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Biography

Maxine Ali is a PhD Candidate in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication. She holds a MSc in Medical Humanities (2018), and a BA in English Language and Linguistics (2016) from King's College London.

Before rejoining King’s in 2021, Maxine coordinated open access editorial projects at Springer Nature (BMC and SpringerOpen journals), and worked as a freelance health writer and public speaker. Maxine's research examines the intersections between language, culture and health. In particular, she is interested in discursive constructions of identity and embodiment within illness narrative and pathography, digital health and wellness cultures and public health communicative practices. Primarily drawing on critical feminist analytic approaches, Maxine’s work seeks to demystify the interrelationships of gender, power and ideology in health discourses.

Research

Thesis title: Performing idealised ‘healthy’ feminine identity: a feminist critical discourse analysis of wellness on social media.

Maxine's principal supervisor is Prof Alexandra Georgakopoulou-Nunes and her secondary supervisor is Dr Olivia Knapton.

Maxine's ESRC-funded doctoral research explores the gendered performativity of 'health' within digital wellness cultures on Instagram. Using Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (FCDA), her research aims to understand and elucidate the ways through which wellness discourses construct an idealised 'healthy' feminine identity, and how this relates to and reinforces the ideological gendering of health and body consciousness.