The all-embracing faculty for rogue academics


alt-ac is both a counterpoint to  the current state of academia, and support for those academics suffering under it. The term ‘alternative academia’ refers to alternatives to traditional research, alternative ways of pursuing research, and alternative spaces in which research occurs.

alt-ac exists to provide a home for the work of non-established, independent and early career researchers. We provide a platform for research and research skills to be shared and offer training in utilising different outlets for communicating research with both academics and the wider public.

We value openness in research and education and seek to increase the public impact of academic research by facilitating access beyond the traditional academic institution. We promote participatory research that lives beyond academic disciplinary boundaries, and presenting research findings in truly accessible ways.

The best academic research leads to conversations, not lectures.


The Conference at the End of the World: An Online Event

July 14th, 2020

Full details on the Conference 2020 page

Who we are

Vivian Asimos

Vivian Asimos received her PhD from Durham University, studying virtual narratives. She’s interested in the study of popular culture, and what contemporary narratives have to tell us about our current societies, understanding these narratives as our contemporary mythology. She is the editor of the Bloomsbury Reader in the Study of Myth, and the author of the forthcoming Digital Mythology and the Internet’s Monster. She can be found on twitter (@vivianasimos) and on her website god-mode.org.

Aled Thomas

Aled Thomas has recently completed his doctorate on the topic of Auditing in contemporary and Free Zone Scientologies. His research interests include fluid forms of contemporary religion, material culture, and lived religion. He has presented papers on his research at conferences in the UK, Europe, and USA. He is the author of the forthcoming Free Zone Scientology: Contesting the Boundaries of a New Religion. He can be found on Twitter (@AledJLlThomas) and holyscripturesoftheshoppingmall.com

Theo Wildcroft

Theodora Wildcroft is a researcher investigating the democratization and evolution of physical practice as it moves beyond both traditional and early modern frameworks of relationship. Her PhD was a significant advance in the analysis of contemporary yoga pedagogies. She’s a writer, teacher and independent scholar, respected by students, scholars and practitioners. Her monograph Post-lineage yoga: from guru to #metoo is due out in February 2021.

Alison Robertson

Alison Robertson recently completed her doctorate exploring BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Submission and Masochism) as lived religious practice.  She is interested in the complexities of living experience and the places where the conceptual lines between categories (such as ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’) become blurred or ambiguous. Specific research interests include lived and personal religion, edgework, and self-inflicted or positive experiences of pain.

Edward Graham-Hyde

Edd is nearing completion of his PhD on the topic of minority religions and empowerment. His research interests include the impact of minority religions on contemporary society and the social construction of individual identity; giving a holistic view on religion, culture and society. He has forthcoming papers in these areas and recently presented in the inaugural Alt-ac conference. He can be spotted on Twitter (@EgrahamHyde) chatting rubbish about Formula 1.

Jonathon O'Donnell

S. Jonathon O'Donnell completed their PhD in 2015 on power and apocalypticism in the post-9/11 United States, and has since taught at institutions in the UK, Ireland, and Japan. Their broader research interests include critical theory, religious nationalism, and the politics of monstrosity. Their monograph, Passing Orders: Demonology and Sovereignty in American Spiritual Warfare is due out November 2020. They can be found on Twitter (@demonologian) and at drsjodonnell.com.