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I’ve been part of the Centre for Women’s Studies since 1990, as a student and then as a member of staff.
My feminist stepping stones are eclectic. Born into a working-class northern English Catholic community to white immigrant parents enabled me to understand something of convergent oppression and privilege, while my capricious routes generated an ability to recognise and work with many ways of knowing, ideas I was able to expand via our public library system. I tried a number of jobs, including the civil service and nursing, and became a mother, before studying for my BA degree (English and Sociology) in my thirties. Those were the days (1980s) before the dismantling of student grants for UK first degrees, and I was later also lucky enough to be awarded a full doctoral bursary from the British Academy for my research into bisexual fiction, which led me to the broad fields of feminist cultural studies and cyber theory.
I developed four key and often interrelated strands to my research and teaching: bi, later queer theories and methodologies; art and activism; digital cultures; and feminist pedagogy. Being part of women’s studies at York is joyful and challenging as I work with committed staff and students from many countries, cultures, and disciplines. Since the first module I designed two decades ago – Hybrid Women: Contemporary fictions of gender and technology – our collaborative encounters with texts and each other have changed lives, including my own. I have supervised two dozen PhD projects and convened many, many conferences and workshops with scholars, artists and activists, including a Carnival of Feminist Cultural Activism (2011), which remains my political soulplace.
Alongside my University work I have co-organised local women’s events, for instance as chair of the York Lesbian Arts Festival, and currently with York International Women’s Week.
I am due to retire in December 2019, and this privileged opportunity will enable me to develop my own art practices around the relationships of humans to ‘others’, working out, always, how complex theories translate into ways to live thoughtful and useful everyday lives, and vice versa.
The first University of York Teaching Fellowship (2004) which funded ‘Wired Women’s Studies’, a project to develop feminist cyber theory and practices
Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award (2012)
Theory and pedagogy
Trans-European research projects
Gendering Cyberspace x 2
Travelling Concepts in Feminist Pedagogy
Local outreach project
Women’s Lives Today
My current research interests centre around two board topics: activist interactions between art, crafts and knowledge; and queering relationships between computers/humans/non-human creatures. Although I am about to retire (in December 2019) and am no longer taking on research students, I am always happy to discuss these issues.
‘From fear to hope, from protest to resistance’ Discover Society 42, 2017
‘Teaching English to Gender Students: Collaborative Encounters with Print and Digital Texts’ in Teaching Gender Alice Ferrebe and Fiona Tolan (eds), 2012.
‘Michael Jackson’s Postself’, Celebrity Studies 1 (2), 2010
Fat Studies in the UK (edited with Corinna Tomrley) 2009
'Rewriting "the Paedophile": A feminist reading of The Woodsman', Feminist Review 83, 2006 (with Carol-Ann Hooper)
‘Communication Technologies' in The Women's Movement Today Leslie L. Heywood (ed), 2005
The Feminist Seventies, 2003 (edited with Helen Graham, Ali Neilson and Emma Robertson)
White? Women: Critical perspectives on Race and Gender, 1999 (edited with Heloise Brown and Madi Gilkes)
'”Gone are the days”'; changing perspectives in contemporary lesbian/feminist literary theory’, Feminist Review 61, 1999
The Bisexual Imaginary: Representation, Identity and Desire, (edited as part of Bi-Academic Intervention),1997
'Bisexuals Making Out with Cyborgs' in Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 2 (1), 1997