Dr Ciara Cremin
BA(Hons), MA, PhD
Ciara studied for her BA(Hons) (Politics and Sociology), Masters (Sociology) and PhD (Sociology) at the University of Leeds, UK. Her dissertation thesis examined the relationship between subjectivity and social change in neoliberal capitalism. She taught at Leeds University while researching for her PhD. After completion of the PhD Ciara took up temporary posts at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, teaching social theory and social policy and then at University of Durham, UK teaching sociology of globalisation and crime and deviance. Before coming to Auckland she was employed on a permanent contract at the University of Sunderland, UK teaching in the areas of social theory, research methods and popular culture.
Research | Current
- Critical theory
- Psychoanalytic theory
- Political economy
- Cultural sociology
- Work and organisations
- Popular culture
- Feminist / trans / queer theory
My research is a study of changes in culture and society approached through theories that operate on the borderzone of materialism, language and desire. Indexed to the circuit of capital, particularly at the ‘moments’ of production and consumption, my work aims to map changes in culture, subjectivity and society during a period of profound and rapid socio-economic, technological and political transformations.
My first book Capitalism’s New Clothes (Pluto Press, 2011) centres on three overlapping and mutually reinforcing ideological injunctions: to be enterprising (exemplified by work); to be ethical (exemplified by common concerns about inequality and climate change); and to enjoy (exemplified by consumerism). iCommunism, published with Zer0 Books in 2012, underlined how problems associated with mass consumption are symptomatic of the form of production as opposed individual desires. Totalled: Salvaging the Future from the Wreckage of Capitalism, published with Pluto Press in 2015, continues in this vein by examining recent changes in culture and economy to an apocalyptic imaginary and the practical issues in shifting the balance of forces inexorably in favour of a class that neoliberalism had once pronounced dead and now appears to have awoken. Exploring Videogames with Deleuze and Guattari: Towards an Affective Theory of Form, published with Routledge in 2016, draws extensively on Deleuze and Guattari's work to develop a comprehensive method for examining every aspect of the videogame. Man-Made Woman: The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing, published with Pluto Press in August 2017, combines autoethnography and critical theory to interrogate masculine investments in patriarchal-capitalism. I have adopted a 'feminine' presentation and identify as gender variant. My latest book, The Future is Feminine: Capitalism and the Masculine Disorder is published with Bloomsbury. It considers masculinity as a psychological disorder with profound consequences for the individual and society.
For The Future is Feminine
Gender, haven't we had enough of the old clichés? But in these pages Ciara Cremin makes a compelling and eloquent case for the necessity of all that is signified by the 'feminine'. It is those practices anchored in 'masculinity', whoever performs them, with their repudiation of the 'feminine', which secure the depredations of our capitalist world. This is crucial reading for all in search of that transformed world we all need, if we are to have any viable future at all.
Lynne Segal, Anniversary Professor, Emeritus, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Man enough to be a woman and not hate it? Ciara Cremin courageously attacks the severe gender dysphoria of the androcentric capitalism that underpins our white supremacist society, arguing that the antidote for its toxicity is femininity seen not as a biological destiny but as a vector of futurity. A powerful and original voice in second wave transgender studies, Cremin's visionary sociology points toward the only possible livable future.
Patricia Gherovici, psychoanalyst and author of Transgender Psychoanalysis (2017)
Seldom does a book of theory feature such beautiful writing that it reads like a novel. Cremin's prose unfolds from the first to the last page, supple and sensual. It links two intimately intertwined themes: masculinity as a disorder of capitalism and feminine praxis as its antidote. This is not a book that can be explained, it must be read in one go.
Silvia Gherardi, Professor of Sociology, Research Unit on Communication, Organization Learning and Aesthetics (RUCOLA), University of Trento, Italy
The Future is Feminine has heart - a political and practical commitment to addressing the phallocentric dis(order) which sustains heterogenous gender relations. In this transgressive feminine critique of capitalist patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity, a different humanity is imagined for a post-capitalist future. When the future is feminine, joyous, caring, and sustainable lives are possible beyond identity politics and performance.
Alison Pullen, Professor of Gender, Work and Organization, Macquarie University, Australia and Co-Editor of "Gender, Work and Organization"
For Man-Made Woman
'Cremin explores the relationship between theory and life with intelligence and wit.' --Juliet Jacques, author of Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2016)
'Laced with some occasional edginess, it is a wonderful book, erudite, politically astute, brilliantly written, and at times wickedly funny. It s my favourite I ve read for quite some time.' --Jeff Hearn, Hanken School of Economics, Finland; University of Huddersfield, UK; author of Men of the World
For Exploring Videogames with Deleuze and Guattari
'This book makes the bold prophecy that the 21st century will be the century of videogames. It then offers a dynamic toolkit of concepts drawn from the work of Deleuze and Guattari to think in new ways about videogames. Importantly, Cremin debunks the idea that videogames are virtual, meaning confined to the depths of their digital origins. Instead he shows us that they consist of actual processes of becoming that reach out from the console into every corner of life. This is an exciting and necessary book.'
Ian Buchanan, founder and editor of the Deleuze Studies journal, University of Wollongong
'What is needed more than ever in our obscure and confused time is cognitive mapping: the overview of the totality of our unique historical situation, inclusive of the apocalyptic tendency built into it. Cremin's book does this job - more than a study, it is a kind of compass allowing us to orient ourselves.'
Slavoj Žižek, author of 'Living in The End Times'
‘Has neo-liberalism's bizarre 'cultural revolution' finally succeeded? Are we all now but sad facsimiles of the marketplace, the covetous corporation and the latest stupid iWhatever? Cremin's wonderful book says 'NO', the game isn’t up just yet. If capitalism has become a nasty metaphor for human life itself, then iCommunism paves the way for a joyous rescripting of our worries and obsessions that will make David Cameron and IKEA wish you had never read this book.’
Peter Fleming, author of 'Contesting the Corporation' and 'Dead Man Working'
For Capitalism’s New Clothes
‘Slicing through the evasions and double think of contemporary accounts of pleasure, Colin Cremin has produced a must-read text on the sociology of enjoyment. Accessible, penetrating, unmissable.’
Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology & Culture, Brunel University, West London
‘With a ruthless elegance, Colin Cremin exposes the vacuousness of 'creative' capitalism's pretensions to newness. Cremin shows that 'entrepreneurialism' and 'enterprise' are relics of a system that has run out of time, and dares to proclaim that, once again, the future belongs to the left.’
Mark Fisher, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University Of London, and author of Capitalist Realism (2010)
Teaching | Current
SOCIOL 200 Sociological Theory
SOCIOL 211 Sociology OF Popular Culture
SOCIOL 790 Research Project
Ciara has supervised students at various stages in their careers, recently on Deleuze and Guattari's notion of war machine / nomadology in the context of Iran; the Oedipalisation of sexual practices in late-capitalism; state theory and protest movements in Greece; and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
She is interested in supervising students on the broad range of issues his work examines but always by utilising critical theory as a tool / weapon of analysis, for example, marxism, psychoanalytic theory, Frankfurt School and post/structuralism. She welcomes enquiries from students interested in studying transformations in culture and society on themes ranging from work through to consumption, new forms of media relations, subjectivity and class struggle, social futures and the utopian imaginary, and, new field of research for her, trans / queer politics and theory from a feminist and Marxist perspective.
Programme Leader of Gender Studies
Areas of expertise
Critical theory; political economy; Marx; psychoanalytic theory; cultural sociology; work and organisations; utopia / dystopia; videogames; popular culture; trans / queer politics through Marxist-Feminist perspective.
- Editorial board of Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke University Press)
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Cremin, C. C. (2017). Man-Made Woman The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing. Pluto Press (UK). Pages: 208.
- Roberts, J. M., & Cremin, C. (2017). Contested meanings, myths and hyperimages of the apocalypse: The Bakhtin Circle and the politicisation of catastrophism. Social Semiotics, 27 (2), 178-194. 10.1080/10350330.2016.1182303
- Roberts, J. M., & Cremin, C. (2017). Prosumer culture and the question of fetishism. Journal of Consumer Culture10.1177/1469540517717773
- Cremin (2016). Eros and apocalypse: Herbert Marcuse in the age of austerity. Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture, 1 (2), 204-226. 10.5325/jasiapacipopcult.1.2.0204
- Cremin, C. (2016). Molecular Mario: The becoming-animal of video game compositions. Games and Culture, 11 (4), 441-458. 10.1177/1555412015569247
- Cremin, C. S. (2015). Exploring Videogames with Deleuze and Guattari: Towards an Affective Theory of Form. London: Routledge. Pages: 184.
- Cremin, C. S. (2015). Totalled: Salvaging the Future from the Wreckage of Capitalism. London: Pluto Press. Pages: 199.
- Cremin, C. S. (2014). Getting its Act Together: What Chance Subtraction Under Conditions of Scarcity?. In H. Feldner, F. Vighi, S. Zizek (Eds.) States of Crisis and Post-Capitalist Scenarios. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate.