Dr Rhiannon Firth

Senior Research Officer
Department of Sociology
Dr Rhiannon Firth



Rhiannon undertook her ESRC-funded MA and PhD with the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Her research focused on utopianism and utopian spaces as conditions of possibility for experimenting with new forms of politics and citizenship. She undertook extensive ethnographic research with intentional communities, autonomous social centres, ecovillages and housing co-operatives throughout the United Kingdom, and her thesis was published as a book by Routledge. After her doctoral studies Rhiannon was granted a postdoctoral bursary with the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Nottingham, then a Research Fellowship at the University of East London. In these posts which she developed her research and methodology through a dialogue with the tradition of critical pedagogy. She also has interests in alternative cosmologies and epistemologies, particularly utopian theories of time and temporality, critical cartographies, psychogeography and utopian mapping practices. Theoretically, she is informed by post-structuralism, post-colonialism, post-humanism, anarchism, feminism, critical pedagogy and deep ecology. Rhiannon is currently working on the EPSRC-funded project 'Chatty Factories' which examines post-human forms interaction and pedagogy between humans and AI/robots.


Journal articles (8)

Firth, R. and Robinson, A., (2020). Robotopias: mapping Utopian perspectives on new industrial technology. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print)

Firth, R. and Robinson, A., (2016). For a revival of feminist consciousness-raising: horizontal transformation of epistemologies and transgression of neoliberal TimeSpace. Gender and Education. 28 (3), 343-358

Firth, R., (2016). Somatic pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarchist perspective.. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization. 16, 121-142

Ferrei, M., Firth, R. and Lang, A., (2016). Future(s) Perfect: uchronian mapping as a research and visualisation tool in the fringes of the Olympic Park. Livingmaps Review. 1 (1)

Firth, R. and Robinson, A., (2014). For the past yet to come: Utopian conceptions of time and becoming. Time and Society. 23 (3), 380-401

Firth, R., (2014). Critical cartography as anarchist pedagogy? Ideas for praxis inspired by the 56a infoshop map archive. Interface : a journal for and about social movements. 16, 156-184

Firth, R., (2013). Toward a Critical Utopian and Pedagogical Methodology. Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies. 35 (4), 256-276

Firth, R., (2012). Transgressing urban utopanism: autonomy and active desire. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography. 94 (2), 89-106

Books (2)

Preston, J. and Firth, R., (2020). Coronavirus, Class and Mutual Aid in the United Kingdom. Palgrave Macmillan. 3030577139. 9783030577131

Firth, R., (2011). Utopian Politics: Citizenship and practice. Routledge. 9780203155455

Book chapters (4)

Firth, R., (2019). Afterword. In: Journey through Utopia. Editors: Berneri, ML., . PM Press. 9781629636467

Firth, R., (2018). Utopianism and Intentional Communities. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism. Editors: Levy, C. and Adams, M., . Palgrave Macmillan. 491- 510. 3319756206. 9783319756202

Firth, R. and Robinson, A., (2017). From the Unlearned Un-Man to a Pedagogy without Moulding: Stirner, consciousness raising, and the production of difference. In: ’Out of the Ruins?: The Emergence of New Radical Informal Learning Spaces. Editors: Haworth, R. and Elmore, JM., . PM Press. 56- 73. 978-1-62963-239-1

Firth, R., (2016). Monsters Take to the Streets! Monstrous Street-Art as Pedagogy of Resistance to Post-Olympic Regeneration in Hackney Wick?. In: Landscapes of Monstrosity. Editors: Munteán, L. and Post, HC., . Inter-Discipinary Press. 23- 38. 9781848883703

Conferences (1)

Burnap, P., Branson, D., Murray-Rust, D., Preston, J., Richards, D., Burnett, D., Edwards, N., Firth, R., Gorkovenko, K., Khanesar, MA., Lakoju, M., Smith, T. and Thorp, J., (2019). Chatty factories: a vision for the future of product design and manufacture with IoT

Reports and Papers (1)

Briggs, S., Finch, J. and Firth, R., (2016). Evaluation of a non-statutory 'Place of Calm', a service which provides support after a suicidal crisis to inform future commissioning intentions



Colchester Campus