The Early Career Researcher Excellence Award is awarded for the production of high quality research and/or enterprise within five years of completing a PhD or starting a first academic post.
Dr Aristea Fotopoulou
Nominated by: Helen Kennedy
For: Digital culture, emerging technologies and social change
This work focuses on critical aspects of digital culture, emerging technologies and social change. Before joining Brighton, Fotopoulou completed highly prestigious postdoctoral fellowships at Goldsmiths, University of London and also at the University of Sussex, where she received her PhD in Media and Cultural Studies. In the five academic years after receiving her PhD (part of which was also maternity leave), and within less than two years at the University of Brighton, Fotopoulou has excelled in terms of publications, funding and professional development.
The level of publishing productivity is remarkable for an early career researcher. Fotopoulou has published one research monograph and 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and scientific reports, including highly selective, high impact journals in the field, such as New Media and Society and the British Journal of Sociology. Fotopoulou’s monograph – Feminist Activism and Digital Networks (2017, Palgrave Macmillan) has been downloaded 424 times within three months of its publication, and has been endorsed by high profile academics in her field Professor Nick Couldry (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK), Professor Rosalind Gill (City, University of London, UK) and Professor Carol Stabile (University of Oregon, USA). The book was been described as “highly recommended” and deemed as “required reading for social justice classrooms.” The book sheds new light on how digital technologies have become inextricably linked to culture, economy and politics and how they have transformed feminist and queer activism.
Fotopoulou has also successfully secured funding for research in digital health start-ups, the quantified self and cultural understandings of data, which she undertook as a Visiting Scholar at the Science and Justice Research Center, University of California Santa Cruz, funded by RCUK New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE). She has also secured funding as co-investigator on the EPSRC-funded project – Susnet: Sustaining networked knowledge: expertise, feminist media production, art and activism (RCUK Digital Economy ‘Communities and Culture’ Network+). She brought together feminist cultural production, art and activist practices and enabled exchanges between different researchers, activists, artists and community. Outputs included a web platform for critical engagement, a research conference an edited special issue on Queer Feminist Media Praxis in Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology.
She is the Chair of the Digital Culture and Communication Section of the European Communications Research and Education Association (ECREA), reviews manuscripts for several leading journals in her field and is member of the AHRC Peer Review College and the ESRC Review panel.
Since 2015, Fotopoulou has been invited to give nine fully-funded keynotes, talks and expert panels and has presented at over 30 international and national conferences since 2012. She was interviewed about digital health technologies and gender for the podcast series Digital Health/Digital Capitalism, published in the online discussion platform Open Democracy and been invited to write for The Conversation. Her research blog has had 30,226 views since 2011.
Fotopoulou has been selected for this year’s Research Leadership Training at the University of Brighton and is currently completing the programme. Furthermore, Fotopoulou has secured a funded PhD student and has taken on the Course Leadership for the MA Creative Media and is leading the Curriculum Review, title change and re-launch of the course.