Professor Anna Reading

Professor Anna Reading with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Professor Anna Reading has played a leading international role in the emergent interdisciplinary field of social and cultural memory studies. Her work develops the new epistemology of 'the globital memory field' using dynamic methods of digital analysis to understand the immersive and connective ecologies of social memory. She has given keynotes and conference papers around the world and is the author of a range of books and articles, including, Polish women, solidarity and feminism (1992, Macmillan), Communism, capitalism and the mass media with C Sparks (1998, Sage), The social inheritance of the Holocaust: gender, culture and memory (2002, Palgrave) and Gender and memory in the globital age (2016, Palgrave). She is also a co-editor of The media in Britain with J Stokes (1999, MacMillan), Save memories (2009, Palgrave) and Cultural memories of nonviolent struggles with T Katriel (2015, Palgrave). She also writes plays, linking her academic work with a wider public.

Professor Reading is Chair of the Board and an Editor of the journal Media, Culture & Society (opens in a new window). She is on the boards of Memory Studies, and the Journal of the Philosophy of Photography. She is a member of the UK's ESRC Review College and reviews for other major funders internationally, as well as many journals and publishers. She founded and was the first Director of the Centre for Media and Culture Research at London South Bank University (opens in a new window), UK, 2009-11. She was Head of the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, Kings College, University of London (opens in a new window)(2013-16).

Professor Reading values collaborative research that engages with processes of social and cultural change. She has acted as an advisor to Fuel Theatre, the Imperial War Museum, London, Shoah Visual History Foundation, Sydney Jewish Museum, The Holocaust Education Trust, The Independent Theatre Council, BBC World Service, Microsoft Digital Research Centre and the House of Commons, UK. She was a partner to the Women's National Commission (opens in a new window)(UK Cabinet Office) between 2003-2010 advising on equalities and cultural policy. She is currently on the Calvert Committee for the Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Russia and the New East and is on the advisory group for the planned UK Holocaust Memorial.


  • 1996, PhD in Communication, 'Socially Inherited Memory, Gender and the Public Sphere in Poland', University of Westminster, UK
  • 1991, Post Graduate Diploma in Periodical Journalism, London School of Printing, UK
  • 1988, MA in Women's Studies (Distinction), University of York, UK
  • 1987, BA in English and Politics (First Class), University of York, UK

Research Focus

  • Digital methodologies and knowledge practices
  • Cultural and digital memory
  • Social transition and digital cultures
  • Cultural heritage and collective memory rights
  • Human rights, ethnicity and gender in public cultures.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2017: Visiting Professor. CEPIN Research School, University of Tromso, Norway. April
  • 2016-2018: Alliance PLuS Fellow, Kings, Arizona State University, US and UNSW, Australia
  • 2016: Visiting Professor SELMA – Centre for the Study of Storytelling. University of Turku, Finland
  • 2011-14: Visiting Research Professor, Centre for Media and Culture Research, London South Bank University
  • 2011-14: Honorary Visiting Professor, Department of Social Sciences, University of Loughborough, UK
  • 2011-12: Research Associate (opens in a new window), Centre for Cultural Policy Research, Glasgow University, UK
  • June 2011: Visiting Research Professor, CEPIN Research School (opens in a new window), University of Tromso, Norway
  • 2008: London South Bank University Annual Prize for Research Excellence
  • May 2002: Visiting Research Fellowship, Centre for the Study of Women, University of California Los Angeles

Selected Publications

Reading, A 2018, Neurodiversity and communication ethics: how images of Autism trouble communication ethics in the globital age (opens in a new window), Cultural Studies Review, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 113-129.

Reading, A 2016, Gender and memory in the globital age (opens in a new window), Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Reading, A & Katriel, T (eds) 2015, Cultural memories of nonviolent struggles: powerful times, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Reading, A &  Katriel, T 2015, 'Introduction', in A Reading & T Katriel (eds), Cultural memories of nonviolent struggles: powerful times Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 1-31. 

Reading, A 2015, 'Singing for my life: memory, nonviolence and the songs of Greenham Common Women's peace camp', in  A Reading & T Katriel (eds), Cultural memories of nonviolent struggles: powerful times Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 147-165.

Reading, A 2015, 'Making feminist heritage work: gender and heritage', in E Waterton & S Watson (eds), The Palgrave handbook of contemporary heritage research, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 397-410.

Reading, A & Notley, T 2015, 'The materiality of globital memory: bringing the cloud to earth' (opens in a new window) vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 511-521.

Reading, A 2014, 'Making memory work for feminist theory', in M Evans, C Hemmings, M Henry, H Johnstone, S Madhok, A Plomien & S Wearing (eds), The Sage handbook of feminist theory , Sage, UK, pp. 196-214.  

Reading, A 2014, 'The journalist as memory assembler: non-memory, the War on Terror and the shooting of Osama Bin Laden', in B Zeilzer & K  Tenenboim-Weinblatt (EDS),  Journalism and memory, Palgrave Macmillan, UK, pp. 164-178.

Reading, A 2013, 'Europe's other world: Romany memory within the new dynamics of the globital memory field', in E Rutten, J Fedor & V Zrevava (eds), Memory, conflict and new media: web wars in post-socialist states, Routledge, UK, pp. 21-31.


Professor Reading's research is also articulated through her plays. She co-founded Strip Search Theatre, and is the author of seven plays commissioned and performed by different companies internationally. These include Kiss Punch Goodnight, Want, Hard-Core, Grandma's Garden, The Stoning, Falling, RP35 and Cacti Hearts (opens in a new window). Her plays are referenced in Aleks Siertz, In Yer Face Theatre: British Theatre in the 1990s (opens in a new window); Faber's Women's Theatre, Volume 7; Christina Wald's Hysteria, trauma and melancholia: performative maladies in contemporary anglophone drama (opens in a new window)(2007). Her most recent short script, A Letter to My Daughter (2013) has toured with Fuel Theatre UK, as part of the Phenomenal People live-digital theatre project, is translated into Finnish and published in Gender and memory in the globital age (opens in a new window).

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