Personal profile


Federica Frabetti is an author and an academic. She has a diverse professional and academic background in the humanities and ICT and has worked for more than a decade as a Software Engineer in telecommunications companies in various countries.

She completed a BA(Hons) in Classics at the University of Bologna (Italy) and an MRes and PhD in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has published numerous articles on the cultural and philosophical study of technology, digital media and software studies, cultural theory, and gender and queer theory. She is the author of Software Theory (London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield Int., 2014) and an editor and translator of The Judith Halberstam Reader (in Italian).

Federica is Programme Convener of BA(Hons) in Digital Media.




(2015) Software TheoryA Cultural and Philosophical Study, Rowman and Littlefield International (‘Media Theories’ book series).

Edited books and translations

(2010) Leggere Halberstam (A Judith Halberstam Reader) edited and translated collection of essays, Florence, Italy: ETS.  

Edited journals issues

(February 2011) ‘The Digital Humanities: Beyond Computing’, E-Journal, Special issue, vol. 12, 

Chapters in books 

  • (2014) ‘Eine neue Betrachtung der Digital Humanities im Kontext originärer Technizität’ in Ramón Reichert (Ed.) Big Data: Analysen zum digitalen Wandel von Wissen, Macht und Ökonomie, Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript. (German translation of ‘Rethinking the Digital Humanities in the Context of Originary Technicity’, ‘The Digital Humanities Beyond Computing’ Culture Machine, E-journal, Special Issue, Vol. 12, 2011; see below). 
  • (2012) ‘Technology Made Legible’, in Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (Ed.) Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature Through Cinema and Cyberspace, New York: Fordham. 

  • (2012) ‘Have the Humanities Always Been Digital?: For an Understanding of the “Digital Humanities” in the Context of “Originary Technicity”’, in David Berry (Ed.) Understanding the Digital Humanities, London: Palgrave-Macmillan. (2011).
  • ‘Performatività del Canone’ (‘The Performativity of the Canon’; in Italian) in Ornella De Zordo e Fiorenzo Fantaccini (eds) Altri canoni/canoni altri (Other Canons/Different Canons), Firenze: Firenze University Press. 

  • (2009) ‘Decostruire Sedgwick. Affetti, tecnologia, performatività’ (‘Deconstructing Sedgwick. Affects, Technology, Performativity’; in Italian) in Liana Borghi and Clotilde Barabarulli (eds) Il sorriso dello Stregatto. Figurazioni di genere e intercultura (The Smile of the Cheshire Cat. Figurations of Gender and Interculture), Pisa: ETS. 

  • (2004) Entry ‘Postumano’ (‘Posthuman’; in Italian) in M. Cometa, Dizionario di Studi Culturali (A Dictionary of Cultural Studies), a cura di R.Coglitore e F.Mazzara, Milano: Meltemi. 

  • (2004) ‘Bots, Norns, Sims e altre specie. Storie di vita artificiale’ (‘Bots, Norns, Sims and Other Species. Artificial Life Stories’; in Italian) in Liana Borghi, Clotilde Barbarulli (eds) Figure della complessità. Genere e intercultura (Figurations of Complexity. Gender and Interculture), Firenze: University Press CUEC. 

Selected Articles 

  • (Jan 2017) ‘Interview with Mark Fell. A Philosophical Dialogue on Software and Music’, Cesura/Acceso, Vol.2.

  • (2011) ‘Rethinking the Digital Humanities in the Context of Originary Technicity’, ‘The Digital Humanities Beyond Computing’ Culture Machine, E-journal, Special Issue, Vol. 12; 
  • (2011) ‘The Legend of Mariner I. For an Analysis of the Impossible Linearization of Code’, in Critical Code Studies at the University of Southern California, 2010 Conference Proceedings
  • (2009) ‘Does It Work? The Unforeseeable Consequences of Quasi-Failing Technology’, ‘Creative Media’, Culture Machine, E-journal, Special issue, vol.11;


  • Invited Talk 'Reflections on Deconstructive Software Studies', at Lincoln School of Film and Media Open Seminar Series, University of Lincoln, 12.03.2019
    Invited talk ‘Quale Informatica per i Beni Culturali?’ (in Italian: ‘What Kind of Computing for Cultural Heritage?’, University of Bologna, Italy, 11.02.2018. 

  • Invited talk ‘Toward an Ethics of the Unforseeable, Or Why We Need to Think Big Data beyond Instrumentality’, University of Brighton, 02.11.2015. 

  • Invited talk ‘Deconstructing Big Data: Memory and Ethics in the Age of Datasets’, Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, 07.12.2015. 

  • Invited talk ‘Software Theory’ at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford, 14.10.2015. 

  • Invited talk ‘Rethinking Software between Code Studies and Digital Humanities’ at the ‘Radical Media’ Seminar Series, Goldsmiths, University of London, 27.02.2013. 

  • Invited talk ‘Ripensare le Digital Humanities nell’università globale (Rethinking the Digital Humanities in the Global University)’ at the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, Italy, 06.12.2012. 

  • Keynote address at the ‘Oggettiva/mente. Narrative di genere nelle culture pubbliche (Objectivities. Gender Narratives in the Public Culture)’ Conference, Collegio del Mondo Unito 
dell’Adriatico, Duino, Italy, 27 Jun-3 Jul 2012. 

  • Invited speaker (alongside Prof. Daniel J. Cohen, George Mason University, and Prof. Dino Buzzetti, University of Bologna) in the panel ‘Defining the Digital Humanities’, at the ‘Research Without Borders’ Event Series at Columbia University, NYC, 06.04.2011. Available online: 

  • Invited talk ‘Rethinking the Digital Humanities’, at Brooklyn College, CUNY, NYC, 07.04.2011. 

  • Invited speaker at the launch of the edited collection of essays Maschilita’ senza uomini. Scritti scelti di Judith Halberstam (Masculinity without Men: A Judith Halberstam Reader), Florence, Italy: ETS (2010). Event held at the ’Some Prefer Cake’ Festival, Italy on 03-06.12.2010. 

  • Invited talk ‘Have the Humanities Always Been Digital?’, at the ‘Open Media’ Seminar Series, 
Coventry University, 09.11.2010.


  • ‘The (In)Attentive Anxiety of Automated Co-Creation: Reflections on Programming and/as Composing’, presented at the ‘Automation Anxiety 3: Animation and (In)Attention’ Conference, Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, 08.06.2017. 

  • ‘Materiality and Embodiment in the Age of Big Data’, presented at the ‘Hacking Big Data Brother: From Biometrics to Intra-Action’ Conference, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Media Lab Prado, Madrid (Spain), 21.07.2015. 

  • ‘Software as Theory, Theory as Software: For a Reinscription of Cultural Studies in the Age of Digital Technology’, presented at the ‘Reframing Media/Cultural Studies in the Age of Global Crisis’ Conference, University of Westminster, 19-20.06.2015. 

  • ‘Rethinking Technology to Rethink Embodiment: Reflections on Human Technogenesis’, presented at the FHSS Research Conference at Oxford Brookes University, 23.05.2014. 

  • ‘Reflections on Software and the Originary Technogenesis of the (Post)Human’, presented at the ‘Multiplicities in Motion – Affects, Embodiment and the Reversal of Cybernetics’. Conference, First Metabody Project Workshop, Media Lab Prado, Madrid (Spain), 27.07.2013. Available online:
  • ‘Futuro e fallimento di Fem. Per un’analisi politica della tecnicità del genere (Fem Futures and Failures: For a Political Analysis of the Technicity of Gender)’, presented at the Prima Fem Conference Italiana (First Italian Fem Conference), Teatro Valle Occupato and Nuovo Cinema Palazzo, Rome (Italy), 31.05.2013-02.06.2013. 

  • ‘Software between Technics and Mnemotechnics’, presented at the ‘Le sujet digital: l'hypermnésie/The Digital Subject: Questioning Hypermnesia’ Conference, University of Paris 8, Paris, 13-15.11.2012
  • ‘Have the Humanities Always Been Digital?: For an Understanding of the “Digital Humanities” in the Context of “Originary Technicity”’, presented at ‘The Computational Turn’ Conference, Swansea University, 09.03.2010. 

  • ‘Calculating the Unforeseeable. The Concept of “Software System” in the Cold War Years’, presented at the International Conference ‘Thinking and Making Connections. Cybernetic Heritage in the Social and Human Sciences and Beyond’Södertörn University College and The Nobel Museum, Stockholm, 10-11.11.2008. 

  • ‘Technology Made Legible. A Cultural Study of Software as Writing in the Theories and Practices of Software Engineering’, presented at the International Conference ‘Re-Mediating Literature’, Department of Literary Studies, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, 04- 06.07.2007. 

  • ‘Manifesto for the Future of Feminist Technoscience’, presented at the ‘Future of Feminist Technoscience’ Seminar Series, University of Surrey, 06.02.2004. 

  • ‘Material Metaphors and Perfomativity in Software Design’, presented at the Mastercalss ‘Computing the Human’ with Prof. Katherine Hayles (UCLA), organized by Prof. Rosi Braidotti, at The Netherlands Research School of Women’s Studies (NOV), Utrecht (The Netherlands), 11-12.11.2003. 


  • Talk ‘Creativity, Technology, Music’’, presented at the ‘Cesura/Acceso Launch’ public event at Café Oto, London, 08.03.2017.

  • ‘Federica Frabetti and Mark Fell Studio Visit’, Radio Interview with Morgan Quaintance, Resonance 104.4FM, 25.10.2015. 

  • Talk ‘Technology’, part of ‘Reality Check’, Mark Fell Three-Day Residency at Café Oto, London, 12.12.2015. 


  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the peer-reviewed journal Digital Culture & Society, Transkript. 

  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the open-access peer-reviewed journal JDMDH (Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanities). 
  • Member of the International Advisory Board at the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Laboratory (HaCCS 
Lab) the University of Southern California, USA ( 

  • Member of the International Advisory Board of the ‘Metabody: Media, Embodiment, Tekhne’ Project (2013- 

  • Peer reviewer for Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Digital Culture & Society, Culture Machine, Cinema&Cie, Bloomsbury Continuum, Routledge, Rowman & Littlefield, MIT Press. 

  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 


‘Federica Frabetti and Mark Fell Studio Visit’, Radio Interview with Morgan Quaintance, Resonance 104.4FM, London, 25.10.2015.


‘Software Theory’. Interview with Janneke Adema. Culture Machine Live Podcast Series.  23.02.2015.


‘Reflections on Software and the Originary Technogenesis of the (Post)Human’, presented at the 1stMetabody Project Workshop, Media Lab Prado, Madrid (Spain), 27.07.2013


Invited talk at Columbia University, NYC. ‘Defining the Digital Humanities’ Panel (with Daniel J.Cohen and Dino Buzzetti), ‘Research Without Borders’ Event Series, 06.04.2011.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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