Francesca was awarded a grant from the Innovation Fund 2020 on How Cultural Workers Negotiate Racism in the Digital Age.


Dr. Francesca Sobande is a lecturer in digital media studies at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiif University. Her work explores issues concerning racism, sexism, structural inequalities, media, and the marketplace.

Francesca’s research has been published in international journals such as European Journal of Cultural Studies, Consumption, Markets & Culture, Celebrity Studies, Marketing Theory, IPPR Progressive Review, Journal of Applied Social Theory, and Communication, Culture & Critique.

In 2019 she was a Fellow at the Digital Pedagogy Lab (University of Mary Washington) and was co-principal investigator (with Dr. Guillaume Johnson) on “Crossing Visionary Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Photovoice Project of Race and Markets”, a cross-national project supported by the Independent Social Research Foundation. In 2020 Francesca returned to the Digital Pedagogy Lab to co-lead a course (with Daniel Lynds) on Critical Visual Dialogues. Francesca is Communication Co-Chair (with Dr. Naya Jones) of the Race in the Marketplace (RIM) Network and is an affiliate of Cardiff University’s Data Justice Lab.

Research interests

Francesa’s research particularly focuses on digital culture, Black diaspora, feminism, creative work, popular culture, and the rise of “woke-washing” and discourse concerning “the internet’s boyfriend” in consumer culture. She is author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), and co-editor (with Professor Akwugo Emejulu) of To Exist is To Resist: Black Feminism in Europe (Pluto Press, 2019).

Digit Blogs

Feeling At Home at Work? Inequalities, Inclusiveness, and Changing Work Environments

Why “feeling at home” at work is impacted by intersecting inequalities such as racism, sexism, classism, and ableism, and shaped by workplace cultures and norms.

Research articles

Sobande, F. and Krys, O. (2020) An African city: Black women’s creativity, pleasure, diasporic (dis)connections and resistance through aesthetic and media practices and scholarship [Open access]. Communication, Culture and Critique. DOI: 10.1093/ccc/tcaa016

Sobande, F. (2019) Woke-washing: “Intersectional” femvertising and branding “woke” bravery. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. DOI: 10.1108/EJM-02-2019-0134 [Open access post-print version available here]

Sobande, F. (2019) Awkward Black girls and postfeminist possibilities: representing millennial Black women on television in Chewing Gum and Insecure. Critical Studies in Television, 14(4): 435–450. [Open access post-print version available here]

Sobande, F. (2019) Memes, digital remix culture and (re)mediating British politics and public life. IPPR Progressive Review, 26(2): 151–160.

Sobande, F., Fearfull, A. and Brownlie, D. (2019) Resisting media marginalisation: Black women’s digital content and collectivity. Consumption Markets & Culture, DOI: 10.1080/10253866.2019.1571491. [Open access post-print version available here]

Sobande, F. (2019) How to get away with authenticity: Viola Davis and the intersections of Blackness, naturalness, femininity and relatability. Celebrity Studies, 10(3): 396–410.

Sobande, F., Mimoun, L. and Trujillo Torres, L. (2019) Soldiers and superheroes needed! Masculine archetypes and constrained commodification in the sperm donation marketMarketing Theory, 20(1): 65–84. [Open access post-print version available here]

Sobande, F. (2018) Accidental academic activism – Intersectional and (un)intentional feminist resistance [Open access]. Journal of Applied Social Theory – Special Edition: Futures and Fractures in Feminist & Queer Education, 1 (2): 83–101.

Sobande, F. (2017) Watching me watching you: Black women in Britain on YouTube. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 20(6): 655–671. [Open access post-print version available here]


Sobande, F. (2020) The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Emejulu, A. and Sobande, F. (eds.) (2019) To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe. London: Pluto Press.

Working papers

Sobande, F. The internet’s “transnational” boyfriend: Digital (re)presentations of celebrity men. Under review at Feminist Media Studies.

Sobande, F. By us, for us? Past and present Black feminist publishing narratives and routes. Under review at Women: A Cultural Review.

Sobande, F., Schoonejans, A., Johnson, G., Thomas, K. D. and Harrison K. Crossing visionary boundaries: Photo-dialogues on race and markets. Under review at Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

Keynote lectures

Sobande, F. (2020) “Data Bias”, Summer Research Student Symposium, 8 July 2020 [online], Falmouth University.

Sobande, F. (2020) “Data Bias”, Workshop for Data Fellows, 12 June 2020 [online], South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN).

Sobande, F. (2019) “The Past, Present and Future of Race, Representation and Scottish Media”, Race, Representation and Scottish Media, 27 September 2019, Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow.

Sobande, F. (2019) “The Politics of ‘Protest’ Memes, Digital Remix Culture and Resistance”, #resistance: Exploring digital protest by marginalised groups, 17 September 2019, University of Leeds.

Sobande, F. (2019) “More than Words: Language, Action and Addressing Challenges Involved in Anti-Racist Agendas”, Building the Anti-Racist Classroom (BARC) Organising for Liberation Workshop, 12 June 2019, Leeds Beckett University.

Sobande, F. (2019) “From Immediacy and Virality to Slow (Self)Work”, Creative North, 7 June 2019, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Sobande, F. (2018) “Black Lives, Labour and Liberation Online: Tuning in, Turning Off and Taking Back”. Keynote address at Digital Identities: New Perspectives in the Digital Humanities Conference, 18 May 2018, King’s College London.

5 successful awards of the Digit Innovation Fund

31 July 2020

The Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit) is pleased to announce the outcome of the 1st round of the Digit Innovation Fund.