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Dr Clara Bradbury-Rance

Clara Bradbury Rance photoLiberal Arts Early Career Development Fellow in Digital Culture

Telephone: 020 7848 3215

Address: Liberal Arts Department
Room VB4.52, Virginia Woolf Building
King’s College London
22 Kingsway
London, WC2B 6LE



Clara gained her PhD in Screen Studies from the University of Manchester in 2016. She holds a BA in Film Studies (2010) and an MRes in Sexuality and Gender Studies (2011) from the University of Exeter.

Before joining King’s in September 2017, Clara was a Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to this, she taught across the fields of media, gender and cultural studies at the Universities of Manchester, Bedfordshire and Westminster. She gained fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.

Between 2011 and 2016, Clara worked for the Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and Languages, both at the University of Manchester. In 2014, she was a Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Centre based at Mount Holyoke College.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Feminist theory and politics
  • Queer theory
  • New media and technology
  • Contemporary cinema and popular culture

Clara’s work uses feminist and queer theory to explore contemporary cinema, new media and the politics of visual culture. She is currently completing her first monograph, which will be published by Edinburgh University Press. Troubling Visibility: The Queerness of Lesbian Cinema considers the simultaneous increase in lesbian visibility on the twenty-first century cinema screen and the shift away from identity categories in critical discourses of sexuality. Given this paradoxical context, the book theorises the kinds of cinematic language through which desire can be given visual form. Troubling Visibility proposes a feminist framework for queering lesbianism that unsettles the “visibility imperative” through readings of contemporary films such as Water Lilies (Sciamma, 2007), Circumstance (Keshavarz, 2011) and Blue is the Warmest Colour (Kechiche, 2013).

Clara is also interested in the relationship between new media and feminist politics. Her new research project considers how media transformations have generated contemporary models of feminist citation and reinvigorated commitments to a collective political agenda. This research explores feminist cultural production through new modes of online distribution, the relationship between celebrity culture and activist movements, the cultural and political dynamics of social media and mythologies of US dominance in transnational feminisms.

Full Research Profile

Selected publications
  • ‘Ambiguous Intimacy as Queer Potential: Touch, Desire and Adolescence in She Monkeys’, Feminist Theory (forthcoming)
  • Troubling Visibility: The Queerness of Lesbian Cinema (monograph to be published by Edinburgh University Press, expected 2019)
  • “The Translation of Desire: Queering Visibility” in Nathalie and Chloe” in Queer in Translation, edited by B.J. Epstein and Robert Gillett (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 144-55
  • “Desire, Outcast: Locating Queer Adolescence” in International Cinema and the Girl: Local Issues, Transnational Contexts, edited by Fiona Handyside and Kate Taylor-Jones (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 85-96
  • “Querying Postfeminism in The Kids Are All Right” in Postfeminism and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema, edited by Nadine Muller and Joel Gwynne (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 28-43 
Expertise & public engagement

Clara regularly participates in events on gender and sexuality in film and media. At the leading Manchester arts centre HOME (was the Cornerhouse), she delivered a series of introductions to film screenings as part of the travelling queer film festival POUTfest, and chaired a Q&A with Sophie Hyde, director of 52 Tuesdays. She led a film discussion group for the local LGBT+ community at Manchester’s LGBT Foundation. Clara has been interviewed by the radio station Gaydio for a programme on queer cinema, and appeared on a panel discussion on queer youth at the Queer Contact festival. As co-organiser of the Sexuality Summer School at the University of Manchester between 2011 and 2016, she helped to develop partnerships with international artists, filmmakers, academics and institutions such as Manchester Pride.

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