Gender, sexuality and law

Keele Law School has a range of socio-legal scholars working in intersections of gender, sexuality, and law (GSL). Cluster members are interested in developing theoretical debates, connecting with local communities, and engaging with law reform initiatives. Keele Law School continues to nurture GSL scholarship by creating a space for interdisciplinary collaboration across various sub-disciplines of law.

For more information on Read and Resist, please click here.

GSL cluster members are currently working on a range of exciting projects:

Felicity Adams doctoral project explores the intersection between Gender Responsivity, Carceral Feminism, and Exclusionary Feminism from a Queer-abolitionist perspective. Her doctoral project considers the relationship between the calls to expand the the carceral state, specifically for transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender fluid people and the resurgence of exclusionary feminist approaches within the contemporary age. 

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Dr Stella Coyle is researching the conflict between religion and sexual orientation in equality law, as a microcosm of the relationship between law, religion and homosexuality. She is interested in how religious conservatives have appropriated the language of rights to claim exemptions from equality law. She is also interested in the impact of class and socio-economic status on sexual citizenship in a consumer-oriented society.

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Dr Fabienne Emmerich works in the field of penal sociology and is interested in the way gendered power relations in prison produce governable and ungovernable subjects and at the same time how prisoners engage in varying resistance practices to create counter or alternative subject positions. She is currently working on a book entitled The Red Army Faction in Prison: practices of isolation and resistance. In it, she is explores the production of ungovernable subjects through a spatial and temporal analysis of containment practices in prison as well as confrontational, coordinated and collective resistance practices of women and men in prison as a form of improvisation.

Fabienne also works in the field of prisoners' rights. Prisons are deeply gendered institutions that enforce a gender binary and perpetuate heteronormative gender performativity. Fabienne is interested in exploring the scope of prisoners' right to private and family life, Article 8 ECHR, with a focus on LGBTIQ prisoners who are produced as both vulnerable and threatening. She aims to critique the gender-normative and heteronormative conceptions that underpin prisoners’ rights jurisprudence in the English courts. 


Dr Yossi Nehushtan is exploring the clash between religious belief and equality legislation within the context of sexual orientation, while looking into the distinction between identity and belief or way of life.

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Dr Senthorun Raj is interested in the role of emotion in shaping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex law reform. His forthcoming book, Queer Jurisprudence (Routledge, 2019), considers the ways emotions frame legal progress for sexual and gender minorities across areas of criminal law, public law, refugee law, anti-discrimination law, and family law.


Professor Alex Sharpe researches in the areas of gender, sexuality and law, social and legal theory and legal history. She is currently working on two projects:

(1) A Leverhulme funded research project focusing on a series of criminal prosecutions brought against young transgender people for 'gender identity fraud'. This project considers (i) the limits of state intervention through the criminal law (ii) the ethicality of sexual conduct/omission and (iii) offers a queer reading of desire. It will culminate in her third book, Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity 'Fraud': Reframing the Legal & Ethical Debate, (Routledge, 2018). 

(2) A project focusing on the legal category and social theory template of the monster. This project builds on her second research monograph, Foucault's Monsters and the Challenge of Law (Routledge, 2010). It considers the monster's intrinsic hopefulness which it explores through the themes of gender and sexuality, human/animal hybridity and the sacred and profane. In considering, and in order to dramatise these themes, the project draws on the sublime popular cultural example of David Bowie.


Dr Ezgi Taşcıoğlu’s research explores the role of law in the production of marginalised sexualities and gender identities. Currently, this exploration develops in two main strands: the construction of transgender citizenship in everyday life in urban Turkey, and the regulation of intellectually disabled people’s intimate lives in England and Wales. Ezgi is particularly interested in the interactions of law with social and cognitive (in)justice.

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Dr Rachel Treloar employs an interdisciplinary approach to explore the intersections of gender relations, family law and social policy. Her previous research focused on gender and family law reform in the context of neoliberalism, especially on access to justice and the broader services required by families in times of crisis, and on post-separation parenting disputes. Rachel is currently exploring issues of voice in post-separation private law disputes concerning children. 


If you would like to find out more about the cluster, please get in touch with Dr Senthorun Raj.