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Dr Clara Bradbury-Rance

Clara v2Liberal 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. Clara’s work uses feminist and queer theory to explore contemporary cinema, new media and the politics of visual culture. Her first monograph will be published in March 2019 with Edinburgh University Press. In Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory, she considers how the unprecedented increase in lesbian representation over the past two decades has, paradoxically, coincided with queer theory’s radical transformation of the study of sexuality. She argues that this contradictory context has yielded new kinds of cinematic language through which to give desire visual form. By offering close readings of key contemporary films such as Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Water Lilies and Carol alongside a broader filmography encompassing over 300 other films released between 1927 and 2018, the book provokes new ways of understanding a changing field of representation. The book resists charting a narrative of representational progress or shoring up the lesbian’s categorisation in the newly available terms of the visible. Instead, it argues for a feminist framework that can understand lesbianism’s queerness. Drawing on a provocative theoretical and visual corpus, Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory reveals the conditions of lesbian legibility in the twenty-first century.

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
  • Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming March 2019)
  • ‘Ambiguous Intimacy as Queer Potential: Touch, Desire and Adolescence in She Monkeys’, Feminist Theory (forthcoming)
  • “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

Clara currently teaches across the fields of new media and cultural studies, and specialises in teaching on gender and sexuality in contemporary film, media and culture. Her specialist classes focus on areas such as women and autobiography, intersectional feminism, the history of feminist protest and writing the body.

Expertise & public engagement

Clara is available to speak about gender and sexuality in contemporary media and culture. In the past, she has delivered community discussion groups and film introductions and Q&As. She has spoken in venues such as Cornerhouse/HOME, the Manchester LGBT Foundation and Contact Theatre. She has been featured in programmes and articles broadcast by the BBC, Gaydio and Cornerhouse. Currently, she is on the editorial board of the open access feminist journal MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture. In August 2018 she was on the jury for the Best Feature award at the London Feminist Film Festival.

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