Dr Olimpia Burchiellaro, Visiting Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, has been awarded a three-year Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship for her work on homocapitalism.
Dr Burchiellaro was awarded the Fellowship for her project ‘Re-thinking Global Homocapitalism: LGBT rights, Corporate Power and Hierarchy’. The Fellowship will be held at the School of Social Sciences with Dr Daniel Conway, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, as her research mentor.
The Fellowship will document and explore the links between LGBT rights, corporate power, and hierarchy in global Southern, non-Western contexts. In so doing, it will generate new insights and theorisations into the relationship between homocapitalism and LGBT politics, with particular interest in how these rework understanding of progress and homophobia. Homocapitalism is the incorporation of the LGBT movement and sexual diversity to capitalism and the market economy.
Key research areas of the project will include exploring the tensions which characterize homocapitalism in global Southern, non-Western settings and documenting the complicities and resistances between global corporations and local activists. The project will also explore how corporate involvement in LGBT politics offers important opportunities for local LGBT activists whilst erasing legacies and ongoing realities of colonialism and Western power.
Supported by the Leverhulme Trust, Dr Burchiellaro will be able to carry out ethnographic research on homocapitalism in Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Kenya and South Africa, conducting participant observation at corporate LGBT events and interviewing key stakeholders in corporate LGBT organisations as well as local activists.
Dr Burchiellaro’s PhD was awarded earlier this year by the Westminster Business School and was co-supervised by Dr Elisabeth Michielsens, Senior Lecturer in the School of Organisations, Economy and Society, and Dr Daniel Conway from the School of Social Sciences.
Speaking about her success, Dr Burchiellaro said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the Leverhulme Trust Fellowship to conduct a study of homocapitalism. This will be the first ethnographic study of homocapitalism in global Southern/non-Western contexts. This is a timely project given the increasing incorporation of LGBT people and movements into capitalism and that corporate involvement in LGBT politics has become progressively global in its reach and ambition. It will also help further develop the research themes of Gender and Sexuality at the Centre for the Study of Democracy and at the University of Westminster more broadly.”