Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests

Funded PhD: Queer Legal Theory and Illicit Sex

northumbriaU3PhD vacancy: BL/DRFLAW7/50866

There’s still a few days to get an application in for this funded PhD opportunity with me at Northumbria University (the studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (in 2014/15 this is 13,863 pa) and Home/EU fees. Overseas candidates are also eligible to apply).

Interest is sought for a full-time PhD student at Northumbria School of Law, to study, from a queer legal theory perspective, the socio-legal regulation of a form of ‘illicit’ sex. 

The last two decades have seen a seismic shift in the sexual legal landscape with particular reference to gay and lesbian lives (Harding 2011). These changes have prompted celebration by some (see, Weeks 2007) and others to question whether we are seeing ‘the end of the homosexual’ (see Altman 2013). Yet with these new found rights and protections, has come the emergence of a homonormative narrative (Duggan 2003, Ashford 2011) which enshrines in law an identity that is anchored in domesticity and Rubin’s (1984) conceptualisation of ‘good’ sex. The continued of presence of ‘bad sex’ sexual phenomena therefore presents an interesting challenge to this narrative. 

Applications addressing the subjects of public sex, bareback sex, kink identities, or sex work, will be particularly welcome. Applicants should clearly indicate where they would wish to focus the project. 

The project will be socio-legal in nature and will take a queer theory perspective. The research is likely to have an empirical dimension to it, and knowledge of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods is desirable. Familiarity with and a desire to engage further with queer theory is essential. 

The research will be conducted within the Gender, Sexuality, and Law Research Interest Group, based within the Northumbria School of Law.

Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree (in a relevant subject) from a UK higher education institution, or equivalent. Students who are not UK/EU residents are eligible to apply, provided they hold the relevant academic qualifications, together with an IELTS score of at least 6.5

To apply, contact Sarah Jukes to request the appropriate application form, quoting the advert reference above, via email to or by using the application link on this page.

Here’s the original advert.

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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