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Dr Lili Owen Rowlands - Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

Dr Lili Owen Rowlands - Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow working at the intersection of feminist theory, sexuality studies, and French studies. I teach and write about how theories of desire, intimacy, sex work and gender have travelled from North America to France since the 2000s, and how these ideas find form in French and Francophone cultural fields.

I currently teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules across the Comparative Literatures and Cultures, and Liberal Arts degree programmes on topics related to transnational feminist and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, and 20th- and 21st-century literature and film.

My current book project, Corps-à-corps: Erotic Labour in the Contemporary Francosphere, is funded by the Leverhulme Trust fellowship and focuses on recent accounts of sex work in France. Incorporating insights from sex-work theory, psychoanalysis and the sociology of work, I am interested in the embodied experience of erotic labour as it is narrated by writers and filmmakers who often fall below the radar of the French cultural marketplace.

I’m also preparing my doctoral thesis for publication. Different Subjects: Self-Writing, Autotheorising and Sexual Dissidence in 21st-Century France examines the interplay of literary experiment, life-writing and queer thought in France since the early 2000s through a focus on the writings of Anne F. Garréta, Paul B. Preciado, Virginie Despentes, Guillaume Dustan and Didier Eribon.

Trans studies, transfeminism and the insights that both bring to feminist critique are central to my research and teaching; I recently co-edited, with Dr Elliot Evans (Birmingham) a special journal issue of Paragraph on the trans theorist Paul B. Preciado. I am co-editor of a collected volume entitled Rage: Affect and Resistance in French and Francophone Culture and Thought, 1968–2020 (forthcoming with Peter Lang) and the co-convenor of Royal Holloway’s Forum for Contemporary Theory.

I regularly write reviews for public-facing publications like the London Review of Books and the New Yorker.

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