Keith Tester has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Hull since 2008. He was recently (2012) honoured for his research by being elected into the prestigious Academy of Social Sciences. He is known for a body of work exploring how culture influences morality and, in particular, action to help the victims of disaster and violence. He studied for his PhD at the University of Leeds, and the ‘book of the thesis' - Animals and Society - was awarded the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for Best First Sole-Authored Book in 1992. It contained the first empirical research on militant animal rights activism in the United Kingdom. He has advised a number of non-governmental organisations and has appeared in the media in the UK, Australia, France, Italy and Korea.
He was previously Professor of Cultural Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. In 2010-2012 he was Professor of Sociology at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea; and is a Visiting Professor in the School of Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Leeds, an Honorary Member of the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology at LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia (where he has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Research Associate of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at University College Dublin.
Prof Tester’s main research interest is in thinking sociologically about the entwinement of culture and morality. This interest has resulted in work in the sociology of the media, an area he is also widely published. Prof Tester asks: “Thanks to contemporary media we know about suffering in other parts of the world, but what do we do about it? What does this knowledge mean to us? Do the culture industries predetermine what we might know and do?” He raises these kinds of questions through the heritage of critical theory and, especially, the social thought of Zygmunt Bauman. His interest in culture has also resulted in publications on film and art.
Articles by Keith Tester
- Bauman before ‘Bauman’ (Part 2) – Zygmunt Bauman talks about the 1960s, Poland, and his early work, July 2014
- Bauman before ‘Bauman’ – A Conversation between Zygmunt Bauman, Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Keith Tester (Part 1), April 2014
- “De-familiarize the familiar” and “Familiarize the unfamiliar”, April 2013
- Escaping Inside Utopia,