these events and what these responses tell us about knowledge, marginalisation and care.
Rhea’s thesis working title is: “The commodification of care and its impact on care workers’ human rights”
Before starting the PhD, Rhea studied MA Human Rights, Social Justice and Culture at Goldsmiths University and BA Sociology at the University of Warwick. She works as a User Researcher full-time while doing her PhD.
Rhea’s research concerns the financialisation, privatisation and commodification of care work. She investigates the ways that the care sector has changed over time and how these changes might have affected care workers’ human rights. She seeks to understand care workers’ experiences in the sector and how their rights are and aren’t protected.
Silvia’s thesis working title is: “The Shoplifter’s Clothes: Technologies for a Feminist Practice”
Silvia has a BA in Filmmaking and Creative Media from the University of the West of England, and a MRes in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths. Between the two, she worked as a film curator for MUBI and as a freelance journalist for various international publications and websites – most regularly, she run a ‘Coming of Age’ column for Shanghai-based magazine Modern Weekly China, on how the trends followed by young people around the world come to reflect broader cultural and political shifts.
As a film curator, Silvia still organises occasional screenings in London’s theatres and galleries.As well as a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, she is now an Associate Lecturer, Silvia teaches or has taught in the Fashion and Design Product departments at the RCA, Contextual and Theoretical Studies at LCC, and Fashion Journalism at LCF.
Silvia’s PhD focuses on shoplifting as a feminist practice, and is part of the ERC-funded ‘Politics of Patents (POP): Re-imagining citizenship via clothing inventions 1820-2020’ research project. It examines the clothes that female shoplifters wore or might have worn at the turn of the 20th century, as sartorial technologies that enabled, facilitated, or encouraged theft as an act of resistance.
Silvia’s research is conducted across archives, by drawing textual and visual connections between selected inventions from the POP database, patented in the late 19th and early 20th century, and contemporary newspapers’ description of shoplifters’ clothes. Because history forgets women’s shoplifting when it’s successful, her research is also necessarily speculative: drawing from the transcripts of those that failed, she seeks to reimagine successful thefts.
- Instagram: @silviabombardini
Stephanie’s thesis working title is: “Where do Black Men Live?”
Stephanie Guirand (She, her, hers) is a Haiti-born member of the Haitian-American cis-woman. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, a master's degree from the University of London, SOAS, and is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the Sociology Department. Stephanie Guirand is a gender specialist who identifies as a Black feminist.
Her thesis focuses on housing policy and housing transience among African-descended men who ‘live’ between multiple households. Stephanie is the treasurer of Goldsmiths Racialised Postgraduate Network (GRPN), the secretary of the Board of Directors at AMINGA: Youth Sports Development Program, and is a senior researcher for The Black Response Cambridge and the current Board President of Cambridge Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team (HEART).
Absent effective policies and programs, where do Black men live? This case study examines formal (public housing, section 8 vouchers, inclusionary housing) and informal ways (social networks) that low-income African-descended men meet their housing needs in Cambridge, MA, USA. The data collection methods are service-based episodic ethnography with participant observation and participatory action research (PAR).
The overarching argument is that housing insecurity and transience are politically protracted phenomena. Stephanie's project makes three claims: 1) The housing insecurity experienced by low-income African-descended men needs to be empirically examined. Collapsing them with others ignores the specific experiences at their intersection (i.e. gender, race, and class). 2) A complex web of policies, programs, and eligibility criteria result in de facto exclusion of African-descended men. And 3) to address their basic housing needs, these men rely on their social networks, predominantly composed of women, who bear an inordinate burden as a result.
Sunwoo’s thesis working title is: “How can we understand and re-organise the cities?”
Sunwoo Kim is a PhD student in the Sociology department at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Prior to joining the PhD programme, he studied BA in Cultural Contents at Inha University in South Korea and the first MA in Aesthetics & Art Theory at CRMEP (The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy) and the second MA in Sociology at Goldsmiths university. He is currently studying STS theories and sensory ethnography under the guidance of Alex and Michael.
His current research interests are the interrelationship between physical and digital space, and its implications on residents’ sociality in everyday life. It scrutinises the various interactions between human and non-human agencies in the two cities, London and Seoul.
The research investigates the organisation of space, the constitution of neighbourhoods, the use of digital technology, the balance of human life with nature and encounters, and forces like interests, preferences, or institutions that propel essences into action, in the cities. It is expected to shed light on not only the problem of housing insecurity, scarcity and solitude for the young and aged generation but also critically question the current re-urbanisation and the regeneration of the cities in the neo-liberalised world.
- Instagram: @moonandlight21
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
Tom’s thesis working title is: “Imaging Self-Harm: Mental Health, Care, and Community on Social Media”
Thomas Wadsworth is a PhD student in Visual Sociology and Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Their research focuses on self-harm and online spaces, with particular attention to the circulation of imageries, and different ways mental healthcare is co-constituted within affected communities beyond medical and clinical settings. They are also interested in the topics of participatory methods and what to do when they fail, and social and aesthetic ‘deviance’.
- Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
- Rebecca Coleman
- Yasmin Gunaratnam (former)
- Twitter: @TomWadsworth_
Xu’s thesis working title is: “China’s Pandemic Biopolitics: The Responses to HIV/AIDS and Covid-19"
Xu is a PhD candidate in Sociology. His current research examines China’s public health policies and governance of HIV/AIDS and Covid-19. Xu engages with theoretical debates of biopower, governmentality, and biological citizenship, and he is interested in discourses of health/illness and public health policy/interventions.
Besides the PhD life, Xu is co-chair of Goldsmiths Racialised Postgraduate Network (GRPN). He teaches social research methods at King’s College London (2022-23). Previously, Xu investigated China’s HIV/AIDS policies as a journalist, and he studied Journalism in China and Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University.
Xu’s research examines China’s response to the HIV and Covid-19 pandemics. Drawing on and extending Michel Foucault’s notion of biopolitics, it explores how knowledge is produced and to what effect. This research proposes that the centralised control of knowledge production and the totalitarian, top-down power system leads to a different mode of biopolitics from that originally conceived by Foucault in the European context. China’s response to HIV and Covid-19 provides a comparative perspective to analyse the formulation and evolution of biopolitics in this specific context. The methods used in this research include discourse analysis, interviews and online ethnography.
- Twitter: @aixliugs
Yoli’s thesis working title is: “One Nation under God: The impact of the prioritisation of American identity and Islamophobia on the formation, negotiation and performance of American Muslim identities”
Yoli is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology. Her research focuses on the role and impact of Islamophobia and the prioritisation of US-American national identity in shaping perceptions, negotiations, and articulations of Muslim-American identities. Yoli has a BSc degree in Sociology with Psychology from City, University of London and has recently graduated with an MSc in Sociology from the LSE. Yoli works in the voluntary sector as a research officer.
Migration to the US has significantly shaped the pluralistic nature of American culture and identity. Being American has become a principal identifier, where regardless of where someone originates, they are American first and all other identities second, surpassing the importance of ethnic and religious identities and ties. Such constructions of American identity raise salient questions for those with multiple identities who face societal pressure to assimilate and identify as American above all else yet face interpersonal and institutional discrimination. Through interviews and observation, Yoli’s study examines the impact of Islamophobia and the prioritisation of US-American national identity in shaping perceptions, negotiations, and articulations of Muslim-American identities.
- LinkedIn: @yolioswald
Zak’s thesis working title is: “Carnival of Resistance? A study on the antiracist significance of the Notting Hill Carnival”
Zak is a campaign coordinator for Love Music Hate Racism; he has organised floats within the Notting Hill Carnival parade since 2017. Zak works part-time in the homelessness sector.
Zak is facilitating an oral history project exploring Notting Hill Carnival’s contribution to tackling racism in Britain. It aims to understand how the carnival provided the African Caribbean community with a tool to collectively resist the racism they faced between the mid to late 1970s. The secondary concern of this research project is to evaluate Notting Hill Carnival’s broader impact on the direction of antiracist politics in Britain, particularly its influence on the Rock Against Racism movement of the mid-1970s and early 1980s.
PhD Student and Associate Lecturer
Zoe’s thesis working title is: “Navigating precarity: children and families’ accounts of housing insecurity in austerity Britain”
Zoe Walshe is a PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Zoe’s doctoral research explores children's and families’ accounts of housing precarity in austerity Britain. The thesis traces the figure of the child through a series of case studies, developing a qualitative data patchwork from crowdsourced archives, local housing activism and participatory arts projects, alongside policy and legal texts.
Zoe is co-convenor of the Childhood Publics Reading Group (2019-present), steering committee member of the Centre for Urban and Community Research and member of the research network, NYLON. She has previously worked as a research assistant for the Centre for Urban and Community Research (Goldsmiths) on the Fellowship Inn Evaluation Project and Interfaith Childhoods.