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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology

(email at


I am an activist, researcher, and campaigner working on violence against women and girls. I come from a practice-based background in the specialist sexual violence sector, and this informs my academic work which focuses on drawing together philosophy, specifically phenomenology, with empirical research on violence against women and girls. Most recently, I've been working on a project on women's lived experience of mainstream online pornography.

I'm particularly interested in feminist methodologies and ways of disseminating research beyond the academy, including through the development of lesson plans for young people and creative means such as theatre. I am a regular media commentator on sexual violence and harassment and have been an expert advisor to Government including to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Public Sexual Harassment, and the Department for Education in the development of the new RSHE curriculum. 


  • 2015-19: Pornography, Phenomenology and Embodiment (Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship)

Research Interests

Sexual violence, Existential phenomenology, Simone de Beauvoir, Female embodiment, Public sexual harassment / men's intrusive practices, Lived experience of pornography.

Research Groups

Department of Sociology

  • Violence and Abuse

Research Interests

  • Existential phenomenology
  • Female embodiment
  • Lived experience of pornography
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual Violence
  • Simone de Beauvoir

Teaching Areas

  • Gender, Violence, and Abuse
  • Violence and Abuse

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review


Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Print)

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Sociology: Street harassment
  • Gender and law: Sexual violence
  • Sociology: Pornography

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Special Advisor - Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces:
  • 2017: Advisory Committee of Transnational Girlhoods:

    Invited member of advisory comittee for new book series, Transnational Girlhoods, published by Berghahn Press.

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Phenomenology, Pornography and Women's Embodiment (£88360.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)