Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
MD05: Making Sociology Matter Beyond the Academic Journal
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
12:45pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: Michaela Caroline Benson, Goldsmiths
Location: BS.G.26
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

In this panel, we focus on making sociology matter beyond the strictures of the academic journal. The session offers a collaboration between Discover Society ( – an online platform aimed at making academic research about society accessible to an informed, interested general reader – and The Sociological Review ( – a digital platform centred on Britain’s oldest journal of sociological enquiry and extending its longstanding commitment to making sociology matter.

Loosely organised around the theme of Public Sociology, it brings together speakers who have taken the lead on initiatives to make sociology matter beyond the academic journal, and have experimented with different forms of making sociology public in their own research practice. As they discuss, this is far more than a way of communicating research differently, it is political, offering critical and creative interventions that makes visible the production of the social world and questioning inequalities and social divisions. The conversation between the contributors will focus on the urgency and importance of making sociology matter, the prospects for this, the value for individual sociologists in the context of their own research, what this brings to the discipline (and why we need this now more than ever), alongside the pitfalls and opportunities. They draw on their experience of curating digital platforms that showcase the research of academics from across the social sciences, of podcasting, exhibiting and working with print and broadcast media in their examination of contemporary and future landscapes of Public Sociology.


Gurminder K. Bhambra, Discover Society


Gurminder K. Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. Her current project is on epistemological justice and reparations. She is Series Editor of the Theory for a Global Age series, set up by Bloomsbury Academic and now published by Manchester University Press and, in 2015, she set up the Global Social Theory website to support students and academics interested in social theory in global perspective. She is also co-editor of the online magazine, Discover Society and Trustee at the Sociological Review Foundation.

Luke de Noronha, The Sociological Review


Luke de Noronha recently completed his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Oxford and is currently the Sociological Review Fellow for 2019, while teaching at Birkbeck College in Psychosocial Studies. His main research interest is in deportation – as is his political activism – and he is concerned with theorising the relationship between racism and immigration control. He has written blogs and journalistic pieces for several online publications – including The Guardian, Verso Books, VICE News, Open Democracy, Discover Society, Ceasefire Magazine, Border Criminologies and Red Pepper.

Chaired by:

Michaela Benson, Goldsmiths, UK


Michaela Benson is an ethnographer and sociologist based at Goldsmiths. Her current research is focused on Brexit and what this means to and for British citizens living in the EU-27 (, a project that includes the ambition to communicate research in real time through podcasting, writing for print media and blogs, working with journalists and ThinkTanks. As Managing Editor of the Sociological Review, she is responsible for editorial vision and strategy for a journal that seeks to renew the critical and creative appeal of sociology in times of dramatic economic and political changes in many parts of the world.

No contributions were assigned to this session.

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