People in the Topology Research Unit


The researchers who make up the Topology Research Unit.


Professor Julian Henriques

Professor Julian Henriques

Julian's teaching includes cultural studies and scriptwriting. Both areas are influenced largely on his professional work as a film producer and writer-director and his practice as a sound artist. This has also informed his research interests in the field of street technologies and cultures (particularly reggae dancehall sound systems) and in sound studies. One important tradition in which he locates his work is that of British Cultural Studies and he is a founding trustee of the Stuart Hall Foundation.

The professional experience of work in film and television for the BBC, Channel Four and with his own company Formation Films over many years has given him the basis for continuing links with professionals in those industries. This is most valuable for ensuring that as the programme convenor for MA Script Writing the course is up to date with current industry ideas, trends and practices.

TRU Advisory Board

Photograph of Les Back

Professor Les Back

Les joined the department in 1993. This was something of a return to Goldsmiths for him because he studied at Goldsmiths as both postgraduate and undergraduate during the 1980s. Prior to returning to the college, he taught at the University of Birmingham in the Cultural Studies department and before that worked as a contract researcher at Birkbeck College and the Institute of Education. Les convenes a third-year undergraduate option called Why Music Matters for Sociology and makes contributions to the core undergraduate courses across the degree programmes. Les is also significantly involved in teaching on MSc in Social Research.

His specialist areas of supervision are race and racism, multiculturalism, urban life, social exclusion, popular culture and music, sport sociology, postcolonial theory, youth and gender, work and institutional racism, visual sociology, health and illness.

Photograph of Brian Rotman

Professor Brian Rotman

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TRU Members

Professor Lisa Blackman

Professor Lisa Blackman

Lisa is Co-Head of the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (MCCS). She works at the intersection of body studies and media and cultural theory and is particularly interested in subjectivity, affect, the body and embodiment. She has published four books in this area. The most recent is Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation, (2012, Sage). Her work in the area of embodiment and voice hearing has been recognised and commended for its innovative approach to mental health research and it has been acclaimed by the Hearing Voices Network, Intervoice, and has been taken up in professional psychiatric contexts.

Lisa has made a substantive contribution to the fields of critical psychology and body studies. She co-edits the journal, Subjectivity (with Valerie Walkerdine, Palgrave) and edits the journal Body & Society (Sage). 

Professor Marianne Franklin

Professor Marianne Franklin

Marianne convenes MA Global Media & Transnational Communications. Her research interests draw on the humanities and social sciences as she has an academic background in History and Music, Social and Political Theory, and International Relations. Before coming to Goldsmiths she held teaching and research positions in Humanities, Social Science, and Engineering faculties at the University of Auckland (NZ), University of Amsterdam (NL), University for Humanistics (NL), and Columbia University (USA).

A recipient of research funding from the Social Science Research Council (USA) and Ford Foundation, she has been active in recent years in research and advocacy on human rights issues and the internet, serving as co-Chair of the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (2012-2014) at the UN Internet Governance Forum, and as a steering committee member of the IRP Coalition since 2009.

Professor Sarah Kember

Professor Sarah Kember

Sarah is Director of Goldsmiths Press and her research focuses on the future of publishing, digital media, smart media, questions of mediation and feminist science and technology studies. She has investigated the possibilities of life after new media (studies), and has engaged in debates on artificial life and other aspects of the convergence between biology and computer science. She also works on imaging technologies and the relationship between photography and the digital and, as a writer as well as acedemic, she explores the ‘fusion’ of science and literary fiction.

Sarah convenes MA Digital Media and teaches the optional course for the MA Digital Media - Digital Media, Critical Perspectives. She also offers a masterclass on the online, non-assessed module After New Media, based on her book Life After New Media (MIT Press 2012).

Professor Joanna Zylinska

Professor Joanna Zylinska

Joanna is a media theorist and artist, working on digital culture, artificial intelligence, photography, ethics and the planetary ecological crisis. Professor in New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, she has also held visiting positions as Guest Professor at Shandong University in China, Winton Chair Visiting Scholar at the University of Minnesota, US, and Beaverbrook Visiting Scholar at McGill University in Canada. Zylinska is the author of seven books - most recently, The End of Man: A Feminist Counterapocalypse (University of Minnesota Press, 2018; online version freely available).

Joanna combines her philosophical writings with photographic art practice and curatorial work. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of Transitio_MX05 'Biomediations': Festival of New Media Art and Video in Mexico City. She has presented her work at many art and cultural institutions.