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Katy Pilcher

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Katy has now finished her ESRC funded PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick (VIVA passed October 2012 with minor corrections, completed November 2012), supervised by Carol Wolkowitz and Cath Lambert. Katy's PhD research focused upon women's erotic leisure spaces, specifically women as consumers of sexualised entertainment and their relation to the spaces in which such events take place. Her research also addresses erotic performers' own experiences of their work and their relations with those who watch their performances.

Katy works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Health Sciences and Social Care at Brunel University. She is working on the ESRC-funded project 'Photographing Everyday Life: An Exploration of Ageing, Lived Experiences, Space and Time' with Dr Wendy Martin.

In 2011-12 Katy worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. She is working with Dr Nicola Smith on a Leverhulme-funded project on the Political Economy of Male and Transgender Sex Work in the UK and The Netherlands. More information about the project can be found here: Male and Transgender Sex Work

Katy is also on the Feminist and Women's Studies Association UK and Ireland (FWSA) executive committee where she is responsible for the Small Grants Scheme - (PDF Document)FWSA SGS

Katy's key academic areas of interest include: Gender, Sexualities, Leisure Spaces, Social Geographies, Work and Employment relations, Feminist International Political Economy, Sexual Politics, The Body and Embodiment, Sex Work, Visual Methods.


MA Social Research (with Distinction), University of Warwick, 2008 (ESRC funded).

BA Sociology (First Class Honours), University of Warwick, 2007.


Pilcher, K (2012) 'A 'Sexy Space' for Women? Heterosexual Women's Experiences of a Male Strip Show Venue', in J Caudwell and K Browne (eds.) Sexualities, Spaces and Leisure Studies, London: Routledge.

Pilcher, K (2012) 'Dancing for Women: Subverting Heteronormativity in a Lesbian Erotic Dance Space?', Sexualities, 15 (5/6): 521-537 Leading Article (Special Issue: 'Working Outside the (Hetero)Norm: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Sex Work').

Pilcher, K (2012) 'Performing in a Night-Time Leisure Venue: A Visual Analysis of Erotic Dance', Sociological Research Online, 17 (2), available online

Pilcher, K (2011) 'A 'Sexy Space' for Women? Heterosexual Women's Experiences of a Male Strip Show Venue', Leisure Studies, 30 (2): 217-235.

Pilcher, K (2011) Event Review: 'A dead end? Feminism within and beyond the academy', Feminist and Women's Studies Association (UK and Ireland) Newsletter, Issue 57, January 2011, page 3.

Pilcher, K (2009) ‘Empowering, degrading or a 'mutually exploitative' exchange for women?: Characterising the power relations of the strip club’, Journal of International Women’s Studies, 10 (3): 73-82, available online:

Pilcher, K (2007) ‘A gendered ‘managed heart’? An exploration of the gendering of emotional labour, aesthetic labour, and body work in service sector employment', Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research, Launch Issue, available online:

Public Presentations:

Pilcher, K (2011) 'Dancing for Women in a Lesbian Erotic Dance Space: Complicating 'Sexualisation' Claims', Pornified? Complicating Debates about the 'Sexualisation of Culture': An International Conference, Institute of Education, London, 1st-2nd December 2011.

Pilcher, K (2011) 'Performing Erotic Labour in a Lesbian Night-Time Leisure Space: A Visual Depiction of Sexualised Work', Reporting from the Front-Line: a Transdisciplinary Conference on Gender, University of the West of England (UWE), 9th June 2011.

Pilcher, K (2011) 'Erotic Labour in a Night-Time Leisure Space: A Visual Depiction of Sexualised Work', 'Visualising Work' one-day event, University of Warwick, 19th May 2011.

Pilcher, K (2011) 'Erotic Labour in Night-Time Leisure Spaces: A Visual depiction of Sexualised Work', International Labour Process Conference (ILPC), University of Leeds, 5th-7th April 2011.

Pilcher, K (2011) 'Women Customers' Experiences in Erotic Dance Venues', Centre For the Study of Women and Gender (CSWG) Graduate Seminar Series, University of Warwick, 9th March 2011.

Pilcher, K (2011) Short overview of my research topic at the 2nd Bi-Annual Postgraduate Sex Work Conference, University of Leeds, 19th January 2011.

Lambert, C, Simburger, E, Pilcher, K, Neo, C & Nyman, M (2009) 'Students at work. The research and production of a documentary film’, ‘Partnerships, Elevation and Shared Identity’ Conference, SRHE Student Experience Network’ stream, 9th June 2009, UCLAN University, Preston.

Pilcher, K (2009) ‘A ‘Sexy Space’ for Women? Women’s Experiences of a Male Strip Show Venue’, Sexy Spaces: Leisure and Geography Intersectionalities BSA one-day workshop, University of Brighton, 22nd May 2009.

Lambert, C, Simburger, E, Home, L, Pilcher, K, Neo, C, Nyman, M & Cartwright, A (2009) ‘Students at Work: Learning to Labour in Higher Education’, Film Launch, 4th March 2009, University of Warwick.

Lambert, C, Simburger, E, Gibson, C, Metcalfe, D, Neary, M, Home, L, Pilcher, K & Cartwright, A (2008) ‘Teaching and learning in and for a complex world’, Interactive Seminar at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 28-30th March 2008, University of Warwick.

Organisational membership and appointments:

Feminist and Women's Studies Association (FWSA) Executive Committee Member - Small Grants Scheme -

British Sociological Association member -

Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy UK member -

Teaching Experience:

October 2010 – May 2011 - Seminar Tutor, third-year undergraduate modules ‘Sexualities and Society’ and ‘Technologies of the Gendered Body’, University of Warwick.

October 2009 – June 2010 - Seminar Tutor, third-year undergraduate module ‘Sexualities and Society’, University of Warwick.

October 2009 – December 2009 – Lecturer, third-year undergraduate module ‘Sexualities and Society’, University of Warwick.

October 2008- June 2009 – Seminar Tutor, third-year undergraduate module ‘Technologies of the Gendered Body’, University of Warwick.

Conferences and Seminars organised and/or worked for:

June 2009 – July 2011 – Seminar Series Organiser, Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, University of Warwick, seminar series webpage:

December 2009 – March 2010– Conference Organiser, BASAS 2010 Conference, University of Warwick, conference webpage:

July 2008 – April 2009 – Postgraduate Conference Organiser: ‘Breaking Boundaries’, 7th March 2009, University of Warwick, conference webpage:

March 2008 – British Sociological Association Conference Assistant, University of Warwick.

Reviewing work (journals):

Journal of Tourism Management (December 2011)

Reinvention (September 2008)

Other academic related work:

May 2006 – February 2009 – Qualitative Interviewer and Researcher for a documentary film funded by The Reinvention Centre, University of Warwick (interviews conducted and arranged by myself included Polly Toynbee, The Guardian; Bev Skeggs, Goldsmiths, London; and Duncan Jones, BBC, Coventry). The finished film can be viewed here:

January 2009 - Quantitative data analysis of Feminist research that utilises quantitative methods in academic journal articles, University of Warwick. This data was then further analysed by Rachel Cohen, Christina Hughes and Richard Lampard. One of the outputs of the research (where I am mentioned in the acknowledgements section) can be found here: Cohen, R L, C Hughes and R Lampard (2011) 'The Methodological Impact of Feminism: A Troubling Issue for Sociology?', Sociology, 45 (4): 570-586.

October 2008 – March 2009 – Qualitative Interviewer for an EHRC-funded project about migrant experiences of accessing legal services, University of Warwick.

Other experiences and interests:

July 2007 – December 2007 – Women’s Aid Emergency Helpline, Harlow, Essex.

March 2007 (2 weeks) – Vacation Scheme with Ince and Co. International Law Firm, London.

February 2006 – June 2009 – Weekly Voluntary work with Homeless people, Leamington Spa.

November 2005 – March 2008 – ‘E-mentoring’ Volunteer, University of Warwick.

November 2005 – May 2006 – Victim Support Volunteer, Mid-Warwickshire.


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