Dr Philippa Thomas
- Research Associate for Distant Voices (Sociology)
Dr Phil Crockett Thomas is the research associate on the Distant Voices project: a 3-year ESCR and AHRC funded collaborative project between the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, the University of Edinburgh, the University of West of Scotland, and the arts charity Vox Liminis. Distant Voices uses collaborative song writing with people who have experience of the criminal justice system, to explore and challenge ideas about crime, punishment and reintegration. Alongside more traditional social science approaches, Phil’s research practice incorporates writing sociological fiction and poetry and making films. Her fiction has been published by Ambit, Nyx and SoFi. Her satirical play The Girls Get Younger Every Year (2015) about sexual harassment in higher education is used as a workshopping tool and freely available here.
Phil has a PhD in Visual Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London entitled ‘In Different Voices: A Practice-based Intervention into the Assemblage of Crime’ (2018). She gained an MA with distinction in Postcolonial Studies (2009) from Goldsmiths, and first-class honours in her BA Hons in Dance (2005) from De Montfort University. Phil previously lectured in Cultural Studies at the London Contemporary Dance School, Trinity Laban, and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has also worked as a graduate tutor in Criminology and Sociology at Goldsmiths. She has guest lectured at University of Glasgow, Goldsmiths and the University of Surrey. She co-organised Recrafting Ethnography: Crime, Harm and Control in the 21st Century, University of Glasgow, 13-14/06/19.
Recent academic presentations include:
‘On the roof of the prison with fist raised to the sky: Resisting enforced narratives of crime and punishment’, Confronting the ‘Violence of the Archive’, Oxford Brooks University, 22/05/19.
‘Making Things Up? On creative writing as a research methodology’, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, 24-26/04/19.
‘Coming Home. Issues around Songwriting as Research in Justice and Re/Integration’ (with Dr Jo Collinson-Scott), Crosstown Traffic Conference, University of Huddersfield 3-5/09/18.
‘Making Things Up? The researcher as unreliable narrator’, Between Edges and Margins, Ghent University, Belgium, 14/09/18.
‘Starting in the middle: research as experimentation and negotiation’, London Conference in Critical Thought, 01/08/17.
‘Starting in the middle: practice–based research as experimentation and negotiation’, International Visual Sociology Association Annual Conference, Montreal, 20/06/17.
‘Castaway’, Distant Voices, 31/10/18, https://www.voxliminis.co.uk/projects/distant-voices/media/?media=1596
‘Like Birds Flying Towards the Light’, Distant Voices, 4/10/18 https://www.voxliminis.co.uk/projects/distant-voices/media/?media=1578
‘How to do things with songs’, Distant Voices, 18/06/19 https://www.voxliminis.co.uk/how-to-do-things-with-songs/
‘“We who are about to” Chapter one’, Distant Voices, 9/02/18 https://www.voxliminis.co.uk/media/we-who-are-about-to/
‘Grand Designs’ guest blog post on writing sociological fiction, The Sociological Review blog, 01/05/16. https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/grand-designs/
The project website for Distant Voices is https://www.voxliminis.co.uk/projects/distant-voices/
Her personal website is https://crowdedmouth.wordpress.com/
Phil's research interests are the sociology of harm and control, state punishment, poststructuralist philosophy particularly the work of Gilles Deleuze, science and technology studies, feminist theory, ethics, practice-based research, and collaborative and creative research methods (particularly sociological fiction).
2013-2016: In Different Voices: A Practice-based Intervention into the Assemblage of Crime AHRC PhD Studentship.
2008 – 2009: MA Postcolonial Studies, AHRC Research Preparation Masters Scheme.