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Biography

Clara Bradbury-Rance joined the Department of Liberal Arts in September 2017 as Liberal Arts Early Career Development Fellow and became a Lecturer 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 at various UK universities across the fields of film, media, literature, gender and cultural studies.

Research Interests 

  • Lesbian and queer cinema and media
  • Feminist and queer theory
  • Autobiography and memoir
  • Feminist and social justice pedagogies

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 an open access review of the book in Times Higher Education and find out more in an interview with Clara for Lambda Literary.

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 people cite each other in moving image media, the project aims to discover the visual storytelling conventions that shape understandings of the queer and trans past. Clara has written two articles on this topic, both forthcoming: 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.

Clara has published in Feminist Theory, Feminist Media Studies and MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture and has work forthcoming in New Review of Film and Television Studies and Camera Obscura.

In addition to her academic scholarship, Clara writes criticism on film and popular culture that has appeared in publications such as Sight and Sound, CineVue, Club des Femmes and The Conversation. Clara is on the board of the open access journal MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture, and edited 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 is Junior Co-Chair 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 on the BA Liberal Arts and MA Global Cultures, specialising in queer and feminist theory, visual culture, contemporary media and social justice. Her specialist ‘opportunity’ module Is the Personal Political? Feminist, Queer and Trans Autobiography in Contemporary Media is available to students across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Clara has spoken widely on gender and sexuality in film and media. In August 2018 she was on the jury for the Best Feature Award at the London Feminist Film Festival. She has been interviewed for features for BBC Online, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Gaydio, La Tempestad and Plumas Atómicas, and has created content with the film distributor StudioCanal. She has spoken in London at the BFI, Barbican, Rio Cinema, Curzon Soho, Screen 25 and ParaPride and in Manchester at Pout Film Festival, Contact Theatre, the LGBT Foundation, and HOME. Between 2011-2016 she helped to organise the Sexuality Summer School at the University of Manchester which included a major public events programme collaborating with organisations including the Royal Exchange Theatre, Anthony Burgess Centre and Manchester Museum.

Clara has spoken about her work to international audiences in Germany, USA, France, China and Mexico. In June-July 2020, she led a course in feminist film criticism for the China Women’s Film Festival. To launch the Spanish translation of Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory in 2019, 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.