current work

Lupton D, Southerton C, Clark M and Watson A (2021) The Face Mask in COVID Times: A sociomaterial analysis. De Gruyter. A monograph exploring of the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on how face masks were rolled out (and resisted) across the world.

Watson A (2020) Into the Sea. Leiden: Brill. A sociological novel following a group of young adults living in Sydney, Australia, as they live through everyday tedium and tumultuous international events.

Peer-reviewed research articles
Watson A (2021) Writing sociological fiction. Qualitative Research. OnlineFirst 18 January 2021. This methodological article unpacks how sociological imagination may be crafted in and with fiction.

Watson A, Lupton D and Michael M (2021) The COVID digital home assemblage: Transforming the home into a work space during the crisis. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. OnlineFirst 27 July. Part of a special issue on smart homes, this article analyses how people reconfigured their home environments during lockdown.

Watson A and Bennett A (2021) The felt value of reading zines. American Journal of Cultural Sociology 9(2): 115-149. Part of a special issue on the cultural sociology of reading, this article draws on a collection of zines and interviews with Australian readers to make sense of the medium’s iconicity and contemporary salience.

Watson A, Lupton D and Michael M (2021) Enacting intimacy and sociality at a distance in the COVID-19 crisis: the sociomaterialities of home-based communication technologies. Media International Australia 178(1): 136-150. This article reports on findings from a video ethnography project and identifies how digital technologies supported and enhanced intimacy and social connection throughout the first months of the pandemic.

Kirby E, Watson A, Churchill B, Robards B and LaRochelle L (2021) Queering the map: stories of love, loss and (be)longing within a digital cartographic archive. Media, Culture and Society 43(6): 1043-1060. This article explores stories posted to that, rather than being for a general audience, seem to have someone specific in mind — like notes left in a special book in the library, in the hope that someone will find it because they were thinking about you too.

Watson A and Lupton D (2021) Tactics, affects and agencies in digital privacy narratives: a story completion study. Online Information Review 45(1): 138-156. This paper explores how Australians feel about digital privacy, using a novel creative method where participants completed short fictional stories about different privacy scenarios.

Lupton D and Watson A (2021) Towards more-than-human digital data studies: Developing research-creation methods. Qualitative Research 21(4): 463-480. This article offers a theoretical framework and a set of creative approaches for exploring the sociomaterial and affective dimensions of personal digital data.

Byron P, McKee A, Watson A, Litsou K and Ingham R (2021) Reading for realness: porn literacies, digital media and young people. Sexuality & Culture 25(3): 786-805. This paper considers the limitations of dominant approaches to researching young people’s uses of porn.

Baker S, Buttigieg B, Cantillon Z, Pavlidis A, Rodriguez Castro L and Watson A (2021) Getting students to ‘do’ introductory sociology: Analysis of a blended and flipped interactive workshop. Journal of Sociology 57(3): 612-630. Authorship order is alphabetical. This article reflects on the implementation of a blended and flipped classroom for a first-year sociology unit.

Watson A (2020) Methods braiding: A technique for arts-based and mixed-methods research. Sociological Research Online 25(1): 66-83. This article introduces an innovative mixed methods technique that brings together insights from/for qualitative and arts-based research.

Watson A (2016) Directions for public sociology: Novel writing as a creative approach. Cultural Sociology 10(4): 431-447. This article argues that novel writing presents sociologists with a process and medium through which they can expand their work for a more public, engaging, affective, and panoramic sociology.

Special issues
Riffs: Experimental writing on popular music, an invited Special Issue on fiction. Published August 2021.

Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, an invited Special Issue on fiction as research. Published April 2021.

Editorial roles
Qualitative Research, editorial board member, 2021 – present.

The Space Ethics Library, Curator, 2021 – present.

Authora Australis, editorial board member, 2020 – present.

The Sociological Review, Fiction Editor, 2018 – present.

Watson A, Clark M, Southerton C and Lupton D (2021) Fieldwork at your fingertips: creative methods for social research under lockdown. Nature, career column. March 3.

Lupton D, Watson A, Southerton C and Clark M (2020) From scary pumpkins to bridal bling, how masks are becoming a normal part of our lives in Australia. The Conversation. October 30.

Watson A (2019) Possessed by a Sense of the TrapOverland. November 21.

Upcoming invited talks
February 2022. Workshop, “Conducting Qualitative Research Online.” GRADE Centre Education, Goethe University.

Recent invited talks
October 25 2021. Keynote, “Fiction as Social Inquiry.” National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) UK, biennial festival.

September 2 2021. Paper with Deborah Lupton, “Research-Creations for Speculating about Automated Futures.” ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Methods for Researching Automated Futures symposium.

August 10 2021. Paper with Vaughan Wozniak-O’Connor, “Using cultural probes to explore the spaces, relationships and metaphors that matter in emerging ‘healthtech.’” ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Innovative Methods of Researching Understandings and Experiences of ADM/AI in Health and Medicine workshop.

August 10 2021. Paper with Deborah Lupton, “Creative writing prompts and online workshops for eliciting the more-than-representational dimensions of people’s digital experiences.ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Innovative Methods of Researching Understandings and Experiences of ADM/AI in Health and Medicine workshop.

June 22 2021. Panel, “Sociology as Literature.” Czech Sociological Society, annual conference.

April 30 2021. Keynote, “COVID-19 social research methods.” University of Vienna.

March 25 2021. Seminar, “Queering the Map: Stories of love, loss and (be)longing within a digital cartographic archive.” Gender/Sexuality/Culture Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series, University of Melbourne.

Nov 25 2020. Chair, “Plenary: The Impacts of 2020.” The Australian Sociological Association, annual conference.

Nov 5 2020. Seminar, “Autoethnography.” The Australian Sociological Association, Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher sessions.

Sept 4 2020. Paper with Deborah Lupton and Mike Michael, “From workplaces to smart home/work spaces: insights into the affective and requisitional presence of domestic digital technologies during COVID-19.” ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Living in, With and Beyond the ‘Smart Home’ symposium.

August 28 2020. Seminar, “Sociological Fiction.” University of Western Australia, Anthropology and Sociology Seminar Series.

July 31 2020. Workshop, “Zines for Data Justice.” Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, Princeton University.

So Fi Zine. An open access publication for social science and arts cross-disciplinary inquiry, publishing twice per year online and in DIY print since 2017.

AKE Zine. A collaborative, critical feminist art/research experiment about affect, knowledge and embodiment. 4 volumes have been published since 2018.

QTM story zines. Creative outputs from the Queering the Map story project.

Algorithmic Micropolitics. A collaborative zine about how we experience algorithms in everyday life.

FRG Zine. A collaborative exploration of feminist experiences in patriarchal and neo-liberal academia, made with the TASA Families and Relationships thematic group.

Latest conference papers
2020. Ash Watson, Deborah Lupton and Mike Michael. Being Together in Crisis: Digital Co-Presence and Intimacy During COVID-19. Digital Intimacies 6 ‘Connection in Crisis.’ University of Technology Sydney. December 7.

2020. Brady Robards, Ash Watson, Emma Kirby, Brendan Churchill and Lucas LaRochelle. Queering the Map: Physical Traces and Digital Places of Queer Lives. Association of Internet Researchers Annual Conference. Online. October 26.

2019. Ash Watson and Deborah Lupton. Developing Research-Creation Methods for Understanding Personal Data Practices, Feelings and Imaginaries. The Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation, ‘Disrupting Data Injustices: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable’. UNSW Sydney, Australia. December 2.

2020. Ash Watson on using Zoom to conduct home visits. Unlocking Lockdown: Doing Fieldwork in a Pandemic. Culture, Politics and Global Justice, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

2020. Book Launch – Into the Sea. The Australian Sociological Association annual conference.
2020. Social Science Fiction. Social Sciences Week Australia. Supported by The Sociological Review and Vitalities Lab, UNSW.
2020. Zine Making as a Method. Breaking Methods Webinar Series, Vitalities Lab UNSW Sydney.
2020. Methods Braiding. Breaking Methods Webinar Series, Vitalities Lab UNSW Sydney.

Creative writing
2020. MothsBaby Teeth Journal.
2019. Home. Brain Drip.
2018. Allen KeySo Fi Zine, edition 3.
2018. Folded Up. Pink Cover Zine, edition 1.
2017. 10 Scenes in London, 2017, So Fi Zine, edition 1.
2017. Joan Didion’s Recipe BookBareknuckle Poet Annual Anthology Vol. 2.
2016. Single Beds Make Sleepovers DifficultSCUM Magazine.
2016. Men Are Not From Mars (the death of an almost-relationship), Getamungstit.
2016. Joan Didion’s Recipe BookBareknuckle Poet Journal of Letters.
2016. Crossing the Red Line, Getamungstit.
2016. The Top Job: Reflections on Australia’s First Female Prime Minister, Getamungstit.
2014. The Glitter Strip-Down, Teaching Youth Studies Through Popular Culture.
2014. Stone, Teaching Youth Studies Through Popular Culture.
2013. Happy Never After, Talent Implied: new writing from Griffith.
2013. Vajazzled, Talent Implied: new writing from Griffith.
2013. Graffiti Revolution, Talent Implied: new writing from Griffith.
2011. Untitled, The Splash.