Rhiannon Firth

Rhiannon Firth is lecturer in Sociology of Education at IOE

Rhiannon Firth is lecturer in Sociology of Education at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. She co-leads the Sociology of Education and Gender, Sexuality and Education MA modules. Rhiannon’s research is at the intersection of Sociology, Education and Politics, with a focus on the pedagogical and prefigurative practices of social and ecological justice movements. She is particularly interested in how grassroots movements respond to global crises and disasters such as climate change, pandemics and food insecurity. She is also interested in how intersecting structural inequalities like gender, race and class are exacerbated by disasters, and how people respond and resist this. Her research has been funded by ESRC, EPSRC, local councils, and currently by UCL Grand Challenges. She has conducted funded research with self-managed sustainable communities including intentional communities, co-operatives and eco-villages; with grassroots disaster relief movements including Occupy Sandy and COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK; and with alternative organizations using automation technology in experimental and artisanal ways, including a co-operative and a hackspace. She has also conducted historical and theoretical research on feminist consciousness-raising, utopian literature and communities, critical pedagogy and critical cartography. She is the author of three books: Utopian Politics (Routledge, 2012); Coronavirus, Class and Mutual Aid in the UK (Palgrave, 2020); and Disaster Anarchy: Mutual Aid and Radical Action (Pluto, 2022) alongside several articles and book chapters.