Nina Wakeford

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Sociology
Email n.wakeford (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7081
Nina Wakeford

Dr Nina Wakeford's sociological work focuses on the development of visual sociology through inventive methods and practice-led research. Her early sociological work included ethnographic investigations of technosocial environments in the 1990s, including work on 'cyber queer'. More recently she has become interested in the intersection of Science and Technology Studies and art practice. She is the co-editor of Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social (Routledge, 2012) a collection which explores, amongst other things, how research might better work with openness and ambiguity.

As an artist she makes work that begins with unfinished business of past social movements, and the challenges of revisiting the energies that these movements created. She is interested in how to enact demands through material engagements, the way in which identification and disidentification are forged, modes of empathy and inhabitation, and the risks of staying loyal/respectful to the kinds of materials that initiate the work. 

Recently, drawing on a personal collection of feminist materials from the 1970s and 1980s, Nina has made a series of film and performance works that involve singing as a way of attaching herself to objects or images.  Recent performances have been shown at the British Film Institute, Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Wellcome Collection. She is currently working on a commission for Art on the Underground (2018-20). 


Nina Wakeford convenes the MA Visual Sociology

Research Interests

Nina has played an active role in the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC), and has regularly presented papers at both academic and industry-led events. She has just completed a three-year Fellowship funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council in which she looked at the translations of social science knowledge and methodologies into other fields, and the knowledge making practices that academic social science might adapt from commercial settings.

Previous research projects have included studies of internet cafes, women's discussions lists and the use of ethnography by new technology designers.


Edited Book

Lury, Celia and Wakeford, Nina, eds. 2012. Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social London. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-57481-5

Book Section

Prophet, Jane and Wakeford, Nina. 2010. A Conversation about Models and Prototypes. In: Hazel Gardiner and Charlie Gere, eds. Art Practice in a Digital Culture. London: Ashgate, pp. 43-60. ISBN 978-0-754-67623-2


Day, Sophie E.; Lury, Celia and Wakeford, Nina. 2014. Number ecologies: numbers and numbering practices. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 15(2), pp. 123-154. ISSN 1600-910X

Conference or Workshop Item

Reckitt, Helena; Blackman, Lisa; Wakeford, Nina and Fisher, Jennifer. 2016. 'Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial'. In: Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial. Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom 19 January 2017.

Wakeford, Nina. 2011. 'Replacing the Networked Society with Social Foam: A Revolution for Corporate Ethnography?'. In: Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. Colorado, United States.

Printed Ephemera

Wilkie, Alex; Kerridge, Tobie; Michael, Mike; Gaver, William; Wakeford, Nina and Jungnickel, Kat. 2010. Making and Opening: Entangling Design and Social Science - conference delegate hand-out.