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The Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Interest Group

The Gender, Sexuality and Law (GSL) Research group was launched in 2013 and is based in the School of Law at Northumbria. The GSL group, led by Laura Graham, draws together established, early career academics, and postgraduate students from a range of disciplines across the University aligned with the core theme of gender, sexuality and law. Impact-focussed and bringing together dynamic and radical scholars in the field, the group acts as a key forum for Northumbria's growing activity and reputation in this area.

Our Research

Members of the GSL group research across a broad range of areas in law and society, through a gender and sexuality lens, including regulation of sex, domestic violence, sex work, pornography, gender discrimination, and same sex marriage. The group has attracted research funding from the Society of Legal Scholars, the Modern Law Review, Social & Legal Studies, the British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association, and the Legal Education Research Network. The group organises an annual research seminar and events programme and regular one day events which bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers. The group also organises practical workshops on a verity of topics including research funding and engagement beyond the academy.

Group convenor and main contact: Laura Graham 

Postgraduate Research Students

Cameron Giles

Cameron's has recently completed his PhD on the social and legal regulation of HIV related identities in online applications. Working under the supervision of Professor Chris Ashford and Laura Graham, his thesis considers how legal regulation of social networking application intended for men who have sex with men might affect the behaviour of application users, particularly in respect of HIV status disclosure. Cameron approaches these issues from the perspective of queer theory, as well as contributing to the broader debate on the law relating to HIV transmission.Cameron is also interested in: jurisprudence and legal theory, legal history, and, criminal law and the philosophy of sentencing.

Alexander Maine

Alexander has recently completed his PhD. Alexander’s research, under the supervision of Professor Chris Ashford, investigated the ways in which the law interacts with and constructs sexuality. His doctoral study focused on the impact of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the ways in which it constructs sexual identity, specifically the ‘homonormative’, and ‘homoradical’ identities. Using queer theory, this research sought to explain the workings of the ‘sexual hierarchy’ which pervades legal and social understandings of sexuality. His other research interests and publications involve sex and sexuality, HIV, and healthcare. Alongside his research, he has taught undergraduate courses, and attended conferences nationally, and internationally.

Katharine Parker

Katharine has recently completed her PhD study examining the risk-taking behaviours of men who have sex with men in public sex environments in Newcastle upon Tyne. Katharine is particularly interested in the social construction of gender and sexuality and the interrelationship between identity and environment. More broadly Katharine is interested in social research methods specifically the positionality of the researcher in relation to the populations and individuals that they research.

Giuseppe Zago

Giuseppe has recently completed his PhD, under the supervision of Professor Chris Ashford. His current research focused on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prisoners in places of detention, critically investigating the international human rights legal framework and the ways it is enforced in national jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Northumbria University, he worked as a researcher on comparative sexual orientation law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands, and contributed to the realisation of the LawsAndFamilies Database, by finalising the formulation of the questions and of the Guidance for experts, and reviewing and editing their answers.

His main academic interest is in the area of human rights law, sexual orientation law, gender and sexuality.

View Giuseppe on LinkedIn and Twitter

Rosie Hodsdon

Rosie's doctoral research, supervised by Professor Chris Ashford, Laura Graham, and Professor Tony Ward, is seeking to understand the experiences of workers in the BDSM pornography industry in the UK in the wake of a significant legal shift in recent years regarding content and business practice. It aims to prioritise the voices of those within the industry, exploring both their personal and professional responses to new legislation, particularly the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (2014) and the Digital Economy Act (2017). Her wider research interests include BDSM, polyamory and other non-normative sexualities, stigma and deviance, pornography, sex work and community-based participatory methods. She would be delighted to hear from anyone with similar interests.

Zach Leggett

Zach's PhD research, supervised by Laura Graham, Professor Adam Jackson, and Professor Nicola Wake, seeks to examine official responses in Northern Ireland to research on the effects of the implementation of the Nordic Model of regulating the sex industry. Zach is also a full-time lecturer in law at the University of Sunderland, and a regular contributor to the Journal of Criminal Law.




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