About our Researchers

The Gender and Sexuality Cluster is a postgraduate, student-led research group within the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP) of the AHRC. The cluster is designed to bring together students who are working on projects that relate to any aspect of gender, sex, sexuality and the body more generally. We come from a range of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds and are always welcoming new members. We are currently organising events for 2018/19, including reading groups and our annual conference at the University of Southampton on the 27th June 2019. We also publish our magazine Gendered Voices, keep an eye on our page for information on calls for articles!

 Please see below for more information on our current members:


2019/20 Committee

Erica Capecchi, University of Bristol/ University of Cardiff

Emily Peirson-Webber, University of Reading/ University of Exeter

Ewan Short, University of Cardiff/ University of Reading

Gareth Smith, University of Cardiff/ University of Exeter

Abby Stannard Ashley, University of Bristol/ University of Exeter

Annie Strausa, University of Bristol/ University of Cardiff


2018/19 Committee

Blanche Plaquevent, University of Bristol/ University of Southampton; Jessica McIvor, University of Southampton/ University of Bristol ; Jake O’Leary, University of Bristol/ University of Exeter


2017/18 Committee

Nick Havergal, University of Bristol/ University of Exeter, Sina Stuhlert, University of Bristol, Charlotte Walmsley, Cardiff University/ University of Exeter


Maria Tomlinson
Maria in Paris as a lectrice

Name: Maria Tomlinson

Project Title: ‘Silenced Bodies: The Unspeakable in Women’s Writing from France, Algeria and Mauritius.’

Hi there! I am Maria, a founding member of the cluster, and I am doing a PhD in French literature. My thesis explores French literary representations of the female body from puberty until the menopause, so I am of course very interested in issues relating to gender and sexuality. I did my undergraduate degree in French and Modern Greek Studies and MA in French Literature at King’s College London. In 2013-14 I worked in Paris as a lectrice (junior lecturer) and taught modules in British civilisation, literary translation and English language before being awarded the AHRC funding from the SWWDTP  so that I could undertake my PhD research at Reading and Britsol. I also work as a sessional lecturer at both universities and teach a variety of courses which examine french literature, film and art.  I’m responsible for keeping the blog up to date and enjoy the networking opportunities that this cluster provides.


Sophie graduating from her MRes
Sophie graduating from her MRes

Name: Sophie Payne

Project Title: Representations of Contemporary Feminist Protest in Germany and the UK

I’m Sophie, co-founder of the cluster, and I’m doing a PhD in German Studies with a project focusing on perspectives on modern feminist protest in Germany and the UK. More specifically, I’m looking at the online self-representations of FEMEN and the anti-sexism campaigns #aufschrei and the Everyday Sexism Project, as well as their reception in news articles and the public comment sections of these articles. The aim is to uncover conflicts or patterns across the different media, with a view to better understanding the place and face of feminist protest today.

I did my BA in German and Italian at Reading from 2009 to 2013 and an M(Res) in German Studies in 2013-2014. I help organise a number of interdisciplinary postgraduate research groups at Reading, including the Gender& Sexuality Network seminar series, an upcoming series on sharing knowledge about methodological approaches across disciplines and a workshop on reflexivity in Politics and IR. I am also on the editorial board for the Italian postgraduate forum, ReadingItaly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s