Kate Gilchrist

Kate Gilchrist

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

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Research Topic

Singledom and female subjectivity: fantasy, popular culture and lived experience 

Kate's PhD project examines how gendered subjectivities are constructed by and produced through popular cultural discourses and lived experience of singledom. To do so, the thesis explores how the figure of the single woman is constructed in popular culture and the ways in which such representation may be impacting on the individual subjectivities of single women. It takes Foucault’s theory of subjectivity as its framing, employing the concept of fantasy to investigate how the single woman is being discursively constructed and regulated through fantasies in popular cultural representations and in single women’s narratives of lived experience. Kate's analysis takes an intersectional approach to consider how gendered subjectivities are intersected by multiple axis of identity, including race, class, sexuality and age. It also draws upon postfeminist theory. 

Kate is currently recruiting participants for interviews, so please contact her if you would be interested in taking part.

Kate's research is fully funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

SupervisorsDr Shani Orgad and Dr Leticia Sabsay


Alongside her PhD research, Kate is the editor of LSE’s Parenting for a Digital Future blog and this year she has worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. She also presented a paper at the IAMCR 2018 conference in Oregon, US. Kate completed an MSc in Gender (Distinction) at the LSE Gender Institute in 2014. and was awarded the annual prize for best performance on the MSc Gender degree programme. Kate's time at the Gender Institute inspired her desire to continue her academic career and undertake a PhD. She has a Dual Honours BA in English and History from the University of Sheffield (2001), as well as a Graduate Diploma in Law (2005) from BPP Law School London. She completed a short course in gender and social development at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy at SOAS, University of London (2010). She has had two submissions published on the LSE Gender Institute blog, Engenderings on the transformation of intimacy, heteronormativity and media portrayal of coupledom. The second submission was an analysis of the US 2016 presidential election through the lens of ‘public intimacy’ and affect. Before her PhD, Kate worked as a sub-editor/production editor on a range of national and international periodicals and books. She has volunteered for several gender rights charities and NGOs in the UK, Central America and South East Asia, advising on communications, policy and law.

Expertise Details

gender; subjectivity; postfeminism; popular culture; self narrative; fantasy