Gender and Sexualities

The Gender and Sexualities Research Centre

Welcome to the Gender and Sexualities Research Centre


Based in the school of Arts and Social Sciences, the GSRC analyses how gender and sexuality intersect with other social divisions and identities in a rapidly changing world, fostering interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration and research.

The GSRC is premised upon ideals of knowledge exchange, partnership and inclusion. It acts a hub, drawing together the wide-ranging research existing across the university on gender and sexualities, providing an intellectual base and fostering interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration and research within City and beyond.

The Centre is critical, inclusive and outward-looking, offering a space for engagement with key contemporary issues. These range from current news headlines (#MeToo, the gender pay gap, LGBTQI rights) to enduring questions about the dynamics of power and in/equality.

Follow us on Twitter @GSRC_City

Stay updated via our blog

Sign up to our mailing list at


GSRC Directors

Management Committee

Advisory Committee


The group is open to new members for anyone with interest in the study of gender and sexualities.

Members of the centre are drawn from across the university and include the following staff and PhD students:


PhD Students


The GSRC (including its earlier incarnation as the GSRF, the Gender and Sexualities Research Forum) has put on a wide range of public talks, seminars, graduate workshops and conferences on subjects including gender and social media, feminism and childcare, feminism and neoliberalism, digital masculinities and care and inequality.

We have hosted speakers from a wide range of international universities and public organisations such as The Daycare Trust, The Women’s Budget Group and Rights of Women, and have collaborated with many external partners including the BSA, the FWSA and the Women’s Media Studies Network, as well as teachers and students at local schools.

If you have an idea for potential collaboration please get in touch with us at

Events in 2020

City PhD Reading Group

A monthly PhD reading group for PhD's interested in gender and/or sexuality. Please contact if you want to participate. All books/texts will be chosen by PhD participants.

10 July & 24 July, 2-4pm, online via Zoom – reading and discussing Lola Olufemi’s Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power

12 June & 26 June, 2-4pm, online via Zoom – reading and discussing Angela McRobbie’s Feminism and the Politics of Resilience

1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 May online via Zoom – reading various articles and resources relating to gender and sexuality in times of Covid-19. Please get in touch to access this reading list – or

26 Feb 4-6pm, in AG05 - reading bell hooks' Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations

31st March, 10-7pm, LSE: PhD Day Event: New Directions in Feminist Thought: In Times of Urgency, Anger and Activism

Now postponed until Autumn term

This day event hosted at LSE and organised on a consortium basis by LSE, Goldsmiths and GSRC at City, University of London will comprise 4 panel sessions scheduled across the day, concluding with a plenary talk by Dr Amy Hasinoff (author of Sexting panic: Rethinking criminalization, privacy, and consent). Each panel will have 4/5 presentations lasting 15 minutes with time for questions on a range of topics from contemporary feminist research. To register please email with your name and institution. Limited spaces available.

GSRC Research-in-progress seminars

* Please note due to Covid-19 all scheduled seminars after March have been postponed*

29th April, 12-1, AG22 (College) Carolina Matos “Is it all about abortion?": NGOs, advocacy communications and women’s reproductive bodies in the digital age. Chair: Laura Favaro

21st April, 1:30-3pm, D427 (Rhind) Ginnie Braun (University of Auckland) ‘… what happens next? Story completion as a method to explore meaning-making around sex, gender and gendered bodies’ and Kellie Burns (University of Sydney) ‘Mediating Sexual Subjectivities’.  Chair:  Ros Gill

1st April 12-1, D111 (Rhind) Vanessa Gash, ‘The Partner Pay Gap – How normative values of male breadwinning sustain within partner pay'. Chair: Gerbrand Tholen. In conjunction with CROWS (The Centre for Research on Work and Society at City)

11th March 12-1pm, DLG08 (Rhind) Julie Wheelwright, 'From Mata Hari to #MeToo: Reflections on Seduction, Harassment and Sexual Shame'. Chair: Jess Simpson

12th Feb 12- 1pm, D111 (Rhind) Lis Howell, ‘Expert Women' . Chair: Suzanne Franks

5th Feb 2-3pm, D104 (Rhind) Peter Grant (CASS), ‘Confrontation vs Subversion: Fourth Wave Feminism and the work of Amanda Palmer and Annie Clark’. Chair: Or Rosenboim. This talk is in conjunction with the Centre for Modern History at City

22nd Jan 12-1pm, D111 (Rhind) Carolina Are,'The Law of Meta-Shade in Crossover Facebook Group Fire WERK With Me' and Michael Hunklinger, ‘Claiming public space – Queer-political graffiti in Vienna'. Chair: Koen Slootmaeckers

LGBT History month film screenings. Organised by the LGBTQI+ staff network at City in association with GRSC

8th Feb, 6pm in ELG02 But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) & discussion with staff from the LGBTQI+ Staff Network

11th Feb, 6pm in C308 Moonlight (2016) & by Q&A with Dr Clive Nwonka, LSE Fellow in Film

19th Feb, 6pm in C300 Lasting Marks (2018) & by Q&A with director, Charlie Shackleton

28th Feb, 5.30pm in A130 A Fantastic Woman (2017) & discussion

Events in 2019

5 December, 6-8pm, C309 Book launch: Work that Body: Male Bodies in Digital Culture, Jamie Hakim (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019)

A joint event with UEA School of Art, Media and American Studies.

Work That Body explores how the male body has been represented by, constructed in, and experienced through digital media during the age of austerity. Analysing examples including muscular bodies on social media, the mediation of chemsex and celebrity nudity, it finds that on the one hand digital media has enabled men to transform their bodies into tools of value-creation in an economic context when their traditional breadwinning capacities have been diminished. On the other, it has allowed them to use their bodies to form intimate collective bonds during a moment when competitive individualism continues to be insisted on as the privileged mode of being in the world.

Join the author Jamie Hakim and respondents Helen Wood (Lancaster), Stephen Maddison (Brighton) and Catherine Rottenberg (Nottingham) as they discuss masculinity and digital media in the age of austerity.

  • Dr Jamie Hakim worked at Attitude magazine from 2003 before becoming an academic, and is now Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is Principal Investigator of the ESRC-funded project 'Digital Intimacies: how gay and bisexual men use their smartphones to negotiate their cultures of intimacy' which is partnered with the Terrance Higgins Trust.
  • Stephen Maddison is Professor and Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Brighton and the author of Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters: Gender Dissent and Heterosocial Bonds in Gay Culture (Macmillan).
  • Catherine Rottenberg is Associate Professor in American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. Her book The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
  • Helen Wood is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University. Her work on gender, class and inequality includes the book Talking with Television (Illinois) and the recent article ‘The Malaguf Girl: a public sex scandal and the digital class relations of social contagion’.

25 November, 6-8pm, ELG01 #MeToo: Past and Present

** This event is postponed due to UCU Strike Action **

Our panel will discuss #MeToo in long historical perspective, from Mata Hari to contemporary media.

Karen Boyle: On silence breaking

In December 2017, Time magazine named the “Silence Breakers” – the women, and some men, speaking out about sexual harassment – their “person” of the year. This paper re-considers mediatized silence breaking in relation to a longer history of feminist speak outs, and critically examines the way in which feminism (and feminists) featured both in the 2017 stories and in Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s subsequent account of breaking the Weinstein story in She Said.

Julie Wheelwright, From Mata Hari to #MeToo: Reflections on Seduction, Harassment and Sexual Shame

A few months before the New York Times broke the story about Harvey Weinstein paying off his accusers for decades in 2017, a new publication of Mata Hari’s letters provided a historic perspective on the sexual harassment of female performers. Coinciding with the centenary of Margaretha Zelle MacLeod’s execution on espionage charges by the French on 15 October 1917, this presentation explores the contemporary relevance of her rejection of victimhood and sexual shame.

About the speakers

Karen Boyle is Professor of Feminist Media Studies at the University of Strathclyde. She is author of Media and Violence: Gendering the Debates (Sage) and Everyday Pornography (Routledge). Her new book #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism is out soon with Palgrave.

Julie Wheelwright is Director of the Creative Writing MA at City and author of The Fatal Lover: Mata Hari and the Myth of Women in Espionage (Harper Collins) and Amazons and Military Maids: Women Who Dressed as Men in Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness (Pandora).

Sarah Banet-Weiser is Professor and Head of the Dept of Media and Communications at LSE. Her most recent book is Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny (Duke) and the article ‘From Pick-Up Artists to Incels: Con(fidence) Games, Networked Misogyny and the Failure of Neoliberalism’ with Jack Bratich

Jack Bratich is Associate Professor of Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers. His work on social media and social theory includes the book Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture (SUNY).

22 November, 2pm-6.30pm, AG09,  New Research in Gender and Music

A joint symposium presented by the Centre for Gender and Sexualities Research and the Music Department at City

Session 1: 2.15pm-3.40pm. Gender and music research at City. Chair: Professor Laudan Nooshin

  • Gabrielle Messeder, Performing samba in Beirut: citizenship, precarity and the Lebanese state
  • Kathryn Levell, The Serious Need for All-Female Bands: A Comparative Study of Female Musicians' Experiences in London Jazz venues and Corporate Settings
  • Tanja Goldberg, Pioneer Violin Virtuose: Transcending Limitations

Session 2: 4-5.30pm. Book launch: ‘Class, control, and classical music’ – Anna Bull (Oxford University Press, 2019) Followed by wine reception

This book draws on an ethnographic study of young people playing in classical music ensembles in the south of England to explore class and gender identities and inequalities.

Speakers: Dr Anna Bull (University of Portsmouth), Professor Geoff Baker (Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Christina Scharff (King’s College London), Francesca Christmas (Trinity College London), Dr Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Chair: Professor Anahid Kassabian

13th November 1-2pm, C307 - GSRC Research-in-progress seminar

An informal research-in-progress seminar. Prof Rosalind Gill (Sociology) and Dr Koen Slootmaeckers (Politics) will both be discussing their current research:

  • Ros will talk about her work on the psychic life of neoliberalism focussing on the promotion of confidence, resilience and positive mental attitude looking at adverts, apps and wider policies.
  • Koen will talk about his work on how sexuality is used to construct and maintain symbolic boundaries and hierarchies in international politics.

Rosalind Gill is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City. Her books include Gender and the Media (Polity) and Mediated Intimacy: Sex Advice in Media Culture with Meg-John Barker and Laura Harvey (Wiley).

Koen Slootmaeckers is Lecturer in International Politics at City and co-editor of EU Enlargement and Gay Politics (Palgrave).

16 October, 1:30 - 6:30pm: Feminist dilemmas, feminist hope? 30 years of the Feminist and Women Studies Association and launch of the GSRC at City, University of London.

Speakers include: Heidi Safia Mirza, Jo Grady, Francesca Sobande, Lynne Segal, Sylvia Walby, Lola Olufemi, Rosalind Gill, Jess Butler, the Res-Sisters, Rights of Women and, the Women’s Budget Group.

Location: Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, followed by drinks reception.

Read the GSRC joint statement with the Feminist and Women's Studies Association (FWSA) on the event

4 October 4-6:30pm: Research symposium on Sex Robots

Technological advancements in robotics have fundamentally changed the way we shop, drive cars and undergo surgery but what happens when robots enter our bedrooms – as intimate partners? The launch of the world’s first commercially available sex robot ‘Harmony’ – a hyperrealistic sex doll with AI-capabilities – has inspired popular, scholarly and media debate about the impact of technology on our interpersonal relationships.

Some of that debate is avowedly ‘speculative’ (Danaher and McArthur 2017: 4) because the technology is new, the sex robot market niche and, because most of us have never even seen a sex robot much less had sex with one, we rely on science fiction tropes generated in film and TV shows (Sharkey, Wynsberghe, Robbins and Hancock, 2017: 2).

So, does the rise of the sex machine herald a ‘Brave Nude World’ of human sexual experience as one news headline claimed, or will these glamorous cyborgs destroy human relationships altogether? What are the legal and ethical implications of robotic sexual companions?

Join Dr Kate Devlin (author of Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots),), Dr Rebecca Saunders (author of Bodies of Work: The Labour of Sex in the Digital Age) and Dr Belinda Middleweek (author of Real Sex Films: The New Intimacy and Risk in Cinema) for a discussion about the impact of sex robots on our most intimate sphere – the realm of sex, love and intimacy.



Gill, R and Orgad, S. (2020) Confidence Culture, Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming.

Littler, J, Chatzidakis, A., Rottenberg, C and Segal, L. (2020) The Care Manifesto. Verso, forthcoming.

Lonsdale, S. (2020) Rebel Women Between the Wars: Fearless Writers and Adventurers. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Walby, Sylvia. (2020) Theorising Violence, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Wheelwright, J. (2020) Sisters in Arms: Female Warriors from Antiquity to the New Millennium' Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

Journal Articles

Ayers, S., Radoš, S.N., Matijaš, M., Anđelinović, M., and Čartolovni, A. (2020). The role of posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms in mother-infant bonding. Journal of Affective Disorders, 268, pp. 134–140.

Ayers, S. Lee, S., Holden, D., and Webb, R. (2019). Pregnancy related risk perception in pregnant women, midwives & doctors: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1).

Ayers, S., Crawley, R., Webb, R., Button, S., Thornton, A., Smith, H. … Gyte, G. (2019). What are women stressed about after birth? Birth, 46(4).

Birkett, G. (2019). Transforming women’s rehabilitation? An early assessment of gender-specific provision in three Community Rehabilitation Companies. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 19(1), pp. 98–114.

Blumell, L.E. (2020). Bro, foe, or ally? Measuring ambivalent sexism in political online reporters. Feminist Media Studies, 20(1), pp. 53–69.

Blumell, L.E. and Rodriguez, N.S. (2020). Ambivalent Sexism and Gay Men in the US and UK. Sexuality and Culture,24(1), pp. 209–229.

Birkett, G. (2019). Solving Her Problems? Beyond the Seductive Appeal of Specialist Problem-Solving Courts for Women Offenders in England and Wales. Journal of Social Policy. 

Blumell, L.E. and Cooper, G. (2019). Measuring Gender in News Representations of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.International Journal of Communication, 13, pp. 4444–4464.

Blumell, L.E. Huemmer, J., McLaughlin, B. and (2019). Leaving the Past (Self) Behind: Non-Reporting Rape Survivors’ Narratives of Self and Action. Sociology, 53(3), pp. 435–450.

Blumell, L.E., Huemmer, J. and Sternadori, M. (2019). Protecting the Ladies: Benevolent Sexism, Heteronormativity, and Partisanship in Online Discussions of Gender-Neutral Bathrooms. Mass Communication and Society, 22(3), pp. 365–388.

Blumell, L.E. and Huemmer, J. (2019). Reassessing balance: News coverage of Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood scandal before and during #metoo. Journalism.

Chatzidakis, A, Hakim, J. Littler, J, Rottenberg, C, Segal, L (2020) forthcoming 'From carewashing to radical care: The discursive explosions of care during Covid-19' Feminist Media Studies.

Favaro, L. (2020) ‘Hey, here’s the new way’: Young women’s magazines in times of the Web 3.0. In Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1940s-2000s. The Postwar and Contemporary Period, edited by L. Forster and J. Hollows. Edinburgh University Press.

Gash, V., Mertens, A. and Romeu Gordo, L. and Dieckhoff, M.,(2020). Partnered women's contribution to household labor income: Persistent inequalities among couples and their determinants. Social Science Research, 85, pp. 102348–102348.

Hohl, K and Myhill, A. (2019). The “Golden Thread”: Coercive Control and Risk Assessment for Domestic Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(21-22), pp. 4477–4497.

Litosseliti, L. and Georgiadou, I. (2019). Taiwanese speech–language therapists’ awareness and experiences of service provision to transgender clients. International Journal of Transgenderism, 20(1), pp. 87–97.

Litosseliti, L., Gill, R. and Favaro, L.G. (2019). Postfeminism as a critical tool for gender and language study. Gender and Language, 13(1).

Littler, J. (2019). Mothers behaving badly: chaotic hedonism and the crisis of neoliberal social reproduction, Cultural Studies, 1-22.

Littler, J. (2020). 'Fortunes of feminism: act four’. Part of Fortunes of Feminism: A Roundtable on and with Nancy Fraser. Discussants: Jo Littler, Eric Fassin, Barbara Poggio, Nancy Fraser. Rassegna italiana di sociologia, (4), pp. 845–849.

Lucas, G., Olander, E.K., Ayers, S. and Salmon, D. (2019). No straight lines - Young women's perceptions of their mental health and wellbeing during and after pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-ethnography. BMC Women's Health,19(1).

Lucas, G., Olander, E.K. and Salmon, D. (2019). Healthcare professionals’ views on supporting young mothers with eating and moving during and after pregnancy: An interview study using the COM-B framework. Health and Social Care in the Community.

Matos, C. (2019). Feminist media studies across borders: Re-visiting studies within the Brazilian national context.Journal of International Women's Studies, 20(2), pp. 11–25.

McCourt, C. Rayment, J., Rance, S., and Sandall CBE RM, J. (2019). Barriers to women's access to alongside midwifery units in England. Midwifery, 77, pp. 78–85.

Orgad, S. and Gill, R. (2019). Safety valves for mediated female rage in the #MeToo era. Feminist Media Studies, 19(4), pp. 596–603.

Slootmaeckers, K. (2019). Constructing European Union Identity through LGBT Equality Promotion: Crises and Shifting Othering Processes in the European Union Enlargement. Political Studies Review.

Slootmaeckers, K. (2019). Nationalism as competing masculinities: Homophobia as a technology of othering for hetero- and homonationalism. Theory and Society, 48(2), pp. 239–265.

Simpson, J., & Smith, C. (2020). Students, sex work and negotiations of stigma in the UK and Australia. Sexualities.

Slootmaeckers, K. (2020). LGBTI Rights in Turkey: Sexuality and the State in the Middle East. By Fait Muedini. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 274p. $105.00 cloth, $27.99 paper. Perspectives on Politics, 18(1), pp. 302–304.

Walby, S. (2020). Gender, violence and Brexit. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 70(1), pp. 17–33.

Wiener, C (2019) ‘Grooming and Coercive Control‘ Safe: The Domestic Abuse Quarterly 23 (67).


Ehrstein, Y., Gill, R. and Littler, J. (2020). The Affective Life of Neoliberalism: Constructing (Un)reasonableness on Mumsnet. In: S. Dawes and M. Lenormand (eds.) Neoliberalism in Context: Governance, Subjectivity and Knowledge. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 195-213.

Favaro, L. and Gill, R. (2019). Pump Up the Positivity’: Neoliberalism, affective entrepreneurship and the victimhood/agency debate. In Gómez Nicolau, E., Gámez Fuentes, M.J. and Núñez Puente, S. (Eds.), Re-writing Women as Victims: From Theory to Practice Routledge.

Franks, S. and Howell, L. (2019). Seeking women's expertise in the UK broadcast news media. In carter, C., steiner, L. and Allan, S. (Eds.), Journalism, Gender and Power (pp. 49–62). Routledge.

Gill, R.C., Ehrstein, Y. and Littler, J. (2019). The Affective Life of Neoliberalism: Constructing (Un)Reasonableness on Mumsnet. In Dawes, S. and Lenormand, M. (Eds.), Neoliberalism in context: governance, subjectivity, knowledge Palgrave.

Gill, R. and Kanai, A. (2019). Affirmative advertising and the mediated feeling rules of neoliberalism. In Meyers, M. (Ed.), Neoliberalism and the Media New York: Routledge.

Gill, R.C. and Toms, K. (2019). Trending now: feminism, sexism, misogyny and postfeminism in British journalism. Journalism, Gender and Power (pp. 97–112). London: Routledge.

Gill, R.C. and Virani, T. (2019). Hip Hub? Class, race and gender in creative hubs. Creative Hubs in Question: Place, Space and Work in the Creative Economy (pp. 131–154). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wiener, C. (2020) ‘From Social Construct to Legal Paradigm: the New Offence of Coercive or Controlling Behaviour in England and Wales’ in Marilyn McMahon and Paul McGorrery, (eds) Criminalising Non-Physical Family Violence: Coercive Control and Autonomy Crimes, Springer International.

Interviews, reviews and other publications 

Banet-Weiser, S., Gill, R. and Rottenberg, C. (2020). Postfeminism, popular feminism and neoliberal feminism? Sarah Banet-Weiser, Rosalind Gill and Catherine Rottenberg in conversation. Feminist Theory, 21(1), pp. 3–24.

Bowen, C. and Littler, J. (2020). Tracey Jensen (2018). Parenting the Crisis: The Cultural Politics of Parent-Blame.Bristol: Policy Press. Studies in the Maternal, 11(1), p.12.

Chatzidakis, A, Hakim, J. Littler, J, Rottenberg, C, Segal, L. (2020) Covid-19 Pandemic: A crisis of Care

Ehrstein, Y. (2020). Review Essay on The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism by Catherine Rottenberg. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ehrstein, Y. (2019). Book Review of Heading Home: Motherhood, Work and the Failed Promise of Equality by Shani Orgad. New York, Chichester: Columbia University Press, (2019), LSE Review of Books.

Grant, P. (2020). Female Philanthropy in the Interwar World: Between Self and Other (Book review). American Historical Review, 125(2).

Littler, J and Wainwright, H. (2020). Municipalism and feminism then and now. Soundings, 74, pp. 10–25.

Littler, J. and Ware, V. (Forthcoming) 'Gender, race, class, ecology and peace: Vron Ware talks to Jo Littler. Soundings 7.

Littler, J and L. Segal. (2020, forthcoming) ‘Repairing Care’, Fabian Review.

Lonsdale, S. (2019). Book review Carolyn M Edy The woman war correspondent, the U.S. military, and the press: 1846–1947. Journalism, 20(5), pp. 688-689.

Matos, C. (2019). Book review The Technoscientific witness of rape - contentious histories of law, feminism and forensic science. American Journal of Sociology, 125(March 2020 no 5).

Stark, E and Wiener, C. (2019) ‘Coercive Control, the Offense and Men: A Response to Bates and Taylor’ 25(2) Domestic Violence Report 31.

Wiener, C. (2019) 'The New Law on Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in England and Wales: Progress But Not (Yet) A Solution?'Human Rights Defender 11 28(3).