Projects and publications

This is a place to showcase and highlight research projects and publications in gender and sexuality studies at the University of Edinburgh. If you have an ongoing or recently completed research project or a publication you'd like to see featured here, please get in touch:


  • 2017-2019: Teaching Feminisms, Transforming Lives: Questions of Identity, Pedagogy and Violence in India and the UK: Funded by the UK-India Educational Research Initiative (approximately £132,000) and led by Radhika Govinda (Sociology), this is a 2.5 year North-South research and pedagogic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, UK and Ambedkar University Delhi, India. Co-Is from the University of Edinburgh are Meryl Kenny (PIR), Fiona Mackay (PIR), Kanchana Ruwanpura (Geography) and Pablo Schyfter (STIS). The project offers a unique opportunity for us as feminist academics to reflect collectively and comparatively on the transformative potential of feminist classrooms at the University-level, delving into questions of identity and violence in two differently diverse yet hierarchical, neoliberal contexts in Northern and Southern locations. The central questions of interest are: How has feminism become institutionalised in the academy, and what part have women’s movements played in this regard in contemporary UK and India? What opportunities and challenges do students and teachers encounter in present-day feminist classrooms, especially with respect to questions of identity and violence? Given the push for digital social sciences, can digital technology be used to develop innovative pedagogic tools to confront social inequalities within feminist classrooms? How is neoliberalism affecting feminist activism and knowledge production, and are feminist classrooms addressing this issue? By engaging with these questions comparatively and within a single project, we hope to make an important contribution to ongoing efforts to decolonise the academy and decentre feminist knowledge production and dissemination.
  • Centre for Research on Families and Relationships: CRFR was established in 2001 as a consortium research centre based at The University of Edinburgh, with partners at the Universities of AberdeenDundeeGlasgowGlasgow CaledonianHighlands & Islands and Stirling. CRFR produces, supports, stimulates and shares high quality social research on families and relationships across the lifecourse. The Centre's directors are Jeni HardenLynn JamiesonSarah MortonKay TisdallPam Warner. Find out more.
  • Gender and Political Processes in the Context of Devolution. This collaborative project included researchers from the University of Edinburgh, and explored the relationship between gender and devolution in Wales, looking at both the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh local government. This project has now finished. Find out more.
  • Minority Women, Activism and Austerity. A comparative study examining minority women's experiences of, and activism against, austerity in Scotland, England and France. This project finished in 2016. Find out more in this article here and on the research website.
  • Political Settlements Research Programme: Examining how political settlements come into being, how open and inclusive they are, and how internal and external actors shape them - including through a gender lens. Find out more.
  • Project on birth stories, their translations, and their use in empowering women. Dr Şebnem Susam-Saraeva: "Currently, my research focuses on translation and health/medical humanities, and specifically, the role of translated personal narratives and testimonies in enhancing health and well-being in societies. There is growing recognition within medical humanities that subjective experience can be a legitimate source of knowledge; birth stories are noteworthy examples of such knowledge and experience being passed on from one person to the next, one language and culture to another. The research project examines birth stories shared online and in print among mothers as resources for birth preparation, and studies them from the perspective of narrative theory as used within translation studies and elsewhere, in order to examine how personal narratives/testimonials are circulated with a view to challenge the deeply ingrained public narratives on women’s bodies and social position within the Turkish society. The project covers issues such as the ‘voices’ of the mothers, the embeddedness of the translator/editor/activist, ‘ownership’ of texts within grassroots activist projects, and the ethical issues to be considered."
  • Sex, Drugs and Activism: negotiating biological citizenship and pharmaceutical prevention. This project, based at the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh and funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award, explores the relationship between sexuality, activism and biological citizenship, and considers the implications of this complex relationship for the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the UK. Using creative ethnographic and digital research methods to map the relationship between sexual and biological citizenship, we explore access to – and use of – preventive drugs, and consider how activism about pharmaceutical prevention technologies shapes the relationship between communities and public and private health provision. You can find out more on the project website here.
  • Sexual Violence in War: University of Edinburgh researchers have published a key study on the effects of sexual violence in war. 'Physical, mental and social consequences in civilians who have experienced war-related sexual violence: a systematic review (1981-2014)' can be read and downloaded here.
  • Women and Peace Agreement Database (PA-X Women): Created by Christine Bell, this database is available to view on You can also see details in the research explorer.

Journals and Publications