Transforming Worlds: Materials, Habitat & the Sensory

Co-hosted by METHODS LAB +
Visual & Sensory Research Cluster (University of Kent)
23 June 2021, 3-5pm


Please register at Eventbrite for a free ticket & to receive a Zoom link on the day.


We invite you to join us for the launch of three new books at the intersection of cultural theory, affect studies, embodied and inventive methods and various projects of social transformation:


Rebecca Coleman
Glitterworlds: The Future Politics of a Ubiquitous Thing (Goldsmiths UP, 2020)

Carolyn Pedwell
Revolutionary Routines: The Habits of Social Transformation (McGill-Queens UP, 2021)

Jennifer Leigh and Nicole Brown
Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods (Bloomsbury, 2021)



Monica Moreno Figueroa (Cambridge)


Lisa Blackman (Goldsmiths)

Esther Priyadharshini (UEA)

Aimee Grant (Swansea)

Speaker bios:


Dr Rebecca Coleman is Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Carolyn Pedwell is Reader in Cultural Studies at University of Kent

Dr Jennifer Leigh is Lecturer in HE and Academic Practice at University of Kent

Dr Nicole Brown is Lecturer in Education at UCL Institute for Education

Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Cambridge University

Professor Lisa Blackman is Professor in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Esther Priyadharshini is Associate Professor in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at University of East Anglia

Dr Aimee Grant is Senior Research Officer in the School of Social Care Research at Swansea University

Rebecca Coleman Glitterworlds: The Future Politics of a Ubiquitous Thing (Goldsmiths UP, 2020)

Glitter is everywhere, from crafting to makeup, from vagazelling to glitter-bombing, from fashion to fish. Glitter also gets everywhere. It sticks to what it is and isn’t supposed to, and travels beyond its original uses, eliciting reactions ranging from delight to irritation.

In Glitterworlds, Rebecca Coleman examines this ubiquity of glitter, following it as it moves across different popular cultural worlds and exploring its effect on understandings and experiences of gender, sexuality, class and race. Coleman investigates how girls engage with glitter in collaging workshops to imagine their futures; how glitter can adorn the outside and the inside of the body; how glitter features in the films Glitter and Precious; and how LGBTQ* activists glitter bomb homophobic and transphobic people. Throughout, Coleman attends to the plurality of politics that glitter generates, approaching this through the concepts of hope, wonder, fabulation, and prefigurative politics—all of which indicate the making of different, better worlds, although often not in ways that are straightforward or conventional. She develops an original account of future politics, where time is nonlinear and sometimes non-progressive. Coleman’s argument brings together feminist cultural theory, feminist new materialisms, and theories on futures and temporality, in order to propose that we should understand glitter as a thing—vibrant, processual, transformational, and traversing boundaries between media and material, culture and nature, bodies and environments.


Carolyn Pedwell Revolutionary Routines: The Habits of Social Transformation (McGill-Queens UP, 2021)

Although we may associate social transformation with major events, historical turning points, or revolutionary upheaval, Revolutionary Routines argues that seemingly minor everyday habits are the key to meaningful change. Through its account of influential socio-political processes – such as the resurgence of fascism and the malleability of white supremacy, the crafting of new technologies of governance, and the operation of digital media and algorithms – the book rethinks not only how change works but also what counts as change. Drawing examples from the affective politics of Trumpism and Brexit, nudge theory and behaviour change, social media and the international refugee crisis, and the networked activism of Occupy and Black Lives Matter, it argues that minor gestures may be as significant as major happenings, revealing the powerful potential in our ability to remake shared habits and imaginatively reinhabit everyday life. Revolutionary Routines offers a new understanding of the logics of habit and the nature of social change, power and progressive politics, illustrating diverse forms of consciousness and co-operation through which political solidarities might take shape.


Jennifer Leigh and Nicole Brown Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods (Bloomsbury, 2021)

Embodied inquiry is the process of using embodied approaches in order to study, explore or investigate a topic. But what does it actually mean to be ’embodied’? This book explores why and how we use our bodies in order to research, what an embodied approach brings to a research project, and the kinds of considerations that need to be taken into account to research in this way. We all have bodies, feelings, emotions and experiences that affect the questions we are interested in, the ways in which we choose to approach finding out the answers to those questions, and the patterns we see in the data we gather as a result. Embodied Inquiry foregrounds these questions of positionality and reflexivity in research. It considers how a project or study may be designed to take these into account and why multimodal and creative approaches to research may be used to capture embodied experiences. The book offers insights into how to analyse the types of data emerging from embodied inquiries, and the ethical considerations that are important to consider. Accounting for the interdisciplinary nature of the field, this book has been written to be a concise primer into Embodied Inquiry for research students, scholars and practitioners alike.