Accessibility statement

Dr Evangeline Tsao
Research Fellow



My knowledge and enthusiasm for gender and feminist theories first developed when I was an undergraduate student in Taiwan, as the field offered me a ‘new’, critical lens to interpret my everyday life as a woman in a Confucian patriarchal society. I completed my BA in Foreign Languages and Literature (National Tsing Hua University) in 2008, continued to work as an English tutor and an administrator before joining the Centre for Women’s Studies as a master’s student in 2010. With an interest in using photography in social research, in my MA dissertation, I examined the relationship between women’s clothing and identity with self-directed photography. This laid the groundwork for my doctoral project in which I applied auto-photography – a participatory visual method that incorporated self-photography, journaling and interviews – to explore the ways women understood and experienced their embodied sexual desire. This project also developed my interests and ideas around meanings of activism, ‘empowerment’, feminist art and representation. I received my PhD in Women’s Studies from York in 2016, and have been working at the Centre since 2015 – after 5 years of living within the Centre’s collaborative and supportive community. 


I am a member of the British Sociological Association (BSA), Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FWSA), and Equality Challenge Unit, Advanced HE.

Departmental roles

I am on the Advisory Board of Cultivate, the feminist journal of Centre for Women’s Studies.

I also run public workshops and talks on gender equality and diversity. 



My main research interests include: equality and diversity; visual methodologies, especially participatory visual methods; art-based research; theories of gender and sexuality; feminist arts and activism; feminist pedagogy. My current project focuses on enhancing the University’s equality and diversity agenda and evaluating Athena SWAN in relation to intersectionality.

 Previous projects:

  • Effective transition: approaching a successful MA through the internationalization of curriculum (2017-18)
    Funded by the University’s Teaching Committee
  • York Pedagogy (2017)
    Funded by the University’s Teaching Committee
  • Photographing desire: women exploring sexuality through auto-photography (2012-14) Funded by Taiwan (ROC) Government’s PhD Research Grant and University of York Scholarships for Overseas Students 


Selected publications

Tsao, E., 2018. Ways of telling + the sea is the limit: A response to MigNet's half-day conference at York Gallery on Tuesday 26 June 2018. University of York Migration Network, [online] Available at: ps:// research/migration-network/news-and-events/2018/ideas-salon-2/> [Accessed 1 September 2018].

Tsao, E., 2017. Exploring feminist teaching. Discover Society. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 1 September 2018].

Conference Paper:

Jun 2018  A response to the panel and The Sea is the Limit. Ideas Salon II: Ways of Telling Conference, Migration Network, University of York.

May 2018  Reading women’s auto-photographic representations of sexual desire. Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York.

Mar 2018  Auto-photography and the co-creation of knowledge: thinking about empowerment. Teach Out for International Women’s Day, York.

Mar 2018  The fluidity of desire?: women’s auto-photographic representations of sexuality. Gender in the Contemporary World: Articulation, Navigation and Change Conference, Queen Mary University of London.

Mar 2017  Feminist teaching (workshop). Feminist Research and Career Skills Events, University of York.

Feb 2017  My journey to/at women’s studies (performative paper), Sisterhood in Action Conference, University of York.

Oct 2016  Many women, many culture (workshop). Feminist Research and Career Skills Events, University of York.

May 2016  PhD teaching (workshop). Feminist Research and Career Skills Events, University of York.

Oct 2015  Auto-photography and the co-creation of knowledge: thinking about empowerment, representation, and the role of the researcher. Feminist Research Methodologies: Challenges and Negotiations Conference, Sheffield Hallam University.

Sep 2014  The co-creation of knowledge: women’s conceptualization of sexual desire with auto-photography. Transformative Feminist Methods Conference, University of Durham (funded).

Mar 2014  Effectively initiating student discussion in class. The Annual Preparing Future Academics Symposium, University of York.

Nov 2012  The mirror of desire: representations and reflections on female sexuality through auto-photography. Gender, Sex and Power Conference, University of Hull.

Aug 2012  Photographing desire: women explore sexual desire with auto-photography and visual representation. Network of Interdisciplinary Women's Studies in Europe Summer School, Utrecht University.

Sep 2011  Clothing dis/embodied: the relationship between women’s clothes, identity and the body (artist in residence). Research Feminist Futures Symposium, Edinburgh University. 

Public Engagement:

Mar 2018  Gender, sexuality and feminism: the personal is political (invited talk). The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough.

Mar 2018  ‘What is feminism?’: Studying gender equality in the UK (invited talk). Nanshan Senior High School, Taiwan.

Mar 2016  Learning, research and teaching in women’s studies: experience in the UK. NanShan Senior High School, Taiwan.

Mar 2016  More than a selfie: exploring ‘womanhood’ with auto-photography (public workshop). York International Women's Festival, York.

Mar 2015  Women and Religion International Panel (funded panellist), University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Mar 2013  International Women’s Day Panel (panellist), University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.



I have previously taught:

  • Sexuality, Culture, Technology (Women’s Studies)
  • Cultivating a Sociological Imagination (Sociology)
  • Introducing Social Psychology (Sociology)
  • Popular Culture, Media and Society (Sociology)
  • Social Research Methods (Sociology)
  • Division & Inequalities: Race & Ethnicity, Class & Religion (Sociology)


I am passionate about teaching. I have experience of providing student welfare support and teaching in Higher Education – both UG and PG – as well as at high school level. I worked as a college welfare tutor in 2012-2014 at York. In 2018, I achieved the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My teaching practice informs my research into feminist pedagogy and how to incorporate diversity into curriculum.

My contribution to the teaching at the Centre is broadly within the fields of feminist theories, qualitative and feminist methodologies, sexuality, and (online) visual culture. I have led sessions for the modules Approaching Women’s Studies, Feminist Research Methodologies, Dissertation Workshops and English and Academic writing workshops. I previously convened and taught in the modules Ways of (Feminist) Knowing and Feminism and Sexuality. I supervise MA dissertations.

Contact details

Dr Evangeline Tsao
Research Fellow
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323476