Dr Francis White

Senior Lecturer

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 69051
309 Regent Street London W1B 2HW
Semester 1: On sabbatical

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History, Sociology and Criminology | Department

Francis Ray White is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology. Their research, writing and teaching is in the area of gender studies and queer, transgender and fat embodiment. 

Francis has a PhD in Sociology and an MA in Gender, Culture and Modernity from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Their doctoral thesis, 'British Indie Music in the 1990s: Public Spheres, Media and Exclusion', concerned the gendered construction of artists in the music press during the Britpop era. Francis has previously taught at Goldsmiths and the LSE Gender Institute, and has been at Westminster since 2007. 

Francis is currently the Regent St campus representative for the Westminster LGBT+ Staff Network and module leader for the Westminster Elective module LGBTQ Studies.

Francis teaches across a range of core and option modules in Sociology, specialising in the area of gender studies. Teaching in 2017-18 includes:

  • Introducing Gender (Level 4)
  • Life and Death: The Medicalisation of the Body (Level 6)
  • NB: I am on sabbatical in Semester 1 (September-December 2017).

Francis' main research interest is in fat studies, and specifically in the intersections between fat, gender and queer theory. Their published work has critiqued constructions of fatness as anti-social (as linked with degeneration, devolution, sterility and death) in the discourses of the 'obesity epidemic'. Current research addresses the queer ambiguities of fat and transgender bodies. Francis' other research interests include the politics of feminist and queer DIY cultural production and activism.

Francis is a co-investigator on an ESRC funded project exploring practices of trans pregnancy. Working with colleagues from Leeds University and researchers in Italy, USA and Australia the three-year project is the first study to address the sociological and health-care implications of the reproductive experiences of people who become pregnant and/or give birth after transitioning.

PhD Supervision

John Walter: Alien Sex Club (2013-16) Joint supervision with the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. 

Francis would be pleased to hear from students considering MPhil or PhD research in the following areas: fat studies, gender, trans or queer theory, feminist or queer cultural activism.

Recent Papers and Projects

'"As it is at the disco, so it shall be in life": Making Space at Unskinny Bop' [conference paper] RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 1 September 2017.

'Backrolls vs Gender Roles: Fat Activism for Trans People' [conference paper] Brighton Trans and Non-Binary Conference, University of Brighton, 20 July 2017.

'Beautiful Futures? Fat Bodies and Queer Failures' [conference paper] Politics of Beauty: Discourses and Intersections in the Global Sphere, University of Cambridge, 2-3 September 2016.

'Teaching Gender: Being Non-Binary' [conference paper] Moving Beyond the Binaries of Sex and Gender: Non-Binary Identities, Bodies, and Discourses, University of Leeds, 22 March 2016.

'Failures, Futures, and the Queerness of Fat Sex' [seminar paper] Critical Sexology Seminar Series, Open University London, 23 October 2015. 

'Fat / Trans: Queering the Activist Body' [conference paper] PCA/ACA National Conference, Chicago, USA, 16-19 April 2014.

'Theorising Fat Activism' [panel convenor and speaker] British Sociological Association Conference, LSE London, 6-8 April 2011. 

'Resist Psychic Death: The Importance of Feminist/Queer Cultural Activism' [talk and film screening] London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, BFI Southbank London, 5 April 2011. 

'This Is Your Time This Is Your Life: DIY Feminist/Queer Cultural Activism' [talk and exhibition] Carnival of Feminist Cultural Activism, University of York. 3-5 March 2011.

'No Fat Future? The Uses of Anti-Social Queer Theory for Fat Activism' [conference paper] Queer Again? Power Politics and Ethics Conference, Humboldt University, Berlin, 23-5 September 2010.

2016

Fucking Failures: The Future of Fat Sex (2016)
White, F.R. 2016. Fucking Failures: The Future of Fat Sex. Sexualities. 19 (8), pp. 962-979.
Queering Fat Embodiment [Book Review] (2016)
White, F.R. 2016. Queering Fat Embodiment [Book Review]. Sexualities. 19 (5-6), pp. 615-616.

2015

Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth and the Politics of Stigma [Book Review] (2015)
White, F.R. 2015. Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth and the Politics of Stigma [Book Review]. Journal of Gender Studies. 24 (2), pp. 248-250.
Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection: Cosmetic Surgery, Weight Loss and Beauty in Popular Culture [Book Review] (2015)
White, F.R. 2015. Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection: Cosmetic Surgery, Weight Loss and Beauty in Popular Culture [Book Review]. Women's Studies International Forum. 52 (Sept-Oct), pp. 46-47.

2014

Fat/Trans: queering the activist body (2014)
White, F.R. 2014. Fat/Trans: queering the activist body. Fat Studies: an interdisciplinary journal of body weight and society. 3 (2), pp. 86-100.

2013

'We’re kind of devolving': visual tropes of evolution in obesity discourse (2013)
White, F.R. 2013. 'We’re kind of devolving': visual tropes of evolution in obesity discourse. Critical Public Health. 23 (3), pp. 320-330.

2012

Fat, queer, dead: ‘obesity’ and the death drive (2012)
White, F.R. 2012. Fat, queer, dead: ‘obesity’ and the death drive. Somatechnics. 2 (1), pp. 1-17.

2014

"We're kind of devolving": visual tropes of evolution in obesity discourse (2014)
White, F.R. 2014. "We're kind of devolving": visual tropes of evolution in obesity discourse. in: Monaghan, L., Colls, R. and Evans, B. (ed.) Obesity discourse and fat politics: research, critique and interventions London Routledge.

2013

No fat future? The uses of anti-social queer theory for fat activism (2013)
White, F.R. 2013. No fat future? The uses of anti-social queer theory for fat activism. in: Michaelis, B., Haschemi Yekani, E. and Kilian, E. (ed.) Queer futures: reconsidering normativity, activism and the political Aldershot Ashgate. pp. 21-36

2009

Undesirable consequences? Resignifying discursive constructions of fatness in the 'obesity epidemic' (2009)
White, F.R. 2009. Undesirable consequences? Resignifying discursive constructions of fatness in the 'obesity epidemic'. in: Tomrley, C. and Kaloski-Naylor, A. (ed.) Fat studies in the UK York Raw Nerve Books.

2014

Towards true equality: engaging with LGBTI students at Westminster (2014)
Cranfield, S., White, F.R., Wareham, J. and Follows, M. 2014. Towards true equality: engaging with LGBTI students at Westminster. University of Westminster Learning and Teaching Symposium 2014. University of Westminster, London 9 June 2014

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