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Biography

Clara Bradbury-Rance joined the Department of Liberal Arts in September 2017 as Liberal Arts Early Career Development Fellow in Digital Culture and was made Lecturer in Liberal Arts and Digital Education in September 2020. She holds a BA in Film Studies (2010) and an MRes in Sexuality and Gender Studies (2011) from the University of Exeter and a PhD in Screen Studies from the University of Manchester (2016). Prior to joining the interdisciplinary Liberal Arts programme at King’s, she taught across the fields of film, media, literature, gender and cultural studies at various UK universities.

Research Interests 

  • Lesbian cinema and media
  • Feminist and queer theory
  • Digital culture
  • Contemporary cinema
  • Feminism in popular culture

Clara’s first monograph, Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory, was published with Edinburgh University Press and translated into Spanish by Osífragos (both 2019). Arguing that LGBTQ+ culture has been increasingly institutionalised, commodified and politically manoeuvred in the 21st century, the book questions the assumed relationship between visibility and progressive politics. Specifically, the book interrogates how the visual evidence of sex has come to stand in for sexuality, obscuring other forms of representation. The book also intervenes in debates around sexual fluidity, LGBTQ+ identity politics and queer approaches to the seemingly irreconcilable tensions among spectatorship, desire, identification and identity. You can read more about the book in an interview with Lambda Literary Review.

Clara’s current research investigates how marginalised communities confront the paradigms and omissions of dominant media and how digital production, distribution and exhibition shape queer representation. Drawing on the theoretical frameworks offered by queer, feminist and anti-racist work on the politics of citation, the project considers how moving image media create imagined networks of visual meaning making. By exploring how queer and trans women and non-binary people cite each other in moving image media, the project aims to discover the visual storytelling conventions that shape understandings of the queer past. Clara has two articles currently in progress: the first explores the work of Iranian-American media-maker Desiree Akhavan, whose tactics of citation diagnose current tensions in intersectional, transnational feminism. The second uses Netflix as a case study to explore algorithmic recommendations and the datafication of queer taste.

In addition to her academic scholarship, Clara writes criticism on film and popular culture that has appeared in publications such as Sight and Sound and CineVue. Clara is on the board of the open access journal MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, and was guest editor of its special issue on Feminist Pedagogies (2020). She also sits on the editorial board of the book series Screening Sex, published by Edinburgh University Press. She is on the steering committee of Queer@King’s and co-Secretary of the Queer and Trans Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS).

For a full list of publications, please see her research profile.

Teaching

Clara teaches in the Department of Liberal Arts, offering classes on new media, the history of protest and queer and feminist theories of the body. Her module Making the Personal Political: Women and Autobiography from Analogue to Digital is available to students across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Clara has spoken nationally and internationally on lesbian cinema, digital culture, gender, sexuality, popular culture and feminist pedagogy. In August 2018 she was on the jury for the Best Feature Award at the London Feminist Film Festival. She has also been interviewed for Gaydio, BBC Online, The Sunday Times, La Tempestad and Plumas Atómicas. She has spoken at events for the BFI, Curzon Soho, Screen 25, ParaPride (London) and Pout Film Festival, Contact Theatre, the LGBT Foundation, and HOME (Manchester). Between 2011-2016 she helped to organise the Sexuality Summer School at the University of Manchester.

Clara has spoken about her work to international audiences in Germany, USA, France, China and Mexico. To launch the Spanish translation of Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory, Clara was hosted for a week in Mexico City by MIC Género, a transnational Latin American film festival, with support from Benemérita University in Puebla, the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the Facultad de Cine, the Cineteca Nacional, and the Comisión Nacional para Prevenir la Violencia contra las Mujeres.

In June-July 2020, Clara designed and taught an online course in feminist film criticism for the China Women’s Film Festival.