Digital Harms: Theoretical Perspectives, Lived Experiences

A one-day workshop, organised by Jessica Elias and Adi Kuntsman, supported by the Digital Society Research Group, Faculty of Arts and Humanies, Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Digital Society Research Group invites you to an event exploring
the wide-ranging harms of digitalisation and technologisation, from the
environment to the individual. The event includes a roundtable discussion
with our guest speakers, a networking and social event with
refreshments, and a creative zine-making workshop to explore your
perceptions and lived experiences of digital harms.

The Roundtable will be chaired by Dr Adi Kuntsman, Reader in Digital Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University. During the panel, our speakers will each discuss their approaches to conceptualising digital harms. The speakers come from a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds spanning critical criminology, sociology, environmental studies, feminist studies, zemiology, surveillance studies, post-colonial studies, and technology studies. The second portion of the panel discussion will be an open Q&A with audience members. The zine-making workshop will be facilitated by Dr Kirsty Fife, Lecturer in Digital Information and Curatorial Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. They will provide guidance and support the zine-making process.

To help facilitate the zine-making workshop, we ask attendees to
bring photographs related to their perception of digital harms. These
can be photographs you have taken yourself or have found help to
articulate your understanding of digital harms. This is optional as
materials for the workshop are also provided, but aims to enable
attendees to display their lived experiences in the finished zine.

The event is free to attend but places are limited. The event will take place in-person, but we will also be livestreaming the roundtable discussion for those who cannot attend in-person. To attend the event on-site, please register here. To join the Roundtable remotely, please register here .

The event will follow this schedule:

  • 10.30-11.00 Registration and Welcome
  • 11.00-13.00 Roundtable Discussion: conceptualising digital harms
  • 13.00-14.00 Lunch and Networking
  • 14.00-15.30 Creative Workshop: exploring digital harms through zine-making
  • 15.30-16.00 Wrap Up


Avi Boukli - University of Southampton

Dr Avi Bouki joined the University of Southampton in 2022. They hold a
PhD in Law from the LSE Law School as an Onassis Foundation Scholar. Avi's work has been addressing themes, which include illegalised migration, security, coloniality, and environmental harm. They have held research and teaching positions at Birkbeck, the LSE,Teesside University, and The Open University. Currently, Avi is Associate Editor at the journal Criminology & Criminal Justice. Their monograph, Zemiology and Human Trafficking, was published by Routledge in 2024.

Jessica Elias - Manchester Metropolitan University

Jessica is a PhD candidate in Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University and a lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technologization, digitalisation, and harm production, investigating the impacts of surveillance capitalism and the implications of this for human identity, autonomy, and existence. Conceptualising developments in modes and mechanisms of power, her work seeks to interrogate human-technology relations and further zemiological enquiry in the digital context. Through her work, she is developing a unique theoretical orientation and emergent field of study - Digital Zemiology.

Will Mbioh - University of Kent

Dr. Will Mbioh is a senior lecturer in law at the Kent Law School. Their work and current research projects are interested in the entanglements of law, affect, and the body. That is to say, they examine how law both co-constitutes affects and is regulated and shaped by affective economies, especially in the context of social media. Dr. Mbioh is particularly interested in how law understands and positions the body, affect in relation to itself, and how it situates, or struggles to situate, affective violence within its regulation and problematisation of digital platforms. Put simply, he is interested in how emotions and the body influence the law, and how the law, in turn, affects our emotions and how we experience our bodies, especially online.

Patrick Williams - Manchester Metropolitan University

Patrick undertakes research and publishes in the area of 'race' and ethnicity, with a particular focus on racial disparity, disproportionality and differential treatment within the Criminal Justice System. Most recently, he authored Being Matrixed: the (over)policing of gang suspects in London on behalf of the Stopwatch charity which foregrounds the narratives through storied recollections of young peoples' experiences of being registered and policed as a gang suspect.  In addition, in 2016 he co-authroed Dangerous Associations: joint enterprise, gangs and racism. This study explores the complex, yet misconstrued associations of black people who are (police) identified as involved with serious violence.  The findings demonstrates that the imposition of the gang label drives the imposition of harsh collective punishments and lengthy custodial sentences.

Note: There will be a photographer at this event and the panel discussion will be recorded. If you would not like to be photographed, please let the organisers know on the day.