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Emiliano Trere

Dr Emiliano Trere


Reader in Data Agency and Media Ecologies

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 29225 10736
Two Central Square, Room Office 1.31, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Available for postgraduate supervision



I am a Reader in Data Agency and Media Ecologies in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) at Cardiff University, UK. I am a widely cited author in digital activism, social movement, critical data and disconnection studies with a special focus on Latin America and the Global South. Fluent in three languages, I have authored two books and published more than 80 publications in 7 languages in peer-reviewed publications. I am one of the co-directors of the Data Justice Lab and the co-founder of the ‘Big Data from the South’ Initiative. My book Hybrid Media Activism (Routledge, 2019) won the Outstanding Book Award of the ICA Interest Group ‘Activism, Communication and Social Justice’.


I am a Reader in Data Agency and Media Ecologies at Cardiff's School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) and a former Associate Professor at the Autonomous University of Querétaro, Mexico (2011-2016). My research addresses the issue of digital activism and algorithmic resistance from a theoretical standpoint in relation to crucial questions of culture and identity on one side, and to the development of theoretical frameworks related to media theories of change as mediation, media ecologies and media practice on the other. More recently, I have become interested in data agency and disconnection studies with a focus on the Global South. Fluent in three languages (English, Spanish, Italian), I am a widely cited author, globally recognized as a ‘bridge’ between the Western and the Latin American ‘schools of thought’ at the intersection between media, communication, social movement and critical data studies. I am strong supporter of multilingualism and open access in academia and my career represents a constant struggle to break epistemic sylos and foster innovative thinking and doing.

I have published more than 80 publications in 7 languages in peer-reviewed publications. I am the co-author of Data Justice (Sage, 2022) and the author of Hybrid Media Activism: Ecologies, Imaginaries, Algorithms (Routledge, 2019), winner of the Outstanding Book Award of the ICA Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group. My book has been translated into Spanish and published open access with FES (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung) COMUNICACIÓN, Colombia. The Spanish edition has a new prologue by renewed Mexican professor Raúl Trejo Delarbre of UNAM University in Mexico City. You can access it here: - To know more about the ideas of my book, you can also listen to this one-hour interview I did for the CI Podcast: Alternatively, if you prefer Spanish, you can access the three sessions (one for each section of my monograph) of my workshop “Activismo Comunicacional Híbrido: Ecologías, Imaginarios y Algoritmos” that I gave at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain in 2020: This book is currently being translated into Chinese.

I am the editor of two path-opening books in the field of media practice and critical data studies. Citizen Media and Practice: Currents, Connections, Challenges (with Hilde Stephansen, Routledge, 2019) is a groundbreaking collection that advances an understanding of the concept of media practices by critically interrogating its relevance for the study of citizen and activist media ( COVID-19 from the Margins: Pandemic Invisibilities, Policies and Resistance in the Datafied Society (with Stefania Milan and Silvia Masiero for the Theory on Demand Series of the Institute of Network Cultures, 2021) stems from a blog with the same title launched in May 2020 and represents a snapshot of the datafied society during the pandemic, amplifying the marginalized voices of 75 authors from 25 countries in 5 languages. You can access the book in PDF and ePUB and also order a paper copy at this address:

I am the editor of 8 co-edited special issues that have contributed to define and advance the fields of digital activism, critical data studies and digital disconnection studies:

(1) “Social Media and Protest Identities” (Information, Communication & Society, 2015) is one of the most accessed special issues of this journal. It contributed to re-situate the issue of identity at the centre of the debate around social movements and digital media, criticizing accounts that overwhelmingly focus on organizational dynamics. - This is one of the most accessed special issues of the journal.

(2) “Latin American Struggles & Digital Media Resistance” (International Journal of Communication, 2015) is the first special issue in English dedicated to exploring digital activism in the Latin American context.

(3) “From Global Justice to Occupy and Podemos: Mapping Three Stages of Contemporary Activism” (tripleC, 2017): this issue takes the long durée approach to contemporary activism, critically contextualizing two decades of digital protest.

(4) “Big Data from the South” (Television & New Media, 2019): this is the first special issue that explicitly explores how datafication unfolds in the Global South. It is inspired by the Big Data from the South Research Initiative which I co-founded and launched in 2017 during the IAMCR pre-conference in Cartagena, Colombia. To date, this is the most cited special issues of the this journal.

(5)  “Data Justice” (Information, Communication & Society, 2019): this is the first special issue that proposes and situates ‘data justice’ as a powerful conceptual framework to understand the connection between datafication and social justice issues.

(6) “The Limits and Boundaries of Digital Disconnection” (Media, Culture and Society, 2020): this is the first special issue fully dedicated to exploring the potential and challenges of digital disconnection, including reflections on COVID-19, over-connection and new emerging digital and data inequalities.

(7) "Latin American perspectives on datafication and artificial intelligence " (Palabra Clave, 2021): this Open Access special issue is three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) is the first to explore perspectives on datafication and AI provided from and within the Latin American continent.

(8) "Algorithmic Antagonisms: Resistance, Reconfiguration, and Renaissance for Computational Life" Media International Australia 

In 2019 and 2020, I acted as Consultant Editor for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media. I am currently coediting a special section of the International Journal of Communication on 'Civic Participation in the Datafied Society'.

I am one of the Co-directors of the Data Justice Lab ( based at JOMEC, a word-leading hub of critical research into the relationship between datafication and social justice, and the Co-PI of the project ‘Towards Democratic Auditing: Civic Participation in the Scoring Society’ funded by the Open Society Foundations. I am the cofounder of the "Big Data from the South" Research Initiative that interrogates the diverse practices that subvert the dominant narratives of datafication as theorized and narrated by the global north ( and the co-editor of the multilingual blog ‘Covid-19 from the margins’. From 2018 to 2021 I acted as the vice-chair of the 'Communication and Democracy' section of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association). I am the co-director of the ‘Data Justice’ Book Series published by SAGE which was kickstarted by the collective book "Data Justice" published in 2022. My work has informed - among others - the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation and I am often invited to keynote on the challenges, the implications and the myths of digital activism and data agency (check out my last keynote on the sublime of activism at Fresno State in the US:

I serve on the editorial board of 9 international journals: Social Media & Society;; The Journal of Alternative and Community Media; Commons, Journal of Communication and Digital Citizenship; Mediaciones; Journalism and Media; Third World Thematics; Revista RAE-IC; Miguel Hernández Communication Journal.

I have been a visiting scholar, fellow and/or professor in a variety of world-leading academic institutions across the globe including Dartmouth College and Denver University in the US, Lakehead University in Canada, Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy, Universidad del Norte and Uniminuto in Colombia, Erfurt University in Germany, Complutense University of Madrid and Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and the Universidad Nacional de Salta, Argentina.

I have lived in Italy, the US, Spain, Germany, Mexico and I currently reside in Wales, UK. I am a citizen of the world, a European and a proud native of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy.














Book sections




My research is based on the exploration of social movements, activism and technology, but only as a point of departure to examine crucial issues regarding the mutual shaping of media, society and culture. More specifically, in my works I have:

  • introduced the ecological perspective derived from STS studies in order to overcome what I have termed the one-medium bias of social movement literature (Trere 2012; Trere and Mattoni 2016, Trere 2019);
  • examined the contributions of three concepts from media studies for the exploration of collective action dynamics (media practices, mediation, mediatization)(Barassi and Trere 2012; Mattoni and Trere 2014);
  • established uncharted connections between Western conceptual lenses and Latin American frameworks on alternative media and social movements (Barranquero and Trere 2017; Trere and Magallanes-Blanco 2015; Trere 2015, 2018, 2019; Magallanes-Blanco and Trere 2019);
  • provided the most extensive investigation of the #YoSoy132 Mexican movement (Trere 2016, 2018; Garcia and Trere 2014; Trere 2013);
  • re-established the significance of collective identities in digital protest (Gerbaudo and Trere 2015; Trere 2015);
  • deconstructed the digital myths, imaginaries and ideologies of contemporary movements and parties (Trere et al 2017; Barranquero and Trere 2013; Trere and Barassi 2015; Trere 2019; Stephansen and Trere 2019).

I have extensive evidence of external funding for research on digital activism and social movements. My research on the Wave social movement was supported by a grant of the Italian Ministry of Education,Universities and Research. My research on digital activism in Mexico was carried out across 3 projects of which I was the PI: 1) 2012 Mexican Faculty Improvement Programme, Fund number 103.5/12/3667 (2012-2013); 2) FOFI-UAQ Fund 2012 of the UAQ, Project number FCP201206 (2012-2013); 3) FOFI-UAQ-Fund 2013 of the UAQ, Project number FCP201410 (2013-2015). With the Data Justice Lab, I have secured funding by the Open Society Foundations for the project ‘Towards Democratic Auditing: Civic Participation in the Scoring Society’ in which I am Co-PI.


Spring Semester 2021

  • Datafied Society (MA) - a new core module of the Digital Media and Society MA
  • Social Media and Politics (MA)

Autumn Semester 2021

  • Understanding Digital Society through Black Mirror (my popular award-winning optional module on Black Mirror will run for the third time)

Spring semester (past years)

  • Power and Resistance in the Big Data Age (BA) - with Joanna Redden
  • Social Media and Politics (MA)
  • Citizen Journalism and Digital Publics (MA) - with Stuart Allan and Gavin Allen
  • Interviews and Focus Group Research (MA)

I welcome BA, MA and PhD proposals in the following areas and fields of expertise:

  • The intersection between social movements and digital media (in particular: digital protest cultures, collective identities, and media imaginaries)
  • Citizen media/alternative media/community media
  • Media theories: media ecologies, mediation, mediatization
  • the media and the imaginary: exploring visions, fantasies, hopes and fears attached to communication technologies
  • Latin American communication theory and their connection to other perspectives
  • Critical approaches to big data and algorithms, with special attention to issues of inequality, manipulation, propaganda


Education and qualifications

  • 2011: PhD with mention of excellence in Multimedia Communication, University of Udine (Italy)
  • 2004: Degree cum laude in Communication Sciences, University of Bologna (Italy)

Career overview

  • 2019 - present: Senior Lecturer in Media Ecologies and Social Transformation, Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture
  • 2017 - 2019: Lecturer, Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
  • 2016 - 2017: Research Fellow at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy), and Research Fellow within the COSMOS Center on Social Movements Studies based at the same institution
  • 2015 - 2016: Research Fellow at Lakehead University (Canada)
  • 2011 - 2016: Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Department of Communication and Journalism, Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ), Mexico
  • 2007: Communication consultant at the Bages Council of Manresa, Catalonia; professor of Italian language: blues guitar teacher
  • 2005 - 2007: Communication consultant and translator at the IEPALA Institute of Political Studies for Latin America and Africa in Madrid
  • 2004 - 2005: Journalist, photographer, film critic at "Il Corriere di Ravenna" newspaper and "Coolissimo" press

Honours and awards

I have been awarded several grants for academic mobility, including: grant for thesis abroad (University of Bologna) and grant from Intel co. at Dartmouth College, US (2003); PhD grant of the Italian Ministry of Education (2011); Erasmus mobility grant (2009); SNI Membership (National System of Mexican Researchers), Level 1 (2013); Certificate of excellence for Mexican professors (2013); Grant for academic productivity (Autonomous University of Queretaro), 2014; Marsico Grant for Visiting Scholars, University of Denver, 2014.

Professional memberships

  • Member of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association)
  • Member of IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research)
  • Member of ICA (International Communication Association)
  • Member of ISA (Internatioanal Sociological Association)
  • Member of LASA (Latin American Studies Association)
  • Member of AssoComPol (Italian Association of Political Communication)
  • Member of the CLACSO Working Group on 'Technopolitics, Digital Culture and Citizenship'

I sit on the Editorial Board of the journals Social Media and Society, the Journal of Alternative and Community Media, Commons: Revista de Comunicación y Ciudadanía Digital and Revista Mediaciones. I have reviewed articles for over 30 leading international journals in the field of communication, culture and society.

Academic positions

I have been a Visiting Scholar at several institutions, including: Dartmouth College and Denver University (US), Universidad Complutense (Spain), Erfurt University (Germany), and Universidad del Norte (Colombia). Previously, I worked as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Querétaro, Mexico, as a Research Fellow at Lakehead University (Canada), and at Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, where I am still a Fellow at the COSMOS Center for Social Movements Studies.


I am proud to be the winner of the Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor Enriching Student Life Award 2019, Cardiff University

I am also the School of Journalism, Media and Culture' Senior Personal Tutor

Current supervision

Edel Anabwani

Edel Anabwani

Research student