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Dr Francesca Sobande

Dr Francesca Sobande


School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Francesca is a lecturer in Digital Media Studies at JOMEC, with research interests and expertise in issues related to race, gender, structural inequalities, media and the marketplace. Francesca’s work particularly focuses on digital space, internet culture, Black identity and diaspora, feminism, celebrity and popular culture.

Prior to this, Francesca was a lecturer in Marketing and Advertising (Edge Hill University) and a tutor in Marketing and Management (University of Dundee). She also worked in communications roles in higher education, the arts, and not-for-profit sector.

Francesca has published work on YouTube, digital Blackness and Black women's online media experiences (European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Consumption Markets & Culture), celebrity and authenticity (Celebrity Studies), as well as the role of gender archetypes in marketing the assisted reproductive technology and fertility industry (Marketing Theory). She is author of the forthcoming monograph The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (2020, Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor with Professor Akwugo Emejulu of To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe (2019, Pluto Press). 

She welcomes PhD proposals in the following areas:

  • Race, gender, feminism and popular culture
  • Black identity, diaspora and digital space
  • Consumer culture’s co-option of social movements
  • Youth culture, visual culture and the Internet
  • Inequality, ideology and digital media
  • Celebrity, influencer culture and social media




  • The Digital and Media Experiences of Black Women in Britain: Since 2015 Francesca has been researching the digital and media experiences of Black women in Britain, culminating in her PhD thesis Digital Diaspora and (Re)mediating Black Women in Britain (2018). She is author of a forthcoming book on this subject – The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and several related journal articles.
  • Crossing Visionary Boundaries – A Transdisciplinary Photovoice Project of Race and Markets: In collaboration with Dr Guillaume Johnson (Paris Dauphine University) and as part of her involvement in the Race in the Marketplace (RIM) Network, Francesca is co-principal investigator on an Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) funded project. The project is based on a two-day "photovoice workshop" which took place prior to the Race In the Marketplace (RIM) Forum in Paris (June 2019). It focuses on photographic and creative documentation of the nuances of the racial history of Paris and contemporary manifestations of it in marketplace settings and public space.
  • Gender Archetypes in Media and the Marketplace: Francesca has collaborated with Dr Laetitia Mimoun (Cass Business School) and Dr Lez Trujillo Torres (ESSEC Business School) since 2016, as part of research regarding how marketed ideas and images related to masculinity are used in the service of the assisted reproductive technology and fertility industry. Such work has been published in Marketing Theory (Sobande et al. 2019) and has been the source of write-ups in Yahoo! News, Medical Xpress and other media outlets. More broadly, Francesca researches representations of gender identities on screen and within celebrity and digital remix culture.