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Research Projects

Twilight People: Stories of Gender and Faith Beyond the Binary

Funded by: Lottery Heritage Fund // Surat Knan (Liberal Judaism, PI)

'Twilight People' is a landmark project that discovers and celebrates the hidden history of transgender and gender-variant people of faith in the UK past and present. This collection is the first source of faith and transgender history in Britain. The project explores the narratives around 'body and ritual', documenting the interconnection between faith and gender journeys beyond the binary categories of male and female. The images and stories of over 40 members of the various Abrahamic faith communities - Christian, Muslim and Jewish - will be documented by means of oral history, film and photography. The collated materials are mapped, catalogued, deposited and shared with the wider audience via free and accessible channels including an archive collection, a Website, interactive digital hubs, a touring exhibition, events including a symposium, a booklet, educational resource packs and other current learning tools including an app.

Project Start Date December 2014 Project End Date September 2016

Retheorising Gender and Sexuality: The Emergence of 'Trans'

Funded by: ESRC

This is a two year cross disciplinary seminar series exploring the emergence of 'Trans' social movements, social identities and social networks. It will bring together clinical and psychotherapeutic practitioners, clients, educators, academic researchers, community groups and activists to consider three interlinked questions:

  • How does the emergence of 'Trans' challenge, develop or extend dominant understandings of gender and sexuality?
  • What is the impact of 'Trans' discourse on questions of rights, discrimination and citizenship, health and welfare, education and popular commonsense?
  • What challenges do 'Trans' identities present for clinical and therapeutic practice, for gender and sexuality theory and for everyday articulations of identity and intersubjective and communal connection.

Project Start Date: 01/01/2012 Project End Date: 31/12/2014


Retheorising Women’s Health: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Body

With Professor Margrit Shildrick (Linkoeping University, Sweden) and Professor Azrini Wahidin (Nottingham Trent University)

Funded by: ESRC

The seminar series Retheorising Women's Health: Shifting Paradigms and the Biomedical Body convened and organised by Prof. M Shildrick (QUB) and Prof. DL Steinberg (Warwick) consisted of 2 one day and two two-day-workshops held at Warwick University, Queens University Belfast, Lancaster University and Liverpool University between 2009-11. The Series aimed to launch a multidisciplinary examination of transformations in the conceptual, cultural, clinical and scientific terrain of women’s health in the light of radical shifts in the socio-cultural, political, economic and technological landscape of health politics more generally in the period of late modernity, and in response to ‘third wave’ feminist and women's health studies and theory. The 'think tank' styled workshops brought together cross-disciplinary and trans-national participants spanning social sciences, humanities, science and medical backgrounds.

Our aims were:

a) to promote co-operative debate and dialogue on the theme of women’s health through interdisciplinary exchange across social scientific, scientific and philosophical approaches involving both theorists and practitioners;

b) to develop a new understanding of the impact both of social, cultural and technological changes in the context of biomedical science, and of advances in relevant theoretical frameworks (and particularly those to do with gender and the body);

c) to re-invigorate the concept of women’s health for the contemporary world by articulating alternative frameworks for defining, evaluating and advancing women’s health.

This project produced a range of published outputs including a forthcoming special double issue of Body and Society ‘Estranged Bodies’ (M Shildrick and DL Steinberg, guest eds).

Project Start Date: 01/01/2009 Project End Date: 31/12/2011


A Psychosocial Approach to Counselling Bisexual Clients

Funded by: ESRC

PI: Dr Lyndsey Moon

The psychosocial project, embedded in Symbolic Interaction but also aligned to Queer Theory, had a two-fold purpose. First, it examined the discourses at play in the relationship between qualified therapists (counsellors, counselling psychologists, psychotherapists) and their bisexual clients. It aimed to identify the treatment needs of bisexual clients and the training requirements for therapists working with this group. Secondly, the research explored the role of emotion as a 'regulatory system' used to keep people within fixed gendered and sexualised categories. It examined how emotions are assigned onto and into the body and how gender and sexuality configure in this constellation. The research was based on 40 in-depth interviews with qualified lesbian, gay-male, bisexual and heterosexual therapists who work/have worked with bisexual clients as well as with a focus group of 12 bisexual clients and ex-clients. Frame Analysis and Narrative Analysis provided a new methodological approach to studying emotions, sexuality and gender and focuses upon:

  • The cultural construction of emotion words and scripts;
  • The encounter as a place where the co-construction of meaning takes place; and
  • The personal where the individual maintains a narrative of the self.

Consequently, three levels of analysis (cultural, encounter, personal) are produced.

Project Start Date: 06/09/2007 Project End Date: 31/03/2009


Long Shadows: Narrative, Mourning and Memory in the Construction of Israeli Identity

Funded by: ESRC

PI: Dr. Michael Brennan

This research explores Israeli identity through the conceptual framework of mourning, memory and narrative. It does so by exploring memory as porous a site of cultural narrative and political contestation. Following an escalated vehemence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it explores the grip on the Israeli cultural imaginary of the second (al-Aksa) Palestinian intifada. Focusing on a number of inter-related themes: of nation and identity, violence and retribution and the cultural apparatus of mourning and narrative through which collective memory is crystallised and congealed, this is an interdisciplinary study that combines sociology, psychoanalytic social theory and cultural studies. It does so through a series of qualitative research projects conducted in Israel in which memory is studied as the site through which Israeli identity (and the Israel-Palestine conflict) is promulgated and sustained. Drawing on the innovative method of memory work,¹ in which participants are asked to summon memories associated with particular happenings or events, Long Shadows seeks to unravel the cultural dynamics of remembering and forgetting in a society divided by violence and conflict. It will have broad local and international appeal, from policy makers and journalists, to academics and those with a keen eye on Middle East relations.

Project Start Date: 01/04/2005 Project End Date: 31/03/2008

Sleep in the British Media

with Professor Simon Williams (LA) et al.

Funded by: British Academy

PI: Dr. Sharon Boden

Project Start Date 2005 Project End Date: 2006

Cultures of the Gene: Discourses, Dialogues and Debates

with Professor Gillian Lewondo Hundt

Funded by: ESRC

Project Start Date 2002 Project End Date 2004

Globalising Television Talk

Funded by: Warwick Research and Teaching Development Fund

Project Start Date 2001 Project End Date 2002