Accessibility statement

Research Culture

The Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS) at York is among Britain’s longest-established bases for feminist and gender-orientated research. We adopt a women-centred and interdisciplinary approach to the changing nature of both women’s experiences and gender relations.

By drawing on a range of disciplines, including sociology, literature, politics, social policy and philosophy, we explore the differing perspectives each has to offer, as well as the creative tensions between them. Our international reputation is based on an emphasis on gender and sexuality, feminist theory, masculinity, queer studies, activism, digital and popular culture, political violence and terrorism.

Our approach is also based on a commitment to acknowledging the experiences of women in non-Western societies; maintaining a high profile in debates around cultural production; a focus on sexual diversities; sensitivity to theoretical and conceptual issues; unique research training programmes; and innovation in teaching, such as writing and photography workshops

Key specialities of CWS Core staff are:

  • Dr Rachel Alsop:  Contemporary developments in feminist theory; issues of body image (particularly in relation to aesthetic surgery); gender based violence and refugee and migrant women; and girls’ rights.
  • Dr Boriana Alexandrova Medical humanities; disability theory; modern and contemporary global literatures; contemporary women’s writing and performance; trauma theory and survivors’ narratives; embodiment; feminist and queer art-activism; ethics; literary multilingualism and translation; postcoloniality.
  • Dr Clare Bielby: Violence, representation and gender; violence, subjectivity and affect/emotion; terrorism and gender; the field of perpetrator studies. History of feminism, particularly German feminisms; queer studies and feminist queer theory; subjectivity and narratives of the self; gender, sexuality and representation.
  • Dr Asha Abeyasekera: Marriage and kinship; the everyday practices of intimacy and care; and the gendered impacts of global capitalism on women’s homemaking in contemporary South Asia.  The gendered dimensions of urban poverty and precarity; the materiality and emotional dimensions of intimate relations and domestic violence; and the creative strategies women use to survive, resist, and flourish even as they claim ethical lives.