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Sanjay Sharma (Associate Professor)

Sanjay Sharma (Associate Professor)

My research interests involve studying technologies of race and racism from critical data justice, decolonial and abolitionist perspectives. I consider how digital technologies are generative of racialized affects, subjectivities and dispossession. My research approach develops interdisciplinary methodologies to grasp how race and other intersectional exclusionary practices are emergent digital phenomena, mutating through entanglements with networked relations, algorithmic profiling, datafication, platform architectures and economies. I conceive the sociotechnical production of race as an assemblage, and interrogate how materialist understandings of digital ecologies open new possibilities for rethinking and resisting the contemporary force of racism and whiteness. More broadly, my work aims to situate ethno-racial difference as critical to the formation of contemporary digital culture.

My current research projects are focussing on social harms produced by the deployment of AI and automated decisions making systems. This is being investigated in relation to three areas of concern. Firstly, scrutinizing the rise of AI ethics discourse proliferating notions of fairness, accountability and transparency, from anti-racist data justice approaches. Secondly, I am interested in addressing limitations of existing sociological and digital media approaches to online antagonism and discrimination, by analysing the conditions of digital post-raciality in contemporary techno-cultural transformations of racism. Thirdly, I am examining how regimes of surveillance are producing datafied bodies, through which certain populations become racially modulated as threats to security and subjected to pre-emptive practices of control.

I am available to supervise doctoral students on topics related to my research interests above, in addition to broader topics concerning race, representation and social inequities.

Research Profile

Race and technology; data justice; social media platforms and discrimination; media ecologies and subjectivity.

Academic Profile

I joined the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) in 2021. Previously, I have held teaching and research posts at Brunel University (Reader), University of East London, Staffordshire University and the University of Manchester. I completed my PhD in Race and critical pedagogy (University of Manchester), MA Sociology (Leeds University), and BSc Electronics & Electrical Engineering (UCL, University of London).

Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA) Fellow (2023-26)

Selected Projects/Grants

2024-25 BRAID (AHRC) Fellowship: Inclusive Futures: Radical Ethics and Transformative Justice for Responsible AI

2023-24. 'Re-Imaging AI with Afrofuturist Speculative Design' (PI), ESRC Digital Good Network.

2023. 'Woman, Life, Freedom: Sounds of a Revolution' (Co-I), Sustainable Cities GRP, University of Warwick

2021–22. 'Race and AI', BLAST Fest, (PI) Warwick Institute of Engagement Collaboration and Co-Production

2019–20. 'The Ecology of Digital Racism'. Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust

2013. ‘Twitter Racial Discourse: an analysis of #thatsracist and #notracist hashtags’, (PI), British Academy

2012. Digital Race Methods, (PI) ESRC Digital Social Research Community Activities Funding Scheme

2008–9. Noise of the Past: a poetic journey of war, memory, (Co-I), AHRC

2008. Post-Colonial War Requiem, (Co-I), Arts Council

Selected Publications

2024. Understanding Digital Racism: Networks – Algorithms – Scale. London: Rowman & Littlefield. [LINK - discount code: RLFANDF30]

2023. Post-racial politics, pre-emption and in/security, European Journal of Cultural Studies (with J. Nijjar). [LINK]

2019. Visualizing YouTube’s comment space: online hostility as a networked phenomena, New Media & Society, 21 (1), 191–213 (with D. Murthy). [LINK]

2018. The racialized surveillant assemblage: Islam and the fear of terrorism, Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media & Communication, 16 (1): 72-85 (with J. Nijjar). [LINK]

2016. #notracist: Exploring Racism Denial Talk on Twitter, in J. Daniels, K. Gregory & T. McCotton (Eds) Digital Sociologies, Policy Press: University of Bristol, (with P. Brooker). [LINK]

2015. Have we even solved the first 'big data challenge? Practical issues concerning data collection & visual representation for social media analytics’, in H. Snee et al. (Eds) Digital Methods for Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Research Innovation. London: Palgrave MacMillan (with P. Brooker, P. Barnett, J. & T. Cribbin). [LINK]

2015. Race in the Networks of Info-Capitalism, in A. Cianelli & B. Ferra (Eds) Postcolonial Matters. Tra gesti politici e scritture poetiche, Napoli: edizioni, University Press. pp.27-39 (with A. Sharma).

2014. The im/possibility of Barack Hussein Obama, in Ledwidge, M. et al (Eds) Barack Obama and the myth of post-racial America’ London: Routledge, (with N. Puwar). [LINK]

2013. darkmatter: Racial reconfigurations and networked knowledge production, TripleC, 11 (2): 581–588, (with A. Sharma). [LINK]

2013. Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion, Materialities of Text (Special Issue), New Formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics, No. 78: 46-64. [LINK]

2012. 'Curating Sociology’, The Sociological Review Monographs, 60: 40-63, (with N. Puwar).

2011. Unravelling Difference – a sensory multiculture, The Senses and Society, 6 (3): 284- 305.

2010. Crash - Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Whiteness?, Cultural Studies, 24 (4): 533-552.

2009. Teaching British South Asian Cinema – a materialist reading practice. The Cinema Issue, Journal of South Asian Popular Culture, 7 (1): 21-35.

2006. Multicultural Encounters: alterity, pedagogy, ethics. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

2006. ‘Teaching Diversity: im/possible pedagogy, S. Ahmed & E. Swan (Eds) Doing Diversity Work (special issue), Policy Futures in Education, 4 (2): 206-16.

2003. 'White Paranoia: Orientalism in the age of Empire, Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 7 (4): 301-318 (with A. Sharma)

1996. Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music, London: Zed Books (Edited collection, with A. Sharma).

Sanjay Sharma


Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
Room B0.22 (Social Sciences)
University of Warwick

Email:sanjay dot sharma at warwick dot ac dot uk


T: @sanjay_digital