Sanjay Sharma (Assistant 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 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.
Race and technology; data justice; social media platforms and discrimination; media ecologies and subjectivity.
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).
2019–2020 'The Ecology of Digital Racism'. Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust
2013 ‘Twitter Racial Discourse: an analysis of #thatsracist and #notracist hashtags’, Principal Investigator, British Academy
2012 Digital Race Methods, ESRC Digital Social Research Community Activities Funding Scheme
2008–9 Noise of the Past: a poetic journey of war, memory, Co-Investigator, AHRC
2008 Post-Colonial War Requiem, Co-Investigator, Arts Council
2023. (forthcoming) Technologies of Racism: Networks - Algorithms - Attention. Rowman & Littlefield.
2019. Visualizing YouTube’s comment space: online hostility as a networked phenomena, New Media & Society, 21 (1), 191–213 (with D. Murthy).
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).
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).
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).
2015. Race in the Networks of Info-Capitalism, in A. Cianelli & B. Ferra (Eds) Postcolonial Matters. Tra gesti politici e scritture poetiche, Napoli: photocity.it 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).
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.
2013. darkmatter: Racial reconfigurations and networked knowledge production, TripleC, 11 (2): 581–588, (with A. Sharma).
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).
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
University of Warwick
Email:sanjay dot sharma at warwick dot ac dot uk