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Dr Robert Topinka

  • Overview



    My areas of expertise are in technology, the city, transnationalism, postcolonialism, and race. I examine the ways in which media and technology affect everyday life and urban governance.

    My research spans disciplines and time periods, drawing on urban studies, media theory, rhetoric, and aesthetics to examine the history and present of media, race, and urban life.  I would be happy to supervise PhD students researching topics related to any of these themes.

    I was Co-Investigator on the AHRC-Funded project, 'Political Ideology, Rhetoric and Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century: The Case of the "Alt-Right"'. We reported on the findings of the grant with the Reactionary Digital Politics podcast, which you can find here.

    My monograph, Racing the Street: Race, Rhetoric and Technology in Metropolitan London, 1840-1900 was published in 2020 by University of California Press.

    I’ve published research in Theory & Event, New Media & Society, PoliticsRhetoric Society QuarterlyCitizenship StudiesFoucault Studies, and elsewhere.


    • PhD, Northwestern University, 2015


  • Research


    Research projects

    Political Ideology, Rhetoric and Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century: The Case of the 'Alt-Right'

    Misinformation in Everyday Life: Portable Principles for Blending Qualitative and Quantitative Social Media Research.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who wish to pursue projects related digital media and culture, including on themes such as digital subcultures, reactionary politics and misinformation.

  • Publications