Het Phillips - Sexuality and Gender Studies

I am in the first year of a PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Professor Lisa Downing.

I am also a member of the steering committee for the newly established White Rose English Network (WREN).

Research project

Developing the research I undertook for my masters’ dissertation (‘Visuality, Tourism and the Pop-Cultural Proliferation of Myra Hindley’), my thesis attempts to theorise the cultural narratives and myths at stake in the recirculation of visual and textual representations of the ‘moors murderer’ Myra Hindley, as well as those of Ian Brady, her partner in crime, and Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.

My central focus is the pervasive othering and commodification of the mid-twentieth-century Northern working-classes at work in these representations - a quasi-postcolonial exoticising process I have termed ‘Northientalism’ - and the ways in which this works as a lens available to Northern artists to critique and explore as well as an externally imposed framework.

My other research interests centre around domesticity and the uncanny in mid twentieth century literature and culture, and projections of temporal and spatial identity in and late twentieth/early twenty-first century popular music.


My undergraduate degree was in English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford.

I did my MA in General Literature at the University of Leeds.

Conference papers

  • ‘Visuality, Tourism and the Pop-Cultural Proliferation of Myra Hindley: National Loss of Innocence’, School of English MA Research Conference, Leeds University, June 2011
  • ‘The Romance of Crime: Fashion, Frivolity and Flirtation in the Temporal Tourism of Murder Iconography’, Crime Across Cultures Interdisciplinary Conference, Leeds University, September 2010
  • ‘The Romance of Crime’, Bettakultcha VI, Leeds Temple Works, September 2010