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Faculty of Social Sciences

Staff Profile

Prof Marie Gillespie

Prof Marie Gillespie
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Professor of Sociology



Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change.


Bsc (Hons); PGCE; MA; PhD

Professional affiliations

European Association of Social Anthropologists
International Communications Association
Association of Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association

Course development and teaching

Academic Conduct Officer, Faculty of Social Sciences.
Course teams: Ethnography (D844); Research methods dissertation in social sciences (D845); D131.

Research interests

Marie researches diaspora and national media cultures comparatively, historically and ethnographically. Her interests cluster around South Asian and Middle Eastern diasporas, cultural transnationalism, and changing configurations of audiences and publics in relation to question of citizenship. Recent collaborative include: a large-scale study of the BBC World Service as a multi-diasporic institution; an exploration of the new politics of security via a collaborative ethnography of transnational news cultures in multi-ethnic British households in eight UK cities; a national survey with the BBC on the changing face of British humour, ethnic jokes and comedy. Marie was awarded an AHRC Public Policy Fellowship in 2011 to develop research on the interface between international broadcasting and social media, specifically in relation to the BBC Arabic Services.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.


2013. (In press, co-edited with David Herbert and Anita Greenhill) Social Media, Religion and Spirituality, De Gruyter

2012. (with Alban Webb) Diasporas and Diplomacy: Cosmopolitan Contact Zones at the BBC World Service, London and NY: Routledge (CRESC Series).

2012. (co-edited 0with Hamid Ismailov and Anna Aslanyan, A.) Tales From Bush House. London: Hertfordshire Press ISBN 978-0-9557549-7-5

2010. (co-edited with Andrew Skuse and Gerry Power) Drama for Development: Cultural Translation and Social Change, New Delhi: Sage India.

Guest editorships based on collaborative research

2012. European Journal of Cultural Studies 13/4. Special issue. 'Religion, Media and Social Change'. Co-edited with David Herbert.

2011. Participations: International Journal of Audience Research. 8/1. Special Issue. Designs & Devices: Towards a genealogy of audience research methods at the BBC World Service 1932-2010. (co-edited with Alban Webb and Hugh Mackay).

2010. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism 12/2. Special issue: 'New Media, Transcultural Journalism and Public Diplomacy'. Co-edited with Gerd Baumann and Annabelle Sreberny.

2010. South Asian Diaspora 2/1. Special issue: 'The BBC World Service and the South Asian Diaspora'. Co-edited with Gerd Baumann, Alasdair Pinkerton, Sharika Thiranagama.

2010. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 3/2. Special issue: 'BBC World Services and the Greater Middle East: Comparisons, Contrasts, Conflicts'. Co-edited with Gerd Baumann and Annabelle Sreberny.

2008. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 28/4. Special issue: 'The BBC World Service, 1932-2007: Cultural Exchange and Public Diplomacy'. Co-edited with Gerd Baumann and Alban Webb.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Last updated: 20 June 2016