Publications

A selection of recent publications from our staff relating to Sexuality and Gender.

The Subject of Murder: Gender Exceptionality and the Modern Killer

subject-murderLisa Downing

Since at least the nineteenth century, we have seen the murderer as different from the ordinary citizen - a special individual, like an artist or a genius, who exists apart from the moral majority, a sovereign self who obeys only the destructive urge, sometimes even commanding cult followings. In contemporary culture, we continue to believe that there is something different and exceptional about killers, but are murderers such a distinctive type? Are they degenerate beasts or supermen as they have been depicted on the page and the screen? Or are murderers something else entirely?

The book explores the ways in which the figure of the murderer has been made to signify a specific kind of social subject in Western modernity. Drawing on the work of Foucault in her studies of the lives and crimes of killers in Europe and the United States, Downing interrogates the meanings of media and texts produced about and by murderers. Upending the usual treatment of murderers as isolated figures or exceptional individuals, Downing argues that they are ordinary people, reflections of our society at the intersections of gender, agency, desire, and violence.

Representing Medieval Genders and Sexualities in Europe

Book cover for Representing Medieval Genders and Sexualities in EuropeEdited by Elizabeth L'Estrange  

Transcending both academic disciplines and traditional categories of analysis, this collection illustrates the ways genders and sexualities could be constructed, subverted and transformed. Focusing on areas such as literature, hagiography, history, and art history, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the early sixteenth century, the contributors examine the ways men and women lived, negotiated, and challenged prevailing conceptions of gender and sexual identity. In particular, their papers explore textual constructions and transformations of religious and secular masculinities and femininities; visual subversions of gender roles; gender and the exercise of power; and the role sexuality plays in the creation of gender identity. The methodologies which are used in this volume are relevant both to specialists of the Middle Ages and early modern periods, and to scholars working more broadly in fields that draw on contemporary gender studies.

Queer in Europe: Contemporary Case Studies

queer-in-europeEdited by Lisa Downing and Robert Gillett

Queer in Europe takes stock of the intellectual and social status and treatment of queer in the New Europe of the twenty-first century, addressing the ways in which the Anglo-American term and concept 'queer' is adapted in different national contexts, where it takes on subtly different overtones, determined by local political specificities and intellectual traditions.

 

 

Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies

beyond-feminist-biblical-studiesDeryn Guest

In today’s postfeminist, post-structuralist milieu, feminist biblical studies—despite its now well-established place in the discipline—can seem out on a limb, too narrowly concerned with the interests of women: women in the text, women in history, women readers. Its connections with studies in masculinities, with queer theories, with lesbian and gay studies may appear thin and flimsy. As the current terminology shifts perceptibly to ‘gender criticism’, this book examines the continued place of feminist biblical studies within the discipline.

 

 

 Language, Sexualities & Desires

Edited by Helen Sauntson and Sakis Kyratzis

Language, Sexualities and Desires presents new research on the use of language as evidence for the construction of sexual identities. The contributors offer real-life data originating from a number of cultures, and a polysexual focus. They show how linguistic research in the areas of desire, sexual identities and love can benefit from a cross-cultural approach.

 

Holy Motherhood: Gender, Dynasty and Visual Culture in the Later Middle Ages

Scan of book cover of Elizabeth L'Estrange's 'Holy Motherhood'Elizabeth L'Estrange

The study explores maternal and childbearing imagery in Books of Hours and its relationship to devotional and material culture in the fifteenth and early sixteenth century. In particular it analyses how lay, aristocratic women concerned with the conception of male heirs responded to this imagery as a way of managing their social and gender roles. The book will be reissued in paperback in Spring 2012.

 

 

 Gender and Language Research Methodologies

Edited by Kate Harrington, Lia Litosseliti, Helen Sauntson and Jane Sunderland

Drawing together for the first time the main current methodological approaches to the study of language and gender. These include sociolinguistics and ethnology, corpus linguistics, conversation analysis, discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, feminist post-structuralist discourse analysis and queer theory.

New Perspectives on Language and Sexual Identity

 Liz Morrish and Helen Sauntson

Presenting a range of new and exciting data to illustrate and explore aspects of the relationship between language and sexuality.

 

 

 

 

 In Corpore: Bodies in Post-Unification Italy

Edited by Loredana Polezzi and Charlotte Ross

Essays devoted to the critical exploration of the presence and impact of bodies in recent and contemporary Italian cultural production, in the light of current developments in thinking about bodies and their locations within cultures.

 

 

Feminism and the Schooling Scandal

 Christine Skelton and Becky Francis

Feminism and 'The Schooling Scandal' brings together feminist contributions from two generations of educational researchers, evaluating and celebrating the field of gender and education. The focus throughout is on the years of compulsory schooling, examining key concepts in gender and education identified and developed by international thinkers in educational feminism.

 

 

killing-carmens-godslandKilling Carmens

Shelley Godsland

Killing Carmens: Women's Crime Fiction from Spain is the first comprehensive study of female engagement with the detective genre in Castilian and Catalan, and offers a new approach to Spanish crime writing by combining literary criticism with sociological and criminal theory. This multidisciplinary work reveals how female authors use crime and detective narratives to analyse the role and position of their countrywomen.