Professor Rodanthi Tzanelli

Professor Rodanthi Tzanelli


I obtained by PhD from Lancaster University in 2002. After holding temporary lecturing and research posts in applied social science, sociology, history and independent studies at Lancaster and the University of Central Lancashire, I became a permanent Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent (2004-2007). I joined the University of Leeds in September 2007 as a Lecturer in Sociology before being promoted to Associate Professor in Cultural Sociology in 2013. In 2024 I was promoted to Professor of Sociology of Culture.


  • Director, Mobilities Research Area, Bauman Institute

Research interests

My research programme focuses on a hybrid epistemological-and-ontological thesis: our social and cultural worlds and the natural ecosystems within which these nestle are always ‘emergent’ because they are endlessly reconfigured by different human agents and nonhuman actants. Ontology and ways of knowing are entangled and unfinished projects of dwelling society, culture and natural and built environments. My research programme draws on transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary visions of scholarship, which update classical critical theory through contemporary paradigms of critical analysis.

In my personal research, I explore the ways cultures and non-human (natural and technological) ecologies are formed in mediatised and on-site styles; how the spontaneous/lay making of culture generates imaginaries of futural life; and why careful expert design is still necessary for the generation of viable planetary futures.

My work promotes a hybrid analysis of the popular with the institutional, the organisational and the private spaces of enunciation, to highlight what is often concealed from the public stages of development and civility. Such hybrid research looks into contexts and events taking place in everyday life and extraordinary conjunctions alike.  I address these questions in particular empirical contexts of crisis induced by hybrid hypermobilities (tourism, travel, migration, social movements, mega-events, cultures of leisure and new technologies in various combinations) and systemic malfunctions (e.g., pandemics, climate change, technology-induced inequalities, overtourism, terrorism, populism).

As a critical cultural theorist, I am increasingly interested in the formation of a planetary theoretical agenda, which draws on paradigmatic contributions from transdisciplinary ethics, new decolonial theory, indigenous studies, new vitalism and complexity theory, critical mobilities and critical hospitality and tourism analysis. I am author of numerous critical cultural interventions, research articles, chapters, and 17 monographs on relevant themes.

My research is disseminated and mediated through my collaborative involvement in the RC50 (International Tourism) of the International Sociological Association. I am appointed as Website Coordinator in the 2023-2027 RC50 Executive Committee to curate and disseminate academic events and new concepts with an international community of scholars working in the field of tourism sociology.

In tandem, in my role as Critical Reviews Editor for Tourism, Culture and Communication, the RC50’s long-standing publications partner, I commission state-of-the-art reviews and special issues in the field of tourism, communication and cultural analysis. Some of these issues are published under the auspices of the RC50 in agreement with the RC50’s Publications Coordinators. I also act as one of the main editors of Hospitality & Society, the official journal of the Council for Hospitality Management Education with which the RC50 occasionally collaborates by publication.

Other key scholarly activities include:

  1. my long-standing membership in the International Advisory Board of Global Studies and my editorial involvement in the same community’s journal Global Studies, which is published by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  2. collaborative publishing in the domains of popular and public cultures as member of POPCULTOUR
  3. my role as advisory board member on the Emerald book series Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations

An extensive list of my research interests is provided on (including a CV) and ResearchGate.

A full list of publications can be found on the White Rose database.

I particularly welcome postgraduate research applications in the fields of cultural sociology, cultural studies, sociology and theory of new and old media, critical tourism studies, media and heritage, as well as climate change and future-making in media platforms and popular culture.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in History, Lancaster University
  • MA in Historical Research, Lancaster University
  • BA Hons in History, Archaeology & Anthropology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • PGCHE/CILTHE, Stage I, Lancaster University
  • PGCHE/CILTHE, Stage II, University of Kent

Professional memberships

  • British Sociological Association
  • International Sociological Association
  • RC50: International Tourism, ISA
  • WG08: Emotions, ISA
  • CEMORE, Lancaster University
  • T2M: International Association for the History of TRANSPORT, TRAFFIC & MOBILITY

Student education

I contribute to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Sociology. 

Research groups and institutes

  • The Bauman Institute
  • Research and expertise
  • Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>