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Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities

Key People

There are over 50 Durham University staff involved in the Centre. It is run by two Directors and a steering group, which is draws on the interdisciplinary expertise of staff at Durham. Members of the steering group are from the faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences & Health.


Professor Maggie O'Neill, School of Applied Social Sciences 

Professor Maggie O'Neill holds a Chair in Criminology in the School of Applied Social Sciences. She brings extensive experience of working in inter-disciplinary contexts with expertise in critical and cultural criminology. Research activity and outcomes include the development of theory; a focus upon innovative biographical, cultural and participatory research methodologies; and the production of praxis - knowledge which addresses and intervenes in public policy. Her research activity has been instrumental in moving forward debates, dialogue and scholarship in three substantive areas: prostitution and the commercial sex industry (since 1990); forced migration and the asylum-migration nexus (since 1999); innovative participatory, performative and visual methodologies (since 1990).

Dr Mark McCormack, School of Applied Social Sciences

Dr Mark McCormack is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Applied Social Sciences. His research has empirically documented the erosion of homophobia in educational and sporting settings, and examined the impact this has on the social dynamics of these settings. His research explores how decreasing homophobia has resulted in an expansion of gendered behaviours and seuxal identities for young people. He has also discussed the changing nature of homosexually-themed language, and stressed the importance to recognise generational differences in how such language is understood; particularly for teachers and other practitioners. He also researchers the improvement in life experiences of sexual minorities, with a focus on bisexual men in British and American metropolitan cultures. 

Steering Group

Dr Sylvie Gambaudo, Department of Philosophy 

Sylvie Gambaudo is a member of the Philosophy department. She has an undying passion for the study of gender and for what feminist theories bring to an understanding of experience. Her research aims to present critical arguments on gender and feminist theories, and applications of theories of gender to new experiences that are traditionally regarded as unintelligible. Her published work aims to bring to light novel understandings of those neglected experiences. In 2011, she created and coordinated the inter-disciplinary Gender Research Network, which gathered participants from all departments of the three faculties, as well as members of the community. The network was very successful and became the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities in 2013. She is now its deputy director and a member of its steering committee. She is also an enthusiastic member of the Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) in the department of Philosophy. The group divides its work between addressing bias in teaching practices, and proposing workshops to understand the mechanics of bias, climate and exclusion in philosophy and beyond.

Professor Clare McGlynn, Durham Law School

Professor Clare McGlynn is a feminist legal scholar with particular expertise in the fields of rape law and policy, the legal regulation of pornography and the representation of women in the legal profession. Following qualification as a solicitor with City firm Herbert Smith, she took up a lectureship in law at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, before moving to a Readership at Durham University in 1999 and being appointed to a Chair in Law in 2004. She co-founded the research group Gender & Law at Durham (GLAD) in 2007 which acts as a catalyst for gender-related research and teaching, and from 2007-2009 she was Deputy Head of the Law School.


Professor Lucille Cairns, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Professor Lucille Cairns is the sole author of five monographs, as well as of numerous articles/ chapters on male and female homosexuality in French literature and film, on French women's writing generally, and on French Jewish women's writing in particular. She is sole editor of Gay and Lesbian Cultures in France (2002). She has been editor of Stirling French Publications (1997-2005), and specialist reader for many academic journals. She was President of AUPHF (Association of University Professors and Heads of French) from 2007- 2010, and is currently the national representative for French studies on the Executive Committee of UCML (University Council of Modern Languages). She has been advisor on a number of senior promotions in UK universities, external panel member for the Independent Evaluation of Teaching in the French Department, University of Sheffield (2006), and external member of the panel for the review of the School of Modern Languages, University of Bristol (2009). In 2009, she was made a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government.

Professor Fiona de Londras, Durham Law School

Fiona de Londras holds a Chair in Durham Law School and is Co-Director of Durham Human Rights Centre ( Focusing mostly on human rights and constitutionalism in her work, the research Fiona has done relating to gender, sex and sexualities has had three main foci: international criminal law's capacity to respond to gender based violence in conflict (esp. genocidal sexual violence), the regulation and reform of abortion availability in Ireland, and access to marriage for same-sex couples (again focusing on Ireland but based on a comparative constitutional methodology).

Professor Linda McKie, School of Applied Social Sciences

Linda McKie is Head of School and Professor of Sociology, School of Applied Social Sciences. She has held posts at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, researching and teaching in the sociologies of health and illness, gender and work, and research methods and management. Current research considers a number of topics under the broad umbrella of Organisations, Work & Care, and families and relationships; see Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. In 2014 she is a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) Sub Panel for sociology (unit of assessment 23). 

Professor Anne Campbell, Department of Psychology

Professor Anne Campbell currently studies sex differences in aggression from an evolutionary perspective. This body of research attempts to identify the psychological mechanisms, hormonal moderators and neural circuitry that are implicated, as well as recognising cultural and ecological differences in the input to these evolved systems. Her early research was concerned with young women’s involvement in street gangs in the United States and in violent subcultures in Britain. She is the author of a number of books including A Mind of Her Own: The Evolutionary Psychology of Women (OUP), Men, Women and Aggression (Basic Books) and The Girls in the Gang (Blackwell). 

Dr Susan Frenk, St Aidan's College

Dr Susan Frenk is a member of the Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society and Politics, Deputy Head (Recruitment & Allocations) in the Colleges Office and Principal of St Aidan's College. Her research interests are: 20th and 21st century Spanish and Latin-American culture and Women's voices in literary and social history.

Professor Simon James, Department of English Studies

Professor Simon James' research interests are largely in the literary culture of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century periods, especially late Victorian and Edwardian fiction. His current research include an essay on Marie Corelli and the Fin-de-Siecle, a monograph on the male bond in fin-de-siècle literature, and an interdisciplinary project on time, memory and consciousness in Dickens. I was a Christopherson/Knott Fellow at the IAS in Michaelmas 2010.

Professor Mark Learmonth, Business School

Mark Learmonth is Professor of Organization Studies at Durham University Business School. He has a longstanding interest in “critical” approaches to management – including an emphasis on gender relations within organizations, and the central role of masculinist language in reinforcing dysfunctional forms of managerial control. Current research includes the representation of women’s work in Disney animated film (with Martyn Griffin) and recently published work includes a feminist analysis of laboratory life and a queer theory reading of leadership.

Clare McGlynn on... the regulation of pornography

"A society which condones the depiction of sexual violence for sexual gratification is not one which truly values the human rights of women to gender equality, bodily integrity and a life free from gendered harms. In other words, regulation of violent pornographic material is permitted since it 'directly conflicts with basic ideals of equal worth and equal protection that are basic to a liberal social order', as liberal philosopher Martha Nussbaum has argued."

Shape. Inform. Influence.