Personal profile

Research interests

My PhD research looks at the queer affects, practices and relations found in rural areas, with a particular focus on South West England. I use ethnographic and arts-based methods to theorise queer rural life. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I'm based across the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, the School of Applied Sciences and the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender (CTSG).

My 3 main areas of research interest are: queer rurals, queer nonsexualities and queer & arts-based methods, as follows.

Queer Rurals

My doctoral project, See Here: rural queers and geographies of churn in South West England, is a creative ethnography of LGBTQ+ communities and spaces in rural Somerset. I'm interested in the lived experience and community-sustaining practices of queer rural people, and whether rural life itself can be said to be queer.

My project employs an original methodology that combines ethnographic research (participant observation) with walking interviews and 'video portrait' co-construction. Through these I ask 'how it feels' to live queerly and rurally to understand the emotional geographies and socio-spatial relations that influence queer rural life. The project's main contribution is a concept of 'geographies of churn', which describe the spatial and affective disruption and re-making of (heternormative) rural life, as practiced by rural queers in the West.

 

Asexualities and queer nonsexualities

I am interested in what queerness means when sex is de-prioritised as the most meaningful erotic activity (Pryzbylo, 2019). Contributing to asexuality studies - a subdiscipline of gender and sexuality studies - I consider the politics, pleasures and possibilities of relational forms that circumvent sexual activity and desire. In this sense, I'm interested less in asexual identity and community, and more in queerly nonsexual affects and relationship forms. 

I have two forthcoming publications that outline conceptual frameworks for thinking 'asexual geographies' and that introduce my concept of 'friend-er trouble' with reference to queer film studies.

 

Queer and arts-based inquiry

Through the creation of video portraits as method, I use the qualities of video to theorise queer and spatial livelihoods. This includes comparative analyses of composition, duration, sonic arrangements, performance and affective circulation in virtual/digital and lived contexts.

I have worked on the ethics of videographic methods on The Wounds We Keep, a research project at the University of Bristol that investigated the ethical factors and research potential of socially-engaged scholarship, creating a film with participants who had experienced incarceration.

Lastly, I have researched by curation, producing Queer Constellations (2021), an exhibition on queer rurals at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). This led to a publication on queer curatorial and creative practice with Epha J. Roe (Networking Knowledge, 2023).

 

Queer academic community

Outside of my doctoral project, I co-founded the postgraduate and community conference, Outside/rs, co-convene the Queer Geographies reading group, and am currently on the organising committee for the European Geographies of Sexualities conference.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, MA Sexual Dissidence

Oct 2017Jun 2018

Bachelor, BA (Hons) Geographical Tripos, University of Cambridge

Oct 2013Jun 2016

PhD, Humanities (Geography and Sexuality Studies), University of Brighton

10 Oct 2020 → …

External positions

Research Assistant, University of Bristol

1 May 202331 Oct 2023

Associate Lecturer, University of the West of England

1 Oct 20221 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • HM Sociology
  • queer
  • queer theory
  • feminism
  • rural
  • LGBT+
  • affect
  • asexuality
  • nonsexualities
  • G Geography (General)
  • space
  • non-metropolitan
  • cultural geography
  • theory
  • gender
  • Video

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  • 26th Lesbian Lives Conference

    Jenzen, O. (Organiser), Karl, I. (Organiser), Zeeman, L. (Organiser), Smith, M. (Member of programme committee), Jukes, J. (Member of programme committee), Browne, K. (Member of programme committee) & O'Donnell, K. (Member of programme committee)

    22 Mar 202423 Mar 2024

    Activity: EventsConference