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About me

Francis Ray White is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology. Their research, writing and teaching is in the area of gender studies, particularly around questions of queer, trans 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 LGBTQI+ Staff Network and module leader for the Westminster Elective module in LGBTQ Studies.


Francis teaches across a range of modules, mainly specialising in the area of gender and sexuality studies. Teaching in 2020-21 includes:

  • 4CRIM007W Researching Crime and Society
  • 4SOCL007W Introducing Gender
  • 5SOCL005W Sexualities
  • 5WSEL009W LGBTQ Studies
  • 6SOCL001W Sociology Dissertation
  • 6CRIM002W Dissertation in Sociology and Criminology
  • 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.

Francis is a co-investigator on an ESRC funded project Trans Pregnancy: An International Exploration of Transmasculine Practices of Reproduction. Working with researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds and 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 trans/masculine and non-binary people who become pregnant and/or give birth.

Together with colleagues at Westminster and City University, Francis is also part of the Non-Binary in Higher Education: Lived Experiences, Imagined Futures project which is  exploring non-binary students' and staff participation in higher education.

PhD Supervision

Jessica Clark: The Discursive Figure of the Child (2018-2021) PhD by Publication.

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, gendered/queer/trans/non-binary embodiment.

Selected Papers

'Media Representations of Trans Pregnancy' [conference presentation] Trans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Bodily Autonomy - An International Conference, The Carriageworks, Leeds, 14-16 January 2020.

'Non-Binary in Higher Education: Lived Experiences, Imagining Futures' [conference presentation] Gender and Education Association International Conference, University of Portsmouth, 24-27 June 2019.

‘Poirot, The Bop and the World of Pop’ [symposium presentation] Artful Fat, University of Leeds, 9 April 2019.

‘Not Another Talk About Toilets’ [conference presentation] TransForming Spaces, Gendered Intelligence Conference, London, 9 November 2018.

'"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] Thickening Fat Symposium, Ryerson University, Toronto, 22 February 2018 and Thinking Gender Justice, UCD, Dublin, 24 May 2018.

'"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.


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.