Confirmed Speakers

Diane Negra (University College Dublin)

Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture and Head of Film Studies at University College Dublin.  A member of the Royal Irish Academy, she is author, editor or co-editor of ten books including Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom (2001), A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (2002), Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture (2007), What A Girl Wants?: Fantasizing the Reclamation of Self in Postfeminism (2008), Gendering the Recession: Media and Culture in an Age of Austerity (2014) and The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness (forthcoming 2016).  She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Television and New Media.

Dominique Grisard (University of Basel)

Dominique Grisard teaches Gender Studies at the University of Basel and directs the Swiss Center for Social Research. From 2011 to 2015 she was a Visiting Scholar at London School of Economics, City University London, Columbia University, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, the New School for Social Research, and the University of Chicago. She is currently completing her second book entitled “Pink”, a history of femininity, sexuality and race through and around the color pink.

Francis Ray White (University of Westminster)

Francis Ray White is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Sociology programme. Their research, writing and teaching is in the area of gender studies and feminist and queer theory.  Francis has a PhD in Sociology and an MA in Gender, Culture and Modernity from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Francis has previously taught at Goldsmiths and the LSE Gender Institute, and has been at Westminster since 2007.  Francis is currently the Regent St campus representative for the Westminster LGBT Staff Network.

Jackie Sanchez Taylor (University of Leicester)

Dr Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor’s primary research interests are in the sociology of gender and sexuality with a special focus on cosmetic surgery, female sex tourism, prostitution, the sale and consumption of embodied process of self production and medical tourism. Within these areas they are also interested to explore the intersections between gender, race, sexuality and empowerment.

Joy Gregory (Slade School of Fine Art)

Joy is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. She has developed a practice which is concerned with social and political issues with particular reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited all over the world showing in many festivals and biennales. Her work included in many collections including the UK Arts Council Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Yale British Art Collection. She currently lives and works in London.

Marcia Ochoa (UC Santa Cruz)

Marcia is an anthropologist specialized in the ethnography of media. Their first book is on the accomplishment of femininity among beauty pageant contestants (misses) and transgender women (transformistas) in Venezuela.  Their work focuses on the role of the imaginary in the survival of queer and transgender people in Latin America, and the place of these subjects in the nation.  Marcia works with El/La Para TransLatinas in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA to develop programming and social justice work that promote transgender Latina participation and reflects the style and grace of translatina survival.  Marcia is currently co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies

Margrit Vogt (Europa-University Flensburg)

Margrit Vogt is a literary scholar, interested in comparative literature and cultural studies and works as a researcher at the University of Flensburg.

Meeta Rani Jha (University of Winchester)

Meeta Rani Jha is a feminist sociologist and an anti-racism activist. Their scholarship is inspired by the history of Third World and Black feminist social movements, and my lived experience has been shaped by Black politics in Britain and the multi-racial solidarities of the San Francisco Bay area. Meeta has designed, delivered and evaluated more than twenty modules on comparative race and media studies, feminist studies, identity, multiculturalism and religion, globalisation and youth culture, urban and community studies, childhood and inequality, and cultural geography (globalisation and inequality).

Mimi Thi Nguyen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her areas of interest include transnational feminist cultural studies, critical refugee studies, and women of colour feminisms and queer of colour critique.   Her first book, called The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, focuses on the promise of “giving” freedom concurrent and contingent with waging war, and was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association of Asian American Studies. Her following project is called The Promise of Beauty. She has also published in Signs, Camera Obscura, Women & Performance, positions and Radical History Review.

Monica Moreno Figueroa (University of Cambridge)

Mónica Moreno Figueroa is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow in Social Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge. Her research, teaching and publications have primarily developed around three areas: the lived experience of ‘race’ and racism; feminist theory and the interconnections between beauty, emotions and racism; visual methodologies and applied research collaborations. She completed an undergraduate degree in Media and Communication at the Universidad Iberoamericana, León, Mexico in 1996, before moving to the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, to study an MA in Sociology. In 1999, she travelled to the UK to do an MA in Gender, Culture and Modernity at Goldsmiths College, London, where she stayed to take a PhD in Sociology. She has lectured at Goldsmiths and Birkbeck College, London, University of Nottingham, Newcastle University, Princeton University and El Colegio de Mexico.

Ng’endo Mukii  (Independent Filmmaker, Nairobi, Kenya)

On the Ides of March, a creature with a fiery ‘fro was born. Small in stature and withdrawn in nature, she led a reclusive life on the green highlands of Kenya, overlooking the savannah seas. Receiving her primary education under the instruction of foreign nuns of the Catholic persuasion, she left her home to experience this century’s Super Power.  After a sojourn of many years she returned to her native soils, her intuitive pencil transformed into pressure sensitive stylus and screen.  She spends her time between Nairobi and Tsavo, animating little children, photographing dung beetles, and running away from scorpions.  Her artistic work has won many awards, recently including: Lilongwe Shorts, Malawi, May 2015 Won Award for Vision and Originality; ArtCity Film Festival, Buea, Cameroon, October 2014 Won Best Experimental Film; Black Star Film Festival, USA August 2014 Won Best Experimental Short Film; AfriKamera Film Festival, Warsaw, Poland April 2014 Won Best Short Film.

Paula Irene Villa (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München Institut für Soziologie)

Paula-Irene Villa is Full Professor and Chair of Sociology / Gender Studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. Her research focusses on biopolitical issues (cosmetic surgery, eating, pregnancy, fitness etc.), Cultural Studies (pornography in pop culture for example), Social Theory (embodiment, post-structuralism, practice theories), and on Gender & Care. Villa is co-founder and was board of the German Association for Gender Studies, and she is currently elected board member of the German Sociological Association.

Rosalind Gill  (City University London, UK)

Professor Rosalind Gill studied Sociology and Psychology at Exeter University, and completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the Discourse and Rhetoric Group (DARG), Loughborough University in 1991.  Professor Gill is known for her research interests in gender and media, cultural and creative work, and mediated intimacy. For the last decade she has made a significant contribution to debates about the “sexualization of culture”. She enters this contested and polarized field bringing an emphasis upon difference – particularly the ways in which differently located groups (by age, class, gender, sexuality, vulnerability, etc) are positioned by and in relation to sexualization – and upon new ways of thinking about the relationship between culture and subjectivity – how what is “out there” gets “in here” to shape our sense of self

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Emory University, USA)

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and several other books. Her current book project is Habitable Worlds: Disability, Technology, and Eugenics.

Sarah Banet-Weiser (USC Annenberg, USA)

Sarah Banet-Weiser is Director of the School of Communication at USC Annenberg. She is also a Professor in the School of Communication at USC Annenberg, and in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Her teaching and research interests include feminist theory, race and the media, youth culture, popular and consumer culture, and citizenship and national identity. She teaches courses in culture and communication, gender and media, youth culture, feminist theory and cultural studies.  Her book, Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture(New York University Press, 2012), explores brand culture and political possibility through an investigation of self-branding, creativity, politics, and religion. It was the winner of the 2012 International Communication Association’s Outstanding Book Award.

Shirley Tate (University of Leeds, UK)

Shirley Tate is currently Associate Professor in Race and Culture at the U niversity of Leeds. As a Cultural Sociologist Shirley is a qualitative researcher interested in intersectional thinking. In their writing, research and teaching, they draw on Black  feminist, gender, critical ‘race’,  queer, post colonial and Caribbean decolonial theory within an overall focus on Black Atlantic diaspora studies and emerging identifications.  Shirley’s research and writing so far has been on the body, Black beauty, ‘critical mixed race’ and the nation, domestic and care work, beauty, Black identity, positive and negative affect, pain, anti- Black racism in organizations, food, ‘race’ performativity, decoloniality, transracial intimacies and skin.



Christine Checinska (VIAD, University of Johannesburg)

Dr Christine Checinska is a Research Associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. During 2013-2015 she was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of East London and the Stuart Hall Library Animateur at Iniva, Rivington Place, London. Christine’s work as a writer and curator is situated at the meeting point between fashion, textiles and contemporary art. A primary concern is the relationship between cloth, culture and race from the perspective of the African Diasporas. Her recent publications include Reconfiguring Diasporic Identities in Beyond Borders, John Hutnyk (ed.), Pavement Books, (2012) and Crafting Difference: Art, Cloth and the African Diasporas in Cultural Threads: Transnational Textiles, Jessica Hemmings (ed.), Bloomsbury Publications, (2014). January 2016 saw her delivering a TEDxTalk entitled Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism. She combines all this with her work as a design consultant in the fashion industry.


Meredith Jones (Brunel University)

Meredith Jones studied English Literature, Gender Studies and Cultural Studies at The Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, and completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney, in 2006. She is known for her research interests in gender and media, body modifications, and visual culture. Jones is one of the pioneers of Cosmetic Surgery Studies and has made significant contributions to debates about cosmetic surgery and cosmetic surgery tourism. She works in this complex and misunderstood field by asserting that aesthetics of beauty and notions of normality and naturalness are always socio-cultural constructs. Jones is a Reader at Brunel University, London, and is the Commissioning Editor for Routledge’s series Gender, Bodies and Transformations.