Dr Briony Hannell

Department of Sociological Studies

University Teacher in Sociology


B Hannel
+44 114 222 6477
Autumn 2021: Tuesdays, 14:00 - 16:00 (by appointment)

Full contact details

Dr Briony Hannell
Department of Sociological Studies
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

Briony joined the Department of Sociological Studies in early 2021. She initially joined the department as a University Teacher in Digital Media and Society, before transitioning to her current role as a University Teacher in Sociology in September 2021. Since joining the department, Briony has also undertaken work as a Research Associate in Digital Technologies with Professor Helen Kennedy. In February 2022, she began an additional research role in the Sheffield Methods Institute working on a HEIF-funded project as a Research Associate in the Creative Industries. 

Briony previously worked as an Associate Lecturer and Associate Tutor at the University of East Anglia, where she spent three years teaching across gender studies, political communication, media studies, digital sociology, and digital politics. Briony completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, completing her BA (Hons) in Society, Culture and Media (1:1*) in 2015, her MA in Media and Cultural Politics (Distinction) in 2016, and her PhD in Politics in 2020.

Briony is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and is currently enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PG Cert LTHE) at the University of Sheffield.

Research interests

Briony’s interdisciplinary research brings together digital sociology, feminist cultural studies, feminist theory, and fan studies. Her ethnographic research locates digital media fan communities as an important space for young people to produce, negotiate, and contest the meanings of feminism(s) in a routine, informal, and everyday context. In doing so, her work locates digital youth cultures on Tumblr as a fruitful site for young people to engage in feminist activism, community building, and knowledge sharing, while also complicating utopian framings of these digital spaces to reveal the contradictory and ambivalent processes of inclusion and exclusion at work within them.

She is currently in the process of producing a monograph based upon her doctoral research. 

Briony’s research interests are in:

  • Feminist theory
  • Feminist cultural studies and feminist media studies
  • Digital feminisms
  • Digital cultures and identities
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Girls’ studies
  • Fan studies and fan communities

Journal articles

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

Teaching interests
    Teaching activities

    Briony currently teaches on three modules in the department:

    • SCS2025 Men, Feminism and Gender Relations (module leader)
    • SCS3000 The Value of Sociology (module leader)
    • SCS6095 Current Sociology (module leader)

    She is also a personal adviser for Digital Media and Society and Sociology students. She has supervised undergraduate and postgraduate student dissertations on the BA and MA programmes in Digital Media and Society, as well as the BA and MA programmes in Sociology.