Cultures of the Body, Gender and Sexuality

This research strand acknowledges the intertwining of different facets of the body, including representations of gender, sexuality, race and disability and how these fold over into lived experience.

Central to our research is the ways in which social and cultural factors, beliefs, practices and regimes inflect how we experience and understand the body. We seek to explore the body in relation to lived experience as well as how bodies are represented. In particular, we are interested in the ways in which some bodies are celebrated and idealised whilst others are marginalised or under-represented.

The strand considers a range of different historical, cultural and disciplinary approaches to the body. Specifically the research in this area involves exploring how approaches to the body shift and develop over time. Contemporary themes such as prosthetics, implants and activity trackers are also studied in relation to technology and the body. We ask questions about bodies that relate to their status as subjects and objects of desire; about the contemporary and historical meanings of gender; and about how we live and have lived in our bodies.