Dr Francis White

Senior Lecturer

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 69051
32/38 Wells Street London W1T 3UW
Semester 1: Thursdays 1.30-3pm

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Social Sciences | 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 previously taught at Goldsmiths and the LSE Gender Institute, and has been at Westminster since 2007. 

Francis is a committee member of the Westminster LGBTQ+ Staff Network and module leader for the Westminster Elective module LGBTQ Studies.

Francis teaches across a range of modules, mainly specialising in the area of gender and sexuality studies. Teaching in 2018-19 includes:

  • 4SOCL005W Researching Society
  • 4SOCL007W Introducing Gender
  • 5SOCL005W Sexualities
  • 5WSEL009W LGBTQ Studies
  • 6SOCL001W Sociology Dissertation
  • 6SOCL004W Making Bodies: Gender, Culture, Science
  • 7ELIT011W Queer Now

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', and explored fat/trans embodiment. Their current research investigates how bodyweight shapes people's experiences of being (trans)gendered. They are also working on a project exploring non-binary students' and staff participation in higher education.

Francis is a co-investigator on an ESRC funded project exploring practices of trans pregnancy. Working with colleagues from the University of Leeds 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/non-binary, queer or feminist theory.

Recent Papers

'"Pregnant Men" and the (Trans)formation of Parenting Cultures' [conference paper with S. Hines, R. Pearce and C. Pfeffer] ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 17 July 2018.

'Transgender Parenthood, Reproductive Futures' [session speaker] Undisciplining: Conversations from the Edges - Sociological Review Conference, Gateshead, 20 June 2018.

'Embodying the Fat/Trans Intersection' [conference paper] Thinking Gender Justice, UCD, Dublin, 24th May 2018.

'Teaching Gender: Audiences, Objectives, Techniques' [workshop facilitator with Kit Heyam] Gender in the Contemporary World Conference, QMUL, 3 March 2018.

'Embodying the Fat/Trans Intersection' [seminar paper] Thickening Fat Symposium, Ryerson University, Toronto, 22 February 2018.

'Rethinking Fat and Trans' [seminar paper] Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship Seminar, University of Essex, 8 November 2017.

'"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. 

'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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