About the authors


For more information about Realising the City, please get in touch with the editors, Camilla Lewis and Jessica Symons

Book Contributors

Mike Atkins (Author) is an anthropologist and artist based in Manchester. His work involves using combinations of writing, drawing and performance as forms of storytelling, documentary and expression.

Hannah Knox (Author) is senior lecturer in Digital Anthropology and Material Culture at University College London. Her work explores the relationship between technology and the imagination, cultural creativity and material contingency, the politics of transformation and the challenge of rupture, crisis and the new. She has explored these issues through ethnographic research in the UK, Peru and Europe and is interested in how people make worlds and worlds make people. She has written about how culture permeates, shapes and is transformed by information systems, digital models, roads, energy infrastructure, carbon, and climate change. Her work explores how social/material entanglements and their negotiation, create both spaces for action and establish the limits of the possible. Hannah’s recent publications include Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise (2015) and Ethnography for a Data Saturated World (in preparation).

Luciana Lang (Author) is a researcher working in the broad area of socio-ecological anthropology in urban contexts. Her doctoral research explored the relationship between an urban fishing community and a mangrove swamp in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This dialogue between urban communities, the environment and policies continues to shape her research. Luciana is particularly interested in human-disturbed environments, in homespun alternatives to cope with socio-economic effects of increasingly precarious scenarios, and in the use and management of the commons.

Camilla Lewis (Author and Editor) is Research Associate in Sociology at the University of Manchester, working on a project about place and belonging. Her research focuses on urban regeneration, community, social change and class. In 2014 she completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester in which she conducted an ethnographic study in East Manchester. Since then she has worked as a Research Associate in CRESC (Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change) carrying out research on Big Data and Urban Waste Management and on the Step Change project looking at travel, transport and mobility.

Damian O’Doherty (Author) lives and works in Manchester where he is Senior Lecturer in Organisation Analysis at the Alliance Manchester Business School. He has just published his ethnography of the Manchester Airport Group with Palgrave Macmillan, Reconstructing Organisation: The Loungification of Society.

Elisa Pieri (Author) is a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Her work explores securitisation and its impact on the urban and on various stakeholders. Her current research (Simon Fellowship, 2016–2019) investigates how Western cities securitise against the risk of global pandemics and the social implications that arise from pandemic preparedness protocols, technologies and practices. Elisa has a background of externally funded interdisciplinary research projects, investigating controversial issues in policy, science and technology, media and public debates. She has published on security (incl. ID technologies and surveillance), urban sociology (on which she also lectures), Science and Technology Studies (STS), and on ethical, legal and social aspects of new technologies (such as genomics and biometrics).

George Poulton (Author) is a Senior Research Officer at the Department for Education. In 2013 he completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. His research was an ethnographic study of FC United of Manchester and explored the themes of community and politics as they played out amongst football supporters.

Katherine Smith (Author) is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in the North of England exploring issues of fairness and (in)equalities, social class, nationalisms, political correctness, political participation, race and ethnicity, belonging and humorous banter. She is author of Fairness, Class and Belonging in Contemporary England (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and co-editor of the book Extraordinary Encounters: Authenticity and the Interview (Beghahn Books, 2015).

Jessica Symons (Author and Editor) is an urban anthropologist and AHRC Creative Economy Engagement Fellow at the University of Manchester. Her research explores culture, creativity and how organisational structures affect people’s ability to realise their ideas. She has previously worked at the University of Salford as Research Fellow at UPRISE Research Centre and on an AHRC Connected Community Project, Cultural Intermediation project focused on cultural activities in Ordsall, Salford. Her doctoral research followed the making of a civic parade in Manchester. She speaks at lectures, seminars and workshops about culture and creativity and is is a member of Cultural Strategy Working Group at Salford Council. She also has 20 years’ experience as IT consultant, business analyst and community project manager.

Kevin Ward (Author) is a Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Manchester Urban Institute at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor at The City Institute, York University.  His current work involves rethinking what is meant by ‘the urban’ in urban politics, as elements of different places are assembled and reassembled to constitute particular ‘urban’ political realms. Kevin has published over a 100 journal articles and book chapters, and his books include the co-authored volumes Urban Sociology, Modernity and Capitalism. (Macmillan, 2002) and Spaces of Work: Global Capitalism and the Geographies of Labour (Sage, 2004) Kevin is also editor of Researching the City: a Guide for Students (Sage, 2013) and co-editor of City of Revolution: Restructuring Manchester (MUP, 2002), Neoliberalization: States, Networks, Peoples (Blackwell, 2007), and Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age (Minnesota University Press, 2011). He currently edits Urban Geography.