My main research interests lie in gender, sexuality, disability and health, and particularly the intersections of these areas. I am developing a new project at the Wellcome Centre that will explore new ways of thinking about (in)fertility, time and the life course.
I also work in collaboration with colleagues at the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society at the University of Edinburgh on the relationship between sexuality, activism and biological citizenship in the context of HIV PrEP provision in the UK, and in partnership with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University on work arising from Around the Toilet, a series of AHRC Connected Communities projects about the politics and accessibility of public toilets.
My doctoral research at the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, centred on the theorisation and medicalisation of sex, and explored personal experiences and broader social conceptualisations of intersex/variations in sex characteristics in the UK.
Highlights of my career to date
It’s been a privilege to work on a number of interdisciplinary projects with amazing research teams, who have taught me so much about how to approach political, engaged research with creativity. These projects have offered many highlights, from producing collaborative zines, digital toolkits and comics on the inadequacy of public toilets, to generating guidance for universities on how staff can support survivors of sexual violence.
I particularly loved working collaboratively to produce a short animated film called The Toilet., which was selected for three international film festivals and has been shown at a number of other special events and conferences. It was amazing to see it shown on a big screen. It was also a highlight to see illustrations from the project printed on to toilet rolls (it seemed like the best place for them). In 2016, we won the NCPPE Engage Award in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science category.
The research I will be undertaking in the Centre
I am developing a new collaborative project at the Wellcome Centre which will explore (in)fertility from a life course perspective. Drawing on my previous research, I will be focusing on experiences of infertility that occur alongside variations of sex characteristics/intersex traits and raise important questions about autonomy, support and temporality.
This project will contribute to ideas about healthcare and the life course, asking how normative development narratives and perceptions of embodied ‘timeliness’ or synchronicity influence our ways of understanding in/fertility. I will consider the role of time and diagnosis in forming reproductive ideals and visions of futurity, and ways of troubling predictability, linearity and continuity.
I am also contributing to one of the Centre’s Beacon projects, ‘The Cultural Contexts of Loneliness‘, and continuing cross-institutional projects in Edinburgh and Sheffield.