About the Editors

Tessa McWatt: Project Co-director & Editor

7DA405A9-0578-4F2F-B5B9-2CDB974A4571Tessa McWatt is the author of seven novels and two books for young people. Her fiction has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the City of Toronto Book Awards, and the OCM Bocas Prize. She is one of the winners of the Eccles British Library Award 2018 for her first non-fiction book, Shame On Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging, which won the 2020 Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize 2020. She co-edited, with Dionne Brand and Rabindranath Maharaj, Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada. Her latest novel, The Snow Line, will be published in 2021. She is also a librettist, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and is on the Board of Trustees at Wasafiri.

Stephen Maddison: Project Co-director & Editor

IMG_1936Stephen Maddison is Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science, and Professor of Cultural Studies, at the University of Brighton, where he’s worked since 2019. Before that he worked at the University of East London for over twenty years, latterly as Director of Research for the College of Arts, Technology and Innovation. Stephen has an international reputation for his research in queer studies, pornography, embodiment and cultural politics, which has appeared in major journals and collections. He is also a musician, composer and potter.

Sam Dodd: Project Co-ordinator, Editor & Research Assistant

Fancy BitchA graduate of UEL’s Creative & Professional Writing degree and City, University of London’s Library Science programme, Sam has won four awards for contributions to the UEL and wider East London communities. Specialisms include: public and community engagement, oral history, local history, working with marginalised populations, publishing, and coordination and office management roles across multiple well-known London literary and literacy charities. Sam has coordinated CityLife since its inception in 2014.

Erica Masserano: Editor & Research Assistant – Invisible London & COVID-19 phases


Erica Masserano is a PhD student in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies at the University of East London, and the recipient of a Stuart Hall Foundation scholarship. She is a freelance researcher and translator in journalism, academia and multimedia. Her background includes cultural studies, narrative research and working with marginalised populations. She was the Creative Writing facilitator at OLIve UEL, a course for refugees wishing to enter HE, in 2020 and 2021. She has been a CityLife researcher since 2017 and editor since 2019.