Current PhD Projects

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Angelos Bollas - HIV/AIDS Narratives of Suffering: Cultural Representations at the Dawn of the 2020s (SALIS)

This study analyses contemporary cultural representations of HIV/AIDS suffering in the English-speaking global North (UK, Ireland, and North America) from screen (TV series and reality TV shows) to activist campaigns (PrEP, U=U). In doing so, it aims to provide an understanding of if and how the queering of cultural discourses around HIV/AIDS is achieved and what its effects are. In the last couple of years, there has been a change in the way HIV/AIDS is being portrayed in popular culture (e.g. Queer Eye, Pose). Rather than offering a nostalgic – and arguably stigmatising – history of the virus, I argue that we have started being presented with mainstream products which change/queer the way in which HIV/AIDS suffering is being represented. We are soon approaching the end of the fourth decade with HIV/AIDS. During the crisis years, i.e. 1981 – 1996, popular culture treated HIV/AIDS with terror, shame, discrimination, and stigma (Caron, 2001). In 1996, antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) were introduced and rendered life with HIV possible. Since then and until the beginning of the 2010s, the engagement of mainstream culture with HIV/AIDS was significantly minimised (Race, 2001). This silent period came to an end in the 2010s when a renewed interest in HIV/AIDS emerged in popular media and culture (Kagan, 2018). Since the outbreak of the epidemic, numerous academic studies analyse cultural representations of HIV/AIDS arguing that these representations are dictated by heteronormative and homonormative hegemonies aiming at pathologizing non-heterosexual identities (Becker, 2006). My claim is that since 2018 we have been presented with new, queer narratives of HIV/AIDS suffering which reverse the stigmatising discourses that have been associated with the people who live with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). This investigation provides a queer reading of cultural productions focusing on the ways in which HIV/AIDS suffering is being queered, in an attempt to de-stigmatise PLWHA.

David Carroll - Songs To Save Your Life: The Queer Messaging of 1980s Pop Music (SALIS)
In queer histories of the West, the 1980’s is commonly recalled as a dark time for queer communities. A combination of socially conservative legislation, the continued criminalisation of homosexuality and the advent of HIV/AIDS all contributed further to the existing marginalisation of this group.

This oppressive context extended to the music industry where many queer artists/performers were often not ‘out’, due to the social environment of the time, and the conservative nature of the music business.

However, the lyrical themes and the iconography employed by many pop stars of the time unearths a wealth of queer/gay references which, despite the censorship of the time, still spoke to many. These often coded messages offered the only mirroring, or representation of the lives certain parts of the audience lead.

From whole albums packed with love songs where not a single pronoun is used to indicate the singer/lyricists orientation preferences, iconography borrowed from gay culture and used in music videos of the time, to single and album art-work with a queer bent, this research will explore and illustrate just how vibrant queer themes shone through the work of many artists of the time.

Boyi Huang - The Self-Mediation of LGBT⁺ Identities in the PRC (SALIS)

My PhD research aims to examine the online fandom communities who are voluntarily subtitling (fansubbing) LGBT⁺ media content from the perspective of self-mediation – seeing the fansubbing community as contributing to the circulation of media content of their own choices. The strictly controlled society and mediascape of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been a particularly hostile environment for the LGBT⁺ community to negotiate their intersubjectivity and visibility. Despite some advances that have been achieved through the LGBT⁺ movement in the PRC, Chinese LGBT⁺ citizens still enjoy no legal protection from discrimination. More importantly, for the purposes of this study, sexual minorities are hardly visible in the public sphere in terms of the representation of queer identities in mainstream media. Facing such hostility, fansubbing communities, however, are voluntarily translating and distributing foreign LGBT⁺ audiovisual content (e.g., films, TV series) online to numerous people in the PRC. This clearly shows a tension between the state-controlled media content and the media content that members of the Chinese society demand, specifically LGBT⁺ content (Li and Zhang 2017). This research will investigate the dynamics of an Chinese fansubbing community online through a netnographic approach – engaging in computer-mediated interaction with the geographically distant community members. The research findings will eventually contribute to knowledge about the role of translation in the self-mediation of LGBT⁺ identities in the PRC and shed light on the queer dimension of online fansubbing communities. Moreover, by drawing on concepts like self-mediation, the resulting framework will build a powerful tool for exploring the intersection between audiovisual translation and queer studies, a highly interdisciplinary domain that up to now has seen little research, particularly when it comes to fandom culture and digital media.

Robbie Lawlor - Procuring Health Equity: How HIV Treatment

Activists are Fighting for Their Right to Medicines in Ukraine 

Ukraine has the second-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses and AIDS-related deaths in Eastern Europe. People living with HIV who are on effective treatment and take their medication everyday live long and healthy lives and cannot pass the virus on to anyone else. Although there are many different HIV medications available globally, in 2015, only 48% of all people diagnosed with HIV in Ukraine had limited access to this life-saving treatment. One reason many people did not have access to treatment is that international trade laws exist that allow drug companies to charge whatever they like for the medications they make. The Ukrainian health system could not afford to buy HIV medication as drug companies have set prices too high. However, by 2018, the number of people living with HIV who had access to treatment increased to 72%. HIV/AIDS civil society, that is, HIV organisations and patient advocates, in Ukraine, are successfully advocating and campaigning for the price reduction of key HIV drugs by using flexibilities found in international trade laws, making them available at affordable prices. Additionally, HIV/AIDS civil society influenced politicians to change the way the Ukrainian government buys medicines, saving the country millions of hryvnia in savings. This research uses political process theory to gain an understanding of the geopolitical conditions that simultaneously favour and restrict HIV treatment activism in Ukraine; the history and evolution of HIV civil society organisations and civic protests in Ukraine; and the role of multilateral institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and State on treatment activism. This research will add to the limited existing body of knowledge in the field of HIV and access to medicines activism in Eastern Europe.

David O'Mullane -The Art of Cruising: Public Sex Cultures, LGBT Politics and XXIst Century Art (SALIS)

Cruising is a gay subcultural practice that involves seeking out sexual partners in public spaces such as parks or public bathrooms. Academic explorations of cruising in art have set it against a social backdrop of sexual oppression, marginalisation and urban alienation. Research has formulated it as a form of queer resistance; a re-appropriation of public space for libidinous queer desire that contests the dominant force of heteronomative ideology ( i.e. the belief that heterosexuality is the normal and ideal form of sexual orientation). However, all these studies focused on art produced within the period of late modernity (1900-1989). Currently, there is a dearth of academic material that relates to art, cruising and contemporary culture. This research builds on previous explorations by adopting a more contemporary focus. 


Gay culture has been profoundly altered by the rise of LGBT respectability politics (i.e. a form of rights acquisition predicated on positioning gay people as “just like” straight people)  and the consumerist logic of location-based hook-up apps like Grindr. Unlike previous research that contextualised art and cruising in terms of heteronormative oppression, this research turns the focus inwards, examining the lines of power that exist within the gay community. It explores how art and cruising can create spaces for sexual expression, intimacy and collectivity. 


The ultimate aim of the research is to examine how art created in response to public sex cultures is displayed within the art world. It explores the strategies of resistance that artists and curators have employed to oppose a model of curating that reinforces a sanitised and heterosexual version of human sexuality.

Annette Skade - "Watch This Spillage": Allusion and Intertext in the Poetry of Anne Carson (School of English)

Allusion and intertext are integral to Anne Carson’s poetry and manifest the erotics of “coming to know”. As such, they demand a level of critical attention that has conventionally been afforded more usually to the narrative aspects of her work. Carson's imagination necessarily works in dialogue with her theoretical and scholarly compulsions to create a unique dynamic, an ever-building connective framework of “triangulation-as-process”. Triangulation in cartography provides a paradigm to illustrate this dynamic. Triangulation-as-process provides an orthographic reading of the cultural space Carson opens for readers. Writers from disparate times and genres usually form the nexus of every particular allusive triangulation. I frame the instances of quotation and citation within the poetry as speech act, referencing the interest in theories regarding speech and writing evident in Carson’s work. I identify post-structural influences in the relational dynamics within the process of triangulation, and suggest that her abiding concerns regarding gender, hybridity, fluidity, movement and spatiality are fostered by this process. The mesh of allusions that Carson weaves within and between texts may activate further intertextual connections in the reader’s mind, moving beyond the promptings of authorial intent. Allusion and intertext facilitate the complicated cross-talk of contemporary and traditional narratives, evoking both a sense of flux and of history within her work. The homoerotic triangulations of “Sappho 31” and the Phaedrus are central to this process, allowing power lines to shift, and enacting Carson’s disruption of the narrative of normative heterosexuality. The dynamics of allusion and intertext require a significant shift in readers’ perspectives, and my readings of Carson seek to exemplify that necessary mobility.


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Castillo Villanueva, Alicia and Pintado Gutiérrez, Lucía (Ed.). (2019) New Approaches to Translation, Conflict and Memory. Narratives of the Spanish Civil War and the Dictatorship Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan 10.1007/978-3-030-00698-3 

Springer, Olga (2020) 'Ambiguity in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette'. Goettingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 

Book Chapters

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Castillo Villanueva, Alicia and Pintado Gutiérrez, Lucí (2019) 'Emerging Trends in Reassessing Translation, Conflict, and Memory' In: New Approaches to Translation, Conflict and Memory. Narratives of the Spanish Civil War and the Dictatorship. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan  


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Avgeri, M.  (April 2021) ‘Trans*it: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Asylum Claimants’ Narratives in Greece.’, Sexualities,


Avgeri, M.  (May 2021)  ‘Assessing transgender and gender nonconforming asylum claims: Towards a Transgender Studies Framework on Particular Social Group and Persecution.’ Frontiers in Human Dynamics'

Bollas, A. (2021) 'A critical discussion of inclusive approaches to sexualities in ELT', ELT Journal.

Bollas, A. (2021) 'Masculinities on the Side: An Exploration of the Function of Homosexism in Maintaining Hegemonic Masculinities and Sexualities', Sexuality & Culture. 

Bollas, A. (2020) 'Literature as Activism - From Entertainment to Challenging Social Norms: Michael Nava's Goldenboy (1988)', International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature. 9(1). pp. 50-55. DOI:

Castillo Villanueva, Alicia (2019) 'Por tu bien y Néixer, reflexiones audiovisuales sobre la violencia obstétrica'. Bulletin of Spanish Studies 

Castillo Villanueva, Alicia and Lucía Pintado (2019) 'Transcultural Memory and Translation in La voz dormida (2002)'. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology

Ging, Debbie (2020) 'Pro-anorexia and Thinspiration' in The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc

Kitching, K., Kiely, E., Ging, D and Keane, M. (2020) Parents' encounters with 'the sexualisation of childhood': Paying attention differently? Gender and Education. DOI:

Ging, Debbie and Siapera Eugenia (Eds) Gender Hate Online: Understanding the New Antifeminism(s), Palgrave Macmillan (2019).

Ging, Debbie, Theodore Lynn, and Pierangelo Rosati (2019) "Neologising misogyny: Urban Dictionary’s folksonomies of sexual abuse." New Media & Society: 1461444819870306.

Ging, Debbie and Neary, Aoife (Eds) Special Issue on Gender, Sexuality and Bullying in International Journal of Bullying Prevention (2019) 227-230.

Theo Lynn, Patricia Takako Endo, Pierangelo Rosati, Ivanovitch Silva, Guto Leoni and Debbie Ging (June 3-4, 2019), ‘Detecting Hate Speech Online: A Comparison of Machine Learning Approaches for Automatic Misogyny Detection in Urban Dictionary’, IEEE Cyber Science 2019 Conference, University of Oxford, UK. 

Ging, Debbie (2019) 'Gender, Sexuality, and Irish Film' In: A Companion to British and Irish Cinema. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Healion, K., O’Driscoll, A., O’Meara, J. and Stone, K. (2020). ‘Activism through Celebration: The role of the Dublin Feminist Film Festival in supporting women in Irish film, 2014–17’ in S. Liddy (ed.), Women in Irish Film: Stories and Storytellers, pp. 153-168. Cork University Press.

O’Driscoll, Aileen (2019). Searching for Understanding in Alan Gilsenan’s ‘The Meeting’. Estudios Irlandeses, Issue 14: 324-327.

O’Driscoll, Aileen (2019). Learning to Sell Sex(ism): Advertising Students and Gender. Palgrave MacMillan

O’Driscoll, Aileen (2019). From sex objects to bumbling idiots: tracing advertising students’ perceptions of gender and advertising. Feminist Media Studies. 19 (5): 732-749 doi: 10.1080/14680777.2018.1506943

 Rivetti Paola (2020-forth.) Party politics in Iran, in Francesco Cavatorta, Valeria Resta, Lise Storm (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Parties in the Middle East and North Africa.

Rivetti Paola (2020) Islam and factional politics in Iran, in Jeff Haynes (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Religion and Political Parties, Routledge, pp. 346-357.

Armano Emiliana, Rivetti Paola, Busso Sandro (2020) La fabbrica della conoscenza e delle precarietà. Riflessioni da un’autoinchiesta nell’università al tempo della crisi, in Emiliana Armano (ed.), Pratiche di inchiesta e conricerca oggi, Ombre corte, pp. 74-87. 

Rivetti Paola (2020) Political Participation in Iran from Khatami to the Green Movement, Palgrave Macmillan.

Rivetti Paola (2020) ‘The Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defence in Tehran,’ International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 349-355 (Q1).

Rivetti Paola (2020) ‘What happens in-between mobilizations? Building and organizing contentious politics at the University of Tehran (2007-2017),’ Partecipazione e conflitto, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 587-606 (Q2).

Biagini Erika, Rivetti Paola (2020) ‘State repression and activist organizing in informal spaces: Comparing feminist movements in Egypt and Iran,’ APSA-MENA Politics Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 31-36.

Rivetti Paola (2019) ‘race, identity, and the state after the Irish abortion referendum,’ Feminist Review, Vol. 122, No. 1, pp. 181-188 (Q1).

Camozzi Ilenya, Cherubini Daniela, Rivetti Paola (2019) ‘The Transnational Engagement of Second Generations: Young People of Egyptian Background in Italy and the Arab Uprisings,’ Polis, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 373-392 (Q3)


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Bollas, A. (2020) 'Undetectable=Untransmittable or Detectable=Danger?: U=U campaign narratives of dis(ease), homonormativity, and social exclusion'. Viral Masculinities Conference. Available at: 

Hosseini, M and Cousinie, M (2019) ‘Gender Disparity in Research Output at Dublin City University’. Available at: