Dr Sadie Wearing

Dr Sadie Wearing

Associate Professor in Gender Theory, Culture and Film

Department for Gender Studies

+44 (0)20 7955 7194
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Key Expertise
gender theory, representation, feminist film theory, aging

About me

Sadie Wearing is Associate Professor in Gender Theory, Culture and Film in the department of gender studies, which she joined in 2004, having previously studied and worked at in the Department of English at Queen Mary College, University of London, where she obtained her PhD  and Masters degree, and the University of East Anglia in the department of Film and Television Studies, where she held a lecturer post. Her research and teaching interests are in the critical, gendered, analysis of film, literature and popular culture.  Her work examines the ways in which cinema, literature and popular culture both reflects and contests wider cultural dynamics. Her research covers historical and contemporary contexts exploring the ways in which literary and cinematic narratives articulate contested cultural processes including questions of gender, sexuality, public and private memory, national identity, heritage and belongings, and aging.  A key strand of her work has explored how aging is figured in contemporary culture and with what effects.   Drawing on a range of genres she has explored how meanings are attached to dementia and how a range of aging subjectivities are managed and articulated.  Her current research project is an AHRC funded collaboration (with Lizzie Thynne at University of Sussex and Yvonne Tasker at University of Leeds) centring on the work of the British feminist socialist film maker, Jill Craigie. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Jill Craigie: Film and Feminism in Post-war Britain, co-authored with Yvonne Tasker for University of Illinois Press.

Member of the PhD Supervisory teams of Alanah Mortlock and Alia Amirali.

With Leticia Sabsay and Sumi Madhok, she edits the book series ‘Thinking Gender in Transnational Times’ for Palgrave Macmillan 

Expertise Details

gender and feminist theory; representation; feminist film theory and history; aging and subjectivity in literature; culture and film

PhD Supervision

Member of the PhD Supervisory teams of Alanah Mortlock and Alia Amirali. Sadie welcomes MPhil/PhD applications from students working on her areas of research expertise, and especially on topics related to gender and film, aging and subjectivity and critical approaches to culture

Please see our PhD page for how to apply and what we are looking for in a research proposal.


Recent Publications (chronological order)

  • Frames of Dementia, grieving otherwise in The Father, Relic and Supernova: Representing dementia in recent film. In R. Ward & L. J. Sandberg (Eds.), Critical Dementia Studies: An Introduction. Routledge. 2023.
  • ‘”I am not particularly despondent yet”: The Political Tone of Jill Craigie's Equal Pay Film To Be a WomanJournal of British Cinema and Television, October 2021, vo. 18, No. 418(4), pp. 423–441
  • Co-editor Special Issue ‘Jill Craigie and Women in British Film and Documentary Cultures 1930–5’ Journal of British Cinema and Television, October 2021, vo. 18, No. 4
  • Introduction’ Yvonne TaskerSadie Wearing and Hollie Price Journal of British Cinema and Television, October 2021, vo. 18, No. 4pp. 399-403
  • Co-editor Special Issue ‘Sonic Cyberfeminisms’  Feminist Review . Issue 127, March 2021
  • Troubled Men: ageing, dementia and masculinity in contemporary British crime drama’ Journal of British Cinema and Television, April 2017, vo. 14 (2), pp.125-142
  • Feminist Review Special Issue  ‘Frailty and Debility’. Issue 111, October 2015 eds. Irene Gedalof, Yasmin Gunaratnam and Sadie Wearing.
  • 'Deconstructing the American Family: Figures of Parents with Dementia in AM Homes’ May We be Forgiven and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections’ in Swinnen, A., and M. Schweda (eds.). Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness. Aging Studies series. Transcript Vergal, Bielefeld: 2015 pp. 1-25.
  • ‘Moms Mabley and Whoopi Goldberg: Age, Comedy and Celebrity’ in Holmes, S. and Jermyn, D. (eds.) Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing Freeze Frame Palgrave: 2015, pp. 59-76.
  • The SAGE Handbook of Feminist Theory (eds) Mary Evans, Clare Hemmings, Marsha Henry, Hazel Johnstone, Sumi Madhok, Ania Plomien and Sadie Wearing Sage:2014
  • Gender in the Media by Niall Richardson and Sadie Wearing Palgrave:2014
    • ‘Dementia and the Biopolitics of the Biopic, from Iris to The Iron Lady’ Dementia  Vol. 12, No. 3, 2013 pp. 315-325.
    • ‘Representing Agency and Coercion: Feminist Readings and Postfeminist Media Fiction‘ in Phillips, A., Madhok, S. and Wilson, K (eds.) Gender, Agency and Coercion Palgrave: 2013, pp. 219-239.
    • 'Notes on Some Scandals: The Politics of Shame in Vers le Sud’ in Gill, R. and Scharff, C. (eds.) New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Identity Palgrave: 2013, pp. 173-187.
    • ‘Exemplary or Exceptional Embodiment? Discourses of Ageing in the case of Helen Mirren and Calendar Girls’ in Dolan, J. (ed.) Ageing Femininities: Representation, Identities, Feminism (Cambridge Scholars Press: 2012, pp. 145-157.
    • 'Subjects of Rejuvenation: Aging in Postfeminist Culture’ in Negra, D. and Tasker, Y (eds.) Interrogating Postfeminism Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture Duke University Press: 2007, pp.277-310.




Conferences Organised


Recent Conference Papers

  • ‘The Impossibility of a “People’s film” Craigie’s Vision in The Way We Live’Doing Women’s Film History Conference V (virtual), University of Maynooth 10-11 July 2021
  • To be a woman The affective life of a feminist film’, MeCCSA International Conference, University of Brighton 8-10 January 2020
  • “I am not particularly despondent yet” The Political Tone of Jill Craigie’s To be  A Woman, Screen International Conference, Glasgow, June 28-30, 2019  
  • ‘Introducing Jill Craigie’s Politics of Documentary’, Symposium on British Women Documentary Filmmakers, LSE,5th April 2019
  • 'Presenting Moms Mabley, Age, Celebrity and Comedy’ at Console-ing Passions International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, Dublin, Ireland, June 2015.
  • ‘Deconstructing the American Family: Figures of Parents with Dementia in AM Homes May We Be Forgiven and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections’8th International Symposium Cultural Gerontology, Galway, Ireland, April 2014.
  • ‘Sexual Politics Reconsidered’, Invited Speaker, Kate Millett Conference, Birkbeck College, University of London, May 2014.
  • ‘Conceptualisations of Silence in Feminist Theory’, Invited Speaker, Symposium on Silences in Science, Imperial College, University of London, Welcome Institute, July 2013.
  • ‘Acting their Age?’ Women, Ageing and Popular Cinema, Keynote Speaker, University of Newcastle, 4 May 2012.
  • ‘Retirement Deferred’, Symposium on Aging, Gender and Film, Keynote Speaker University of West of England June, 2011.
  • ‘Age, Shame and Grumpiness: Analysis, Representation and Affect’, Affecting Feminism: Feminist Theory and the Question of Feeling, Newcastle University, December 10-12, 2010.
  • 'Agency and Coercion: Feminist Readings of Postfeminist Representations’, Feminist Television Studies Conference, University of Sunderland, 16 September, 2010.



Current Areas of Research

Much of Sadie's research and teaching centres on the analysis of film. Specifically,  the ways in which cinematic narratives articulate contested cultural processes including questions of public memory, national identity, heritage and belongings, gender sexuality and aging. She has written on the questions raised by adaptations of literary and biographical texts and the specificity of cinematic forms of memory and forgetting and at how these might be understood in relation to the politics of feeling, tone, postcolonial theory, postfeminism and contemporary formations of celebrity. Her current research has two main strands, a research project on the filmmaker Jill Craigie, and a longstanding research interest in representations of aging.

Jill Craigie,  Film and Feminism in Post-War Britain

Jill Craigie Film Pioneer (https://www.jillcraigiefilmpioneer.org/) is a four year(2018-2022) research project funded by the AHRC.    The investigators on the Project are Lizzie Thynne (PI, University of Sussex)), Yvonne Tasker (CI, University of Leeds) and Sadie Wearing(CI LSE). Jill Craigie (1911 – 1999) was one of Britain’s earliest women documentary makers whose films stand out because of their overtly feminist and socialist politics, and their attempt to combine activism and entertainment. Located within women’s film history, the project aims to explore Craigie as a significant force in British cinema history whose films warrant closer attention.  Forthcoming work from the project includes a book,  Jill Craigie: Film and feminism in Postwar Britain  (co-authored with Yvonne Tasker)which seeks to centralize Craigie’s film work, locating it for the reader within the particular context of British wartime and postwar visual culture and society.  We trace the links between the themes and political tones of her films and her preoccupations with equality, housing, feminist histories, art, culture and socialism through her varied work in the culture industries in the 1940s, 1950s and beyond.

Aging in Contemporary Culture

This research, which has been published across a range of journals and edited collections, is concerned with representations and theorisations of the aging body in contemporary popular culture exploring the intersections of discourses of race, class, disability, gender and sexuality in shifting conceptualisations of age. The research examines the ways in which film, literature and media reflect and complicate wider cultural assumptions about aging, memory and temporality and the ways in which aging subjectivities are produced and reproduced via cultural discourses and the affective management of aging. This work explores links with affect theory, postfeminism, performativity, celebrity and disability studies to reflect on the complexity and paradoxes of prevailing representations of aging and suggests the ways in which recent popular culture might be understood as a crucial site on which negotiations of contemporary aging are being explored.  Particular attention is paid to the emotional register of representations of dementia across a range of genres. Forthcoming work includes analysis of the role of genre in some of the most recent high profile feature films screened in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.

Teaching and Administration


Programme director for MSc Gender, Media and Culture

Courses: 2023-24


Current Administration Roles


  • Deputy Head of Teaching
  • Academic Advisor to approx. 15 per year
  • MSc dissertation supervisor, approx 15 per year


External Examining

PhD examiner:

  • Birkbeck, University of London, May 2019
  • SOAS, University of London, March, 2015
  • Goldsmith College, University of London, June 2014
  • University of East Anglia, October 2013
  • Southern Cross University, Australia, October 2012
  • Royal Holloway, University of London, November 2010
  • MPhil: University of Birmingham, November 2008
  • PhD: Cardiff, Cardiff University, March 2008

External Programme examiner:

  • University of East Anglia, MA Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2017-2020)
  • Birkbeck, University of London, BA Psychosocial Studies, Department of Psychosocial Studies (2012-2016)
  • Goldsmiths College, University of London, MA Gender Studies, Departments of Sociology and Media and Communications (2011-2014)
  • Middlesex University, BA Film Studies, Department of Film Studies (2006- 2011)


Recent Teaching Awards

  • LSESU teaching Award Nomination (PhD Supervision)  2021
  • LSE Excellence in Education Award 2018-19, 2019-20
  • Major Review Teaching Prize 2013
  • LSE Teaching Award, 2005, 2006, 2007