Dr Paula Serafini

Research Associate

CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies

Contact details

Email: paula.serafini@le.ac.uk

Phone: (0)116 229 7205

Address: Room 2.03, CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies. 7 Salisbury Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK


I am an interdisciplinary researcher, and I situate my work in the field of cultural politics. I hold a BA in Art History and Management (Universidad del Salvador, Argentina), an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics (Goldsmiths) and a PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis (King’s College London). In addition to my research I have also worked in the production of small and large-scale cultural events in London and Buenos Aires, and have worked as a curator and arts educator with several arts organisations including Platform London, Fringe Arts Bath and Autograph ABP. Before joining CAMEo in 2017 I taught and supervised students in media and cultural studies at King’s College London, University of Westminster and Middlesex University.

Research interests

My main research interest is the relationship between aesthetics and politics. This includes art activism, the aesthetics of social movements and protest, and the politics of both institutional and informal creative practices and creative labour. Other areas of interests include social movements, environmentalism, radical pedagogies, sensory ethnography, performance, decolonial aesthetics and the politics of (new) media.

My PhD project was an ethnographic study of the politics and processes of performance-based activism in the UK, focusing on issues of performativity, collective identity, prefiguration, and the relationship between arts activists and cultural institutions. I have also done work on art activism as labour and on community arts, and I am currently working on a project titled “(Counter)Narratives of Neoextractivism in Argentina: Mapping Creative Resistance”, funded by a British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant, which will look at the production of narratives of opposition to the extractive industries through the arts and alternative media.

Other activities

In 2015 I co-founded the research network PLANK (Politically Led Art & Networked Knowledge), a network that looks to create bridges between disciplines and between theory and practice in the field of art and politics.

I am currently also an Associate Fellow of the Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield.



  • Serafini, Paula. Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism. London: Routledge (forthcoming).
  • Serafini, Paula; Holtaway, Jessica and Cossu, Alberto (eds). artWORK: Art, Labour and Activism. London: Rowman and Littlefield International (forthcoming).


  • Serafini, Paula (2015) “Prefiguring Performance: Participation and Transgression in Environmentalist Activism”. Third Text 29(3): 195-206.
  • Serafini, Paula (2015) “Beyond the Institution: Community-Centred Art Activism Against the Commodification of Culture”. Anarchist Studies 23(2): 68-88.


  • Serafini, Paula. “Changing the Narrative: Highlighting Workers’ Rights in Environmental Art Activism” in artWORK: Art, Labour and Activism.  Serafini, P.; Holtaway, J. and Cossu, A. (eds) London: Rowman and Littlefield International (forthcoming).
  • Serafini, Paula; Cossu, Alberto and Holtaway, Jessica. “Introduction” in artWORK: Art, Labour and Activism.  Serafini, P.; Holtaway, J. and Cossu, A. (eds) London: Rowman and Littlefield International (forthcoming).
  • Serafini, Paula (2014) “Subversion through Performance: Performance Activism in London” in The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: The Arab Spring and Beyond. P.Werbner, K. Spellman-Poots & M. Webb (Eds.) Edinburgh University Press. Pp 320-340.


  • Serafini, Paula (2013) “Beyond the Arab Spring: The Aesthetics and Politics of Popular Revolt”. Anthropology Today 29(4): 27.
  • Serafini, Paula (2014) “Art Activism and the Re-appropriation of Space”. Critical Mass. June 2014. Pp 4-5


  • With Chris Garrard. “Fossil Fuel Sponsorship and Ethics: Climate Change, Decoloniality, and the Museum as a Site of Contention” in Museums and Activism. Janes, R. and Sandell, R. (eds) London: Routledge (expected 2018).

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

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