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Personal Statement

Karen Boyle is Professor of Feminist Media Studies and Programme Director for the MSc in Applied Gender Studies.

Karen has an MA in Women's Studies (Applied) from the University of Bradford and conducted her PhD research on violence, gender and representation in mainstream cinema at the Violence, Abuse and Gender Relations Research Unit, also at Bradford. Her first academic post was as a Lecturer in Women's Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, after which she moved to the University of Glasgow where she was Senior Lecturer in Film & Television Studies. She joined Strathclyde from the University of Stirling, where she was Professor of Feminist Media Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies.

Karen’s research has long focused on questions of violence, gender and representation and she has published widely in this area, including in the monograph Media & Violence: Gendering the Debate (Sage 2005) and as editor of Everyday Pornography (Routledge 2010). Her latest book is #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism (Palgrave, 2019). She has additional research interests in film authorship, cinema audiences and gender and news. In 2018, she lead a Royal Society of Edinburgh-funded Workshop series on Tackling Gendered Inequalities in Scottish News. One of the outcomes of these Workshops was the foundation of Gender Equal Media Scotland (https://www.genderequalmedia.scot/), an organisation bringing together academics, journalists and activists working towards gender equality in Scottish media. In 2020-21, she is working with Women 50/50 on Pass the Mic, a project mapping the representation of women of colour in Scottish news media.

At Strathclyde, Karen is Director of the postgraduate programmes in Applied Gender Studies and contributes to the core classes Understanding Gender; Feminist Knowledge, Feminist Research; and Feminisms – Continuity and Change. She also coordinates the Gender Studies Research Placement and has experience of working with a wide range of external organisations to support student research.

Karen is an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner and welcomes applications from new students working in the broad areas of feminist film, television and media studies; pornography and sexuality; gendered violence and representation; audience research and genre studies.

Ongoing supervisions in 2020-21 include:  
  • beauty norms in anti-violence campaigns
  • queer female bodies in horror film
  • gendered election coverage
  • transnational connections in the history of women's aid in the UK
  • fandom, media and gender in Scottish football (with Scottish Football Association)
  • archivising and historicising the feminist anti-violence movement in Scotland (with Glasgow Women's Library)
She is also supervising a practice-based PhD using the novella form to explore men’s violence against women and changes over time.

She has supervised 12 PhDs to completion including: an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award project on Glasgow Film Festival audiences and year-round cinema-going (with Glasgow Film as non-academic partner; completed 2014); a practice-based video essay project on Academy Award winning supporting actresses; and projects on forensic crime drama; violence in Italian popular cinema; female atheleticism in cinema; sexual violence in teen television; queer relationships in teen film; masculinity and surveillance in the serial killer film; gender and the giallo; adaptations of Snow White in film, television and comic books; female cannibalism in film & literature; and rape discourse on social media. 

Karen is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Media, Communication & Cultural Studies Association, and Deputy Chair of sub-panel 34 for REF2021. Outside of academia, she is on the Board of Directors of the feminist anti-violence organisation the Women's Support Project.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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