Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies

About Us

The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies is an inter-disciplinary research centre which brings together leading feminist and gender-focused scholars working in and across a range of disciplines at the University of Stirling.

Co-Directed by Kirstein Rummery (Professor of Social Policy) and Karen Boyle (Professor of Feminist Media Studies),

The Centre is  home to MSc and MLitt programmes in Gender Studies (Applied) and runs a series of events throughout the year developing and showcasing feminist research at the University of Stirling.


For queries about the Centre or about postgraduate study in Gender Studies please contact gender@stir.ac.uk OR karen.boyle@stir.ac.uk 

Or take a look on our social media pages:      facebook-icon‌  

Dee Amy-Chinn Scholarship

We offer an annual studentship for MSc/MLitt in Gender studies (Applied), funded by the family of our much-loved and much-missed colleague Dr Dee Amy-Chinn.

Dee, a lecturer in the Division of Communications, Media & Culture at the University of Stirling, was instrumental in founding the Gender Studies MSc/MLitt programme.  Dee died of bowel cancer in December 2015 and a donation was made from her family to fund these scholarships.  Dee was the first in her family to go to university.  She attended Lancaster University and later, mid-career, studied at Birkbeck University of London for her MA and MSc while continuing to work full-time.  She went on to gain a scholarship to do her PhD.  Dee's academic interests were focussed broadly on gender and sexuality in the media and the public sphere.  She was passionate about openness and fair treatment for all.

These scholarships are to support students with diverse life experiences which have marked their journey to postgraduate study.

Laura Wylie, winner of the first Dr Dee Amy-Chinn Scholarship, with Dee's husband Steve and Karen Boyle, Director of the MLitt/MSc in Gender Studies



The Directors for the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies are Karen Boyle (Professor of Feminist Media Studies) and Kirstein Rummery (Professor of Social Policy). Their Joint Directorship speaks to the inter-disciplinary focus of the Centre which seeks to bring together scholars across the University who are undertaking work on gender and feminist issues. A full list of affiliated colleagues is provided below and gives some sense of the diverse areas in which we can offer expert postgraduate supervision at both taught and research levels.

The Centre also provides an inter-disciplinary home for the MLitt/MSc in Gender Studies (Applied). These programmes were the brainchild of Alison Jasper (Religious Studies) and Dee Amy-Chinn (Communications, Media & Culture), who have both worked on gender and feminist issues inside – and outside – the academy for many years. Keen to see Stirling harness its range of expertise on gender and develop as a centre of excellence for those who want to undertake advanced study on gender and sexuality, Dee & Alison initiated the Gender Studies programme. Sadly, Dee retired on health grounds just as the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies was established.  Following Dee's death in 2015, the Dr Dee Amy-Chinn Scholarship was launched.




Karen Boyle Director  
Alison Jasper Founder and Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies 
Kirstein Rummery Director
Elizabeth Anderson Impact Research Fellow 
Suzy Angus Senior Teaching Fellow
Andrea Baumeister Senior Lecturer Politics 
Kim Barker Lecturer in Law  
Bethan Benwell Senior Lecturer in English Studies 
Chiara Bernardi Lecturer in Digital Media chiara.bernardi@stir.ac.uk  
Susan Berridge Lecturer Communications, Media and Culture  
Sharon Bolton Professor, Stirling Management School
Adelina Broadbridge Senior Lecturer Management Work and Organisation
Rowan Cruft Lecturer
Nicola Cunningham Lecturer in Health Sciences  
Brigid Daniel Professor Social Work
Ann Davies Chair in Spanish Studies
Fiona Dobbie Research Fellow in Social Marketing  
Sandra Engstrom Lecturer in Social Work sandra.engstrom@stir.ac.uk 
Christine Ferguson Professor in English Studies christine.ferguson@stir.ac.uk
Fiona Harris Senior Lecturer in NMAHP Research  
Richard Haynes Professor, Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Alenka Jelen-Sanchez Lecturer in Communications, Media & Culture  
Cristina Johnston Senior Lecturer in French
Katharina Lindner Lecturer Communications, Media and Culture 
Philippa Lovatt Lecturer in Communications, Media and Culture
Barbara Leonardi Research Assistant, English Studies  
Peter Matthews Senior Lecturer, Social Policy & Criminology
Kathryn Mackay Lecturer Social Work  
Margaret Malloch Reader Sociology/Social Politics & Criminology
Bill Marshall Professor Comparative Cultural Studies and French
Gill McIvor  Professor in Criminology 
Sarah Neely Senior Lecturer Communications, Media and Culture
Guillermo Olivera Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies
Tessa Parkes Senior Lecturer in Health Studies  
Samantha Punch Professor in Sociology/Social Politics & Criminology
Irene A Reid Lecturer in Sports Studies
Nicola Ring Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences  
Madhu Satsangi Senior Lecturer in Housing Studies
Carron Shankland Professor of Computing Science
Claire Squires Professor in Publishing Studies  
Ashleigh Ward Lecturer in Health Sciences  
Dalene Swanson Senior Lecturer, Education
Helen Whincup Teaching Fellow Social Work CPD
Sarah Wilson Senior Lecturer Applied Social Science


Two colleagues from the Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies have been nominated for the Scottish Women’s Awards. Co-Director Karen Boyle is nominated in the Services to Education Category and Carron Shankland, Professor of Computing Science, is nominated for Services to Science and Technology. (LINK to UNI website news item: https://www.stir.ac.uk/news/2017/08/stirling-academics-shortlisted-for-the-scottish-womens-awards/) The awards ceremony takes place in Glasgow on August 30th. Fingers crossed!



MAY 2017

We were delighted to welcome Professors Rebecca and Russell Dobash back to the University of Stirling to deliver an extremely well-received public lecture: “Ending Violence Against Women in Scotland”. The Dobashes' pioneering book – Violence Against Wives: A Case Against the Patriarchy (1979) - was written at the University of Stirling, and their lecture reflected on both how much has changed in the intervening period and how urgent the project of ending men’s violence against women remains. The event was organised by Gender Studies PhD student Jenny Wartnaby, whose SGSAH-funded PhD is focused on “Archiving and Historicising the Feminist Anti-Violence Movement in Scotland”. The event also provided an opportunity to hear from Emma Gascoigne – from Scottish Women’s Aid’s Speaking Out project – about their current oral history project exploring  40 years of Scottish Women’s Aid. The Speaking Out exhibition is on display in the Pathfoot building until June 16th: make sure you catch it. 

APRIL 2017

Centre Co-Director Kirstein Rummery has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  Professor Rummery, said: “It's a great honour to have my work and the impact it has had honoured by my discipline in this way, and thank you to all my colleagues, students, family and friends who have supported and taught me over the years.”  You can read the full list of new Fellows here https://www.stir.ac.uk/news/homepagenews/

We are delighted that two applicants affiliated to the Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies have been successful in this year's AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership competition run by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities. Donna Moore is currently in her first-year of part-time study for her Creative Writing PhD. She is researching and writing a series of historical crime novellas exploring women's experiences of men's violence. Donna is a Graduate of the MLitt in Gender Studies (Applied) and is supervised by Liam Bell and Karen Boyle. Clare McKeown will be joining us from September to begin work on her PhD exploring beauty norms in public education campaigns against male violence against women, working with Karen Boyle and Alenka Jelen-Sanchez. 

If you are thinking of PhD study for 2018  then it is never too early to get in touch to discuss your ideas and possible supervision within the Centre: as well as AHRC funding, the MSc Gender Studies is a recognised doctoral training route for the ESRC DTC for Scotland.


MARCH 2017 has been a busy month for Gender Studies students and graduates:

On March 17th, the University launched a new Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, accompanied by a powerful campaign isthisOK? and a new microsite providing advice, information and support for staff and students. This work has been informed by Gender Studies student research: graduate Neill Clark undertook his Research Placement with the Student Support Service in 2016, providing an overview of existing University responses to sexual violence across the UK and identifying best practice – he then expanded on this work in his dissertation. This is a vital new resource and we are proud to have been involved in its development. Particular thanks and congratulations to Jill Stevenson, Head of Student Services, who has spearheaded this work: http://www.stir.ac.uk/tacklingsexualmisconduct/


Nasty Women Book Launch

We were delighted to welcome Publishing graduates Heather McDaid and Laura Jones back to the University for the launch of the first book from their new publishing company 404Ink, the brilliantly titled Nasty Women. The book offers a collection of essays and accounts of what it is to be a woman in the 21st Century and includes an essay from Gender Studies PhD student Claire Heuchan entitled “Black Feminism Online: Claiming Digital Space”. 

Our friends at Glasgow Women’s Library have a fantastic new online resource relating to their Lesbian Archive. Two of our Masters students – Laura Wylie and Morna McMurtry have short essays on the site exploring different facets of the collection http://womenslibrary.org.uk/explore-the-library-and-archive/the-archive-collection/the-lesbian-archive/ . Our students also have a number of blogs for GWL exploring different aspects of the collections: Giorgia Succi’s blog on lesbian 1920s publication Urania: http://womenslibrary.org.uk/2017/03/14/urania-how-to-be-a-bad-xxs-feminist-and-a-queer-angel-in-the-20s/, Holly Phelby has been writing about her work on the girls’ magazine Jackie http://womenslibrary.org.uk/2017/03/02/revisiting-jackie/ and Charlotte Osdalen has been blogging about her research on the Scottish feminist magazine Harpies & Quines. You can read her latest blog here: http://womenslibrary.org.uk/2017/03/08/harpies-quines-representing-their-readers-letters-with-campaigns-to-end-violence-against-women

Congratulations to PhD student Kate Gould on her first academic publication: "Women's sexual desire: Challenging narratives of dysfunction", co-authored with Cynthia Graham and Petra Boynton in new edition of European Psychologist. Kate's PhD looks at the framing of female sexuality in the media coverage of Flibanserin/Addyi (so-called "Pink Viagra") and is supervised by Bill Munro and Karen Boyle.



December 2016

Congratulations to PhD student Claire Heuchan who won Best Blog at the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards  (https://writetoendvaw.com) at the Scottish parliament on 6th December 2016. You can read her winning blog - “Self-Care or Speaking Out? A Black Feminist Dilemma” here: https://sisteroutrider.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/self-care-or-speaking-out-a-black-feminist-dilemma/  

Claire is a graduate of the MLitt in Gender Studies (Applied) and of our undergraduate Journalism programme. Her PhD – Mapping the Intersections in a Digital Context: Black British Feminism Online – is being supervised by Prof Karen Boyle, Dr Greg Singh and Dr Chiara Bernardi.



November 2016

We are delighted to invite applications for a fully-funded PhD through the AHRC's Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme on Fandom, Media and Gender in Scotland’s ‘National’ Game. This scholarship is a collaboration between the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies and the Scottish Football Association. 


October 2015 

Screening & discussion 22nd October 2015:
The Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies and Stirling University Student Union will be welcoming award-winning producer Amy Zierling to introduce her film The Hunting Ground about rape and rape culture on US campuses. After the screening, Amy will be joined by representatives from the Students’ Union and Forth Valley Rape Crisis to discuss how UK universities can respond to the issues raised. The event is free and open to all (aged 18 and over).

PhD on ‘Arching and Historising the Feminidt Anti-Violence Movement in Scotland: 
The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies, The Centre for Gender History (Glasgow) and Glasgow Women’s Library are delighted to welcome new PhD student Jenny Wartnaby. This project is the result of a successful bid to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities’ Applied Research Collaborative Studentship Scheme and will run for the next three years. During the life of the project, we will be hosting a series of related events – so keep an eye out for announcements.

Athena Swan: 
Congratulations to the University of Stirling’s School of Health Sciences, and Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences, on their Athena Swan Bronze Awards. Athena Swan is the national benchmark from the Equality Challenge unit recognising commitment to advancing gender equality within Higher Education. These departmental awards add to Stirling’s Institutional Bronze Award.

Gender Studies Research Placements:
Over the past 6 months, students on the MLitt/ Msc in Gender Studies (Applied) have undertaken fantastic work with a diverse range of organisations as part of our Research Placement module. Students have researched feminist analyses of human rights discourse (for Scottish Women’s Aid); analysed coverage of debates about prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation (for the Women’s Support Project); undertaken archive research on experiences of lesbians and gay men in Scotland for Hopscotch Films; reviewed women’s experiences of coaching (for the Scottish Football Association); investigated young girls’  drivers and motivations for playing football (for Glasgow City); and developed a catalogue of Black feminist activism in the Glasgow Women’s Library. Also for Glasgow Women’s Library, our students have researched and curated exhibitions on Sexology and Women in Pulp Fiction. Congratulations to all on some excellent work, and thanks to our Placement Providers for supporting this scheme.


Historical Crime Fiction at Glasgow Women's Library on 22nd June 2017

Gender Studies PhD student Doona Moore has organised an In Conversation event with women historical crime fiction writers at Glasgow Women’s Library on 22nd June, 5.30-7.30pm. Donna will be joined by writers Lucy Ribchecter, Sara Sheridan and Katie Welsh to discuss the pleases and pitfalls of writing historical fiction, what draws them to crime fiction, and how they give a voice to the voiceless as they discuss research, writing and rebellion. Book here: http://womenslibrary.org.uk/event/historical-crime-fiction

Donna’s own PhD is a joint Gender Studies/ Creative Writing project, and this event is part-funded by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Stirling.


Ending Violence Against Women in Scotland - May 24th 2017

We are delighted to welcome Professor Rebecca Dobash and Professor Russell Dobash to the University on 24th May for a public lecture: Ending Violence Against Women in Scotland: Nearly Half a Century of Action, Policy and Research. This event accompanies the University’s hosting of Scottish Women’s Aid’s Speaking Out exhibition which documents and celebrates 40 years of Scottish Women’s Aid and the difference it has made in women’s lives. The evening has been organised by PhD student Jenny Wartnaby as part of her SGSAH ARC-funded PhD “Archiving and Historicising the Feminist Anti-Violence Movement in Scotland.” This event is free but advance booking is required: http://www.stir.ac.uk/events/calendarofevents/2017/may/endingviolenceagainstwomeninscotland


Nasty Women Event

The Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies in collaboration with the Stirling Centre for International Publishing & Communication are holding a Stirling Launch event to celebrate 404 Ink's first publication, Nasty Women on Thursday 23rd March at 3:30pm in Pathfoot Dining Hall. Set up by two graduates of Stirling's MLitt in Publishing Studies, 404 Ink crowdfunded their first book for launch on International Women's Day, 2017.

If you're interested in attending, please register via the link below:



Feminist Reading Group

Feminist Reading Group

The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies at Stirling runs an interdisciplinary staff/student Feminist Reading Group. It is intended to provide a space for staff and postgraduate students reading feminist theory, criticism, fiction in different disciplinary contexts to get together and discuss ideas and issues of shared concern.  The final meeting date for spring semester 2017, will be Wed 17  May, 3-4pm (Pathfoot D1). The reading for discussion will be Chapter 5 of Kaitlynn Mendes’ Slutwalk:  Feminism, Activism and Media​ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).  

The discussion will be led by Maja Andreasen of the Gender Studies Centre at Stirling.  The book is available at the uni library if people want to read more than just the one chapter  A photocopy of chapter 5 is available from Alison Jasper (a.e.jasper@stir.ac.uk).

All are welcome!



Feminist Research Methods workshop - Wednesday 22nd June

On Wednesday 22nd June, Stirling’s Karen Boyle and Adele Patrick from Glasgow Women’s Library will be running a Feminist Research Methods workshop – back by popular demand! This is part of the SGSAH Summer School programme and is open to both Arts & Humanities AND ESRC-funded students from across Scotland.

More details at www.sgsah.ac.uk


Women, Media, Politics symposium - Tuesday 21st June

On Tuesday 21st June, in conjunction with the MeCCSA Women’s Media Studies Network, we are organising a symposium on Women, Media, Politics, featuring a combination of academic papers and panel discussions on “Being a Feminist in Public” and “Writing as a Feminist”.

Confirmed speakers include: Emma Ritch (Executive Director, Engender); Liz Ely (Development Worker, Zero Tolerance); Kirsty Strickland (Freelance Journalist and Write to End Violence Against Women Bursary Winner); Claire Heuchan (@GenderStir student and online activist); Karen Ross (University of Newcastle); Fiona Mackay (University of Strathclyde); Laura Castillo Mateu (Universitate Jaume); Marina Dekavalla (University of Stirling) and Alenka Jelen (University of Stirling).

The event is free and will run from 10-4.30 at Glasgow Women’s Library. The event is open to all and booking details will follow soon.


Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities: Summer School 20-23 June 2016

The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies is delighted to participate in the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities second annual summer school.


Breaking the Sound Barrier: Women Sounding Out in British Film & Television, Saturday 18 June 2016

NFT 3, London, 18th June

Dr Philippa Lovatt has been invited to take part in a panel discussion at the Breaking the Sound Barrier: Women Sounding Out in British Film & Television symposium at NFT 3, Saturday 18 June 2016.

The symposium has been organised by the (WFTHN) Women's Film and Television History Network and will focus on women's role in sound production. The panel that Philippa will take part in will consider the following questions: How to use archives and other resources to research and make visible the history women's work as sound-image makers in British film and television? How to change the history and teaching of film/tv as AUDIO-visual media?

Histories of the Feminist Anti-Violence Movement in Scotland, 11th May 2016

This half-day event has been organised by PhD student Jenny Wartnaby as part of her SGSAH Applied Research Collaboration PhD on Histories of the Feminist Anti-Violence Movement in Scotland.

Confirmed speakers: Lesley Orr (history of Scottish Women’s Aid); Sarah Browne (author of The Women’s Liberation Movement in Scotland), Hannah Telling (PhD student, University of Glasgow) and Finn Mackay (author of Radical Feminism: Feminist Activism in Movement).

The event is free and runs from 1.15 – 430 pm: reserve your place here

This event is supported by the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies (Stirling), Centre for Gender History (Glasgow) and Glasgow Women’s Library.  

Full Programme

Dee Amy-Chinn Prize

The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies offers two prizes annually for excellence in gender and feminist studies here at Stirling. Named for our founder - Dee Amy-Chinn – these prizes are awarded in June (for undergraduate work) and November (for taught postgraduate work) and we accept nominations from all degree programmes across the University. 

We are delighted to announce the joint winners of the 2017 postgraduate prize: Rebecca Jones (MLitt in Gender Studies (Applied)), and Bethany Avery (Msc in Strategic Communication and Public Relations). Rebecca’s winning dissertation is entitled Blogs, Bodies and Beasts: Feminism and Animal Rights Discourse in Online Spaces. The judges noted that Rebecca had an impressive grasp of complex theoretical positions and was able to integrate these well to produce an original analysis. Bethany’s dissertation – The Experiences of Women in Scottish Public Relations – offered an original study of how gender plays out in the public relations sphere, engaging with a group who have not previously been studied in this way. The judges were impressed with the standard of both dissertations and offer our congratulations to the winners as well as to the other nominees.

Earlier this year, we awarded the 2017 undergraduate prize to Yvonne McGregor (BA Hons Film & Media) and Judit Villena Rodo (Bachelor of Laws with Honours). Yvonne’s winning dissertation is entitled ‘It is about ethics in video game journalism: a gender representation and portrayal study of contemporary videogame journalism content.’ The judges were extremely impressed with Yvonne’s understanding of her chosen topic (computer gaming and associated journalism), the clarity, originality and perceptiveness of her critical engagement with that topic, her meticulous attention to methodology and presentation and her ability to contextualise the theme in relation to pressing issues of feminist concern

Judit’s winning dissertation is entitled  ‘The impact of Gender Stereotyping on the Human Rights of Domestic Abuse Victims. An Analysis of Gender Stereotyping in Scottish Domestic Abuse Proceedings in Light of the CEDAW Committee's Jurisprudence.’  The judges noted that while this dissertation was clearly excellent in terms of general presentation and critical engagement, it made a particularly impressive case as to why the analysis of what is meant by gender stereotyping,  matters so much within a legal framework.  They felt that the writer had produced a genuinely important and somewhat original piece of work detailing how the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Domestic Violence Against Women has (or has not) been enacted, making a potentially useful contribution to discussions around issues of violence against women and girls (VAWG)  in the local Scottish as well as the broader context.  

The standard of nominations was incredibly high and we’d like to extend our congratulations to everyone who was nominated, as well as to Yvonne and Judit. We know that Dee would have been as inspired as we were to see such fantastic work from Stirling undergraduates.

 Yvonne McGregor (left) and Judit Villena Rodo (right) presented award by Steve Chinn, husband of Dee Amy-Chinn.


Previous winners of the Dee Amy-Chinn Prize for Gender Studies:

2016 Undergraduate: Shared

Jenni Keenan (BSc Hons Criminology & Sociology) for the dissertation: "A Place of Refuge: An Evaluative Study of the Services Provided by Rape Crisis Scotland to Survivors of Sexual Violence"


Sarah Young (BA Hons Journalism) for the journalism project: "Sexual Violence in Scotland"

In an incredibly strong field, these pieces of work stood out for their applied nature and ambition to shift perceptions and support service provision in this area. Huge congratulations to Jenni and Sarah and to all the other nominees on their fantastic achievements.

2016 Postgraduate

Kylie Grant (MSc Gender Studies): From liberation to limitation – an exploration of women’s experiences with the oral contraceptive pill.


2015 Postgraduate: Shared

Rachel Adamson (MSc Gender Studies): Towards an alternative: A feminist critical policy analysis exploring the impact of neoliberalism on gender equality in Scottish higher education


Elizabeth-Anne Graham (MRes Social Science): Intellectual contests? Gender inequality and identity in the game of bridge

2015: Undergraduate winners (shared)

Janine Mitchell – for the Creative Writing dissertation “Helena – The Literary Representation of Boer Women During the Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902


Anudath Samaraweera – for the Sociology dissertation “An Exploration of Non-Heterosexual Male Experiences of Homophobic Hate Crime in Scotland and Attitudes Towards Police

2014: Postgraduate winner

Joanna McCafferty – for the Film Studies dissertation “Steve McQueen: The Body, Excess and Representation”

2014: Undergraduate winner

Emma Smith – for the English Literature dissertation “The Coming Out Novel: Questioning Heteronormativity in Society"

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