Cherie Lacey

Dr Cherie Lacey profile picture

Lecturer School of English, Film, Theatre, Media Studies, and Art History


Teaching in 2020


MA Victoria University of Wellington

PhD University of Auckland

Current Research Projects

My research is situated at the intersection of subjectivity, design, and technology. I explore the role of User Experience (UX) design in mediating relationships and shaping user subjectivity, particularly in the contexts of robotics and screen-based interactions. I currently have three research projects:

The Politics of Digital Wellbeing In Aotearoa New Zealand. This project traces a cultural geneology of digital wellbeing from the New Communalists in California to the New Frontiers movement in Aotearoa NZ.

The Uses of the Breath: Humane Technology and the Politics of Consciousness. In this project, I’m connecting the concept of use-value to techniques of mindfulness embedded in the humane technology movement.

Affective Robotics. In this work, I explore the role played by interaction design, embodiment, and materiality in human-robot interaction.

Areas of Supervision

  • Technology and subjectivity
  • Affect and emotion
  • Digital wellbeing
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Privacy and design

Recent Publications

  • Forthcoming, ‘Wellness Capitalism and the Design of the ‘Perfect User’, in Science, Technology & Human Values (with Alex Beattie and Catherine Caudwell).
  • Cherie Lacey, Catherine Caudwell, Alex Beattie. ‘The Perfect User’ (2019). Real Life Magazine.
  • Catherine Caudwell, Cherie Lacey, and Eduardo B. Sandoval (2019). ‘The (Ir)Relevance of Robot Cuteness: An Exploratory Study of Emotionally Durable Robot Design.’ OzCHI, 3-5 Dec., Perth, Australia (full paper).
  • Cherie Lacey and Catherine Caudwell (2019). ‘Cuteness as a ‘Dark Pattern’ in Home Robots’. Human-Robot Interaction, 13-15 March, Daegu, South Korea (full paper, alt.HRI strand).
  • Catherine Caudwell and Cherie Lacey (2019). ‘What Do Home Robots Want? The Ambivalent Power of ‘Cuteness’ in Robotic Relationships’. Convergence: The International Journal of Research in New Media Technologies.
  • Rebecca Hawkes and Cherie Lacey (2019). ‘‘The Future of Sex’: Intermedial Desire between Fembot Fantasies and Sexbot Technologies’. The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 0, No. 0 (early view).
  • Cherie Lacey and Catherine Caudwell (2018). ‘The Robotic Archetype: Character Animation and Social Robotics’. In: S. Ge et al. (eds) Social Robotics. ICSR 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 11357. Springer.
  • Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey (eds) (2016). Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand. Victoria University Press.
  • Cherie Lacey and Cindy Zeiher (2015). ‘Falling in Love is a Piece of Cake: A Cinematic Logic of Love’. Ecranosphere no.2 (Winter).
  • Cherie Lacey (2012). ‘Reconciling History in Vincent Ward’s River Queen. In James E. Bennett and Rebecca Beirne (eds.). Making Film and Television Histories: Australia and New Zealand. I.B. Tauris, pp. 85-91.
  • Cherie Lacey (2011). ‘Unsettled Historiography: Postcolonial Anxiety and the Burden of the Past in Pictures.’ In Alistair Fox, Barry Keith Grant, and Hilary Radner (eds). New Zealand Cinema: Interpreting the Past. Intellect, pp.99-118.


Teaching in 2020