Kate Gilchrist

Kate Gilchrist

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

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Key Expertise
Gender, Subjectivity, Postfeminism, Popular Culture, self narrative

About me

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 contemporary 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 in the US-UK 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, disability and age. It also draws upon psychosocial, postfeminist and popular feminist theory. 

Kate's PhD 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. During the 2019/2020 academic year, she is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the MC416 Representation in the Age of Globalisation course. She was a Seminar Leader on the LSE Summer School IR140 Global Communications, Citizens and Cultural Politics course in the Department of International Relations. 

In 2017/2018 she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the MC416 course Representation in the Age of Globalisation, and in 2016/2017 she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant on the MC499.2B Dissertation Study Skills course, both in the LSE Department of Media and Communications.    

Kate completed an MSc in Gender (Distinction) at the LSE Gender Institute in 2014 and was awarded the 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).   

Before her move into academia, Kate was trained in journalism and worked as a chief sub-editor/production editor on a range of national and international periodicals and books for 15 years. 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


Conference talks:

Gilchrist, K. (2019). “The case of the single detective: deviancy, vulnerability and hypersexuality”. Presented at: “Filmic Fantasies” session at the Cultural Studies Conference 2019 at Tulane University, New Orleans, the United States of America on 1 June 2019.

Gilchrist, K. (2019).  “Singledom, popular culture and feminine subjectivity: the case of the single female detective”. Presented at: the Feminist Scholarship Division at the ICA 2019 Annual Conference in Washington DC, the United States of America on 27 May 2019.

Gilchrist, K. (2018). “Singledom and feminine subjectivity in US-UK popular culture: postfeminism, the unruly woman and ‘performative shamelessness”. Presented at: the Popular Culture Working Group. IAMCR Annual Conference, Oregon, the United States of America on 20-24 June 2018.

Gilchrist, K. (2017). “‘Singledom and feminine subjectivities: an intersectional analysis of intimate life”. Presented at: the University of Westminster Joint PhD Spring symposium, University of Westminster, London, UK. 17 March 2017.

Blog posts

Gilchrist, K (2019). Parents influence US teens’ attitudes to, and media practices around, gender equality, LSE Parenting for a Digital Future (27 Feb 2019). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K and Polizzi, G. (2019). Changing media habits mean having a conversation with children is more important than ever, LSE Parenting for a Digital Future (5 Feb 2019). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K. (2018). Confidence gap? The impact of gender, class and age on adults' digital literacy. LSE Parenting for a Digital Future (26 Sep 2018). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K. (2018). More access, less harm: children online in Europe and Latin America LSE Parenting for a Digital Future (25 Apr 2018). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K. (2016). The ‘private’ life of US politics part two: affect, intimacy and public bathrooms. LSE Engenderings (17 Oct 2016). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K. (2016). The ‘private’ life of US politics part one: affect, intimacy and Trump. LSE Engenderings (10 Oct 2016). Blog Entry.

Gilchrist, K. (2015). Intersections of gender, sexuality, race and age in the privileging of coupledom. Engenderings (13 Apr 2015). Blog Entry.

Book abstract: 

Gilchrist, K. (2018). “Singledom and female subjectivity: fantasy, representation and lived experience”. In Peja, L., Carpentier, N., Colombo, F., Murru, M. F., Tosoni, S., Kilborn, R., Kramp, L., Kunelius, R., McNicholas, A., Nieminen, H., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P. (Eds.) Current Perspectives on Communication and Media Research. (Pp. 326) Bremen: Edition lumière, 2018.