From the UN to UON – renowned multidisciplinary scholar visits

Monday, 16 July 2018


Throughout July, internationally renowned scholar Professor Rosalind Gill will join the School of Humanities and Social Science as a strategic research professor. Rosalind’s work traverses Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Psychosocial Studies.

Professor Rosalind Gill

Rosalind has held posts throughout the University of London, including Goldsmiths, King’s and the LSE – at the latter she spent 10 years establishing and building the Gender Institute. She is currently Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City, University of London and previously held a Distinguished Visitor position at the University of Auckland and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Murdoch University, WA (until end 2016).

In March this year, Rosalind addressed the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.  Established the year after the end of the Second World War, the Commission is the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Rosalind spoke at an historic meeting organized by the UK’s Government Equalities Office and the National Alliance of Women’s Organizations – the first time that a joint Government and civil society event has taken place. She joined a panel of three others from India, Nigeria and Bulgaria to discuss the Commission’s review theme on women, media and information and communication technologies.

Speaking to a packed room of international delegates, Rosalind discussed the topic of ‘sexualization’, arguing that the discussions about it have become more complex in the wake of the global campaigns about Me Too and Time’s Up, shifting debates from a concern with morals to one focussed on power relations.

She also drew attention to some of the newer issues facing women such as online hate speech, trolling, sexting and revenge porn that rarely get discussed under the heading ‘sexualization’.

Finally she argued for the need for an approach that is both ‘sex positive and anti-sexism’,  that can turn away from the fear and shame surrounding sexuality to fashion more open and inclusive education for girls and young women across the world.

‘It was an honour and a privilege to take part in the Commission on the Status of Women,” Rosalind said.

“Despite frustrations about the slow pace of progress, the UN remains central to helping to build a more fair and equal world. CSW is extraordinary for the wealth and diversity of the voices it brings together and the opportunity to have genuinely transnational conversations.”

Rosalind’s work has made leading contributions to knowledge including challenging the myths of egalitarianism within the cultural and creative industries and examining how inequalities become ‘unspeakable’; developing the notion of ‘mediated intimacy’ for thinking about the role of media of various kinds in shaping people’s ‘common sense’ about sex and relationships; and critically examining the way that psychological notions of ‘character’ or ‘qualities’ (e.g. confidence or resilience) are becoming central to policy and public life.

During her visit, Rosalind will offer an HDR Masterclass, meet with researchers, and offer mentoring advice to discipline colleagues.

“We are excited about the opportunities afforded by Rosalind’s visit and ongoing alliance with HASS,” Head of School Professor Catharine Coleborne said.

Rosalind will visit UON again in November 2018.