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Paolo Gerbaudo

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo

A picture of Paolo GerbaudoSenior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1576
Address Department of Digital Humanities 
S3.10, Strand Building
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS


Paolo joined the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London in September 2012 taking a post of Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society. Previously he had been an Associate Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, at the Media Department at Middlesex University, and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Apart from his academic work Paolo has also acted as a journalist covering social movements, political affairs and an environmental issues, and as a new media artist exhibiting at art festivals and shows. He holds a PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College, where he worked under the supervision of Professor Nick Couldry.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Social media in contemporary activism
  • New media and youth subcultures
  • Media, space and the mediated city
  • Alternative political communications
  • The politics of digital mapping
  • Net art and gaming

Paolo Gerbaudo's research focuses on the relationship between new media practices and physical spaces in contemporary political activism and youth cultures. His first book Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism (Pluto, 2012) critically assessed the impact of social media on the wave of movements of 2011 from the Arab Spring, to the Spanish indignados and Occupy Wall Street, highlighting not only the potentials but also the risks of isolation and evanescence social media bring to the contemporary protest experience. His research methodology combines in-depth interviews with organisers, participants, and sympathisers of social movements, and other social groupings, alongside ethnographic observations, and textual analysis of relevant media material. He is currently involved in a new research project, investigating the transformation of digital activism in Egypt during the transitional phase.

Paolo welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of his research interests.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Gerbaudo, P. (2012). Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism, Pluto Books, London
  • Gerbaudo, P. (2012 - forthcoming) 'Spikey Posters: fly-posting and territoriality in Urban Activist Scenes', Space and Culture
  • Gerbaudo, P. (2012). 'United by Politics, Divided by Business: the uneasy relationship between Berlusconi's and Murdoch's media in Italy', Special Section, in Global Media and Communication, Sage, London
  • Gerbaudo, P. (2011) 'Berlusconi of the Left? Nichi Vendola and the 'narration' of the Italian New Left', Soundings, Lawrence and Wishart, London
  • Gerbaudo, P. and Pianta, M. (2012). 'Debt Relief and Trade Justice in Italy' in Utting, P. (ed.) Global Justice Activism and Policy Reform in Europe: Understanding When Change Happens, Routledge: London  
For a complete list of publications, please see Paolo's full research profile.

Since 2006 Paolo has taught at different academic institutions, in the UK and abroad, and in both media studies and sociology departments. Among the subjects he has covered in his teaching feature new media, global journalism, research methods, media and ethics, political communications, social movements and core sociology. In his work as an academic teacher, Paolo adopts a participatory approach to teaching and learning which puts much emphasis on students' active contribution to class discussions and on their direct engagement with empirical research.

Expertise and public engagement

Paolo is a member of MECCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association), ECREA (European Communication and Research Education Association), IAMCR (International Association of Communication Research). He has presented papers at the conferences of the aforementioned organisations as well as at the ISA (International Sociological Association) and ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research). Paolo has made guest appearances on a number of TV and radio shows, from the BBC World Service Newshour, to Al Jazeera's English The Listening Post. He is a contributor to the Italian newspaper il manifesto, to UK magazine Red Pepper and to UniNomade website.


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