This panel brings together four faculty at the Department of Gender Studies whose research pushes at the boundaries of existing knowledge in Sexuality Studies. As part of the celebration of our new MSc Gender and Sexuality, the panel will identify key areas of contemporary debate or struggle in the field and highlight ways in which their own current research explores these problematics. Themes include how to explore or mediate the relationship between sexual harm and sexual freedom; the question of authorship in the field (who speaks for others and with what effects); the struggle to imagine or invoke 'queer community'; and the relationship between queer and feminist studies. The panel includes Jacob Breslow, Clare Hemmings, Leticia Sabsay and Emma Spruce, and will be chaired by Marsha Henry. it will be followed by a reception for new members of the Gender Department as well as audience participants at the panel.
Jacob Breslow has been a Teaching Fellow in Transnational Gender and Sexuality Studies since 2016. He completed his PhD, titled “The Theory and Practice of Childhood: Interrogating Childhood as a Technology of Power” at the LSE Department of Gender Studies. His ongoing interdisciplinary and intersectional work takes a few different approaches. He is primarily interested in contemporary U.S. social justice movements, and the ways in which the idea of childhood operates within and against them. Specifically, his work interrogates and thinks with Black Lives Matter, transfeminism, queer youth activism, and anti-deportation movements. With expertise in trans, feminist, queer, anti-racist, postcolonial, and psychoanalytic scholarship, his broader work additionally interrogates the transnational dynamics of sexuality. He is currently working towards publishing a manuscript, tentatively titled: After Childhood: Ambivalence, Belonging, and the Psychic Life of the Child.
Clare Hemmings is Professor of Feminist Theory and current Head of the Department of Gender Studies. Her work is concerned with the stories we tell about feminist and queer studies and their effects. She has a particular interest in how knowledge about sexuality, gender and race is produced and in intervening to challenge dominant stories through form as well as method. She published Bisexual Spaces in 2002; Why Stories Matter in 2011; and Considering Emma Goldman in 2018.
Leticia Sabsay is Assistant Professor of Gender and Contemporary Culture in the Department of Gender Studies at the LSE. She has published extensively in English and Spanish on processes of sexual democratization, performativity, and imaginaries of sexuality and citizenship in popular culture and political discourse. Her current research focuses on embodiment at the intersection of arts and politics. Among other publications, she is author of The Political Imaginary of Sexual Freedom (Palgrave, 2016), and has co-edited with Judith Butler and Zeynep Gambetti, Vulnerability in Resistance (Duke, 2016). In Spanish, she authored the monographs: The Norms of Desire: Sexual Imaginary and Communication (2009), and Sexual Borders: Urban Space, Bodies and Citizenship (2011).
Emma Spruce is a Teaching Fellow in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. Her research explores the intersections of sexual geography, narrative studies, feminist theory, and queer theory. Emma’s work interrogates the spatial and social imaginaries constituted through narratives about changing sexual worlds, focusing in particular on progress narratives about LGBT inclusion, and their amenability to racist and classist exclusions. As well as engaging critically with dominant sexual narratives, she explores the potential of 'small stories' as a site of critique and a means of fostering intimacy, relating this to strategies of resistance.
Chair Marsha Henry is Associate Professor and Interim Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. Dr Henry's research interests focus on gender and development, gender and militarisation, and qualitative methodologies. Over the past 12 years, her research interests have been concentrated on documenting the social experiences of living and working in peacekeeping missions. Her recent research focusses on peacekeepers from the Global South.