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Dr Diana Stypinska


LECTURER IN SOCIOLOGY
Sociology
0151 291 3064
stypind@hope.ac.uk

I am a social and cultural theorist specialising in critical sociology, critical theory and continental philosophy. I have a BA in Sociology (2009, First Class Hons., Lancaster University), an MA in Social and Cultural Theory (2010, Distinction, Lancaster University) and a PhD in Sociology (2016, Lancaster University).

Prior to coming to Liverpool Hope University, I was an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University (2010-2016) and a Visiting Lecturer at University of Chester (2015-2016).
In 2011 I completed the Supporting Learning Programme (SLP) at the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, Lancaster University, and was awarded SEDA Supporting Learning Award. Subsequently, I became an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2012. I also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) from the Department of Organisation and Educational Development at Lancaster University (2015) and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

I teach across the whole range of undergraduate and postgraduate Sociology courses at Liverpool Hope University. I co-lead our second year UG course on social theory and lead the core third year UG course ‘Power and Resistance in a Global Age’. I am a third-year UG programme coordinator and I oversee UG dissertations and research projects.

I am currently engaged in several interdisciplinary research projects. First of all, I am interested in the politics of contemporary critique (understood as both a cultural phenomenon and an academic method). Specifically, my research into this topic focuses on two interrelated questions: What are the implications of today's culture of critique for politics and social change?; How do the academic problematizations of critique affect the understanding of critical theory and its potential impact on social transformation? My monograph On the Genealogy of Critique: Or How We Have Become Decadently Indignant (2020, Routledge) intervenes into both contemporary academic debates on critique, and today’s mainstream criticism, by reflecting upon the relationship between criticality and social change in the age of post-politics. I am also currently involved in a collaboration with Dr Joao Nunes de Almeida – our project investigates the relationship between critique and crisis from the perspective of critical sociology.

Secondly, I am interested in the sociology of theology, endeavouring to highlight the significance of this rather neglected field of study for social, cultural and political theory, with special emphasis on the questions of governmentality, subjectivity, counter-conduct, ethics and alternative social structures. As part of this project, I am co-editing, with Dr Andrea Rossi, a special section entitled 'Pastoral Power Today' for Theory, Culture & Society. This volume aims to explore the defining traits and the continuing theoretical, political and social relevance of the formation of power that Michel Foucault analysed under the label of 'the pastorate'. It examines the relevance of pastoral power today by elaborating upon two interrelated problematiques: the relation between truth and subjectivity as a constitutive element of modern power relations; and, the theological subtexts of modern governmentality.

Finally, my concerns with the contemporary problematique of critique and the sociology of theology find a productive convergence in my most recent research project ‘Digitalisation and the Social’. My main point of focus here are the social implications of digital technologies, which I examine placing special emphasis on subjectivity, social relations, ethics and social change. My co-authored chapter (with Dr Andrea Rossi) ''White Christmas': Technologies of the Self in the Digital Age' (forthcoming 2021, Bloomsbury) explores how digital technologies modify the way we constitute ourselves as ethical subjects and therefore the way we experience, come to know and relate to ourselves, to others, and to the world. In my previous work (see Chapter 5 ‘The Ecstasy of Critique’) I explored the social effects of digitalisation by focusing on the relation between social media and affect in the context of, what I describe as, the technology of critique. I am also currently working on two monographs on social media: one exploring digital technologies of the self by drawing on my previous engagements with Foucault’s ideas; and the other focusing on the digitalisation of agitation and its impact on social relations and social change.

I am very happy to supervise students working in the following areas, broadly conceived: cultural and critical sociology; critical theory; continental philosophy; media theory; aesthetics; and the sociology of theology.

More specifically, I am interested in collaborating with individuals whose research concerns: the politics of critique and criticality; new social and cultural theories; alternatives to neoliberalism; construction of subjectivity; notions of reform and revolution; resistance; contemporary political activism; re-emergence of fascism; populism and far-right movements; social media; and performativity.   

I regularly present my work at international conferences and I am a member of Northern Theory School.

Current PhD students: Miss Asli Kandemir.