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Gareth Longstaff

  • Critical and Cultural Studies

In the first instance I come from an art historical background which then developed into a career in the creative sector and mainly in contemporary art galleries. Yet alongside of that I always had a passion for critical and conceptual thinking and through post-graduate study and then a PhD I have developed knowledge in critical theory and visual culture across, art, design, photography and media.

My teaching, research and publications are aligned to these fields and more specifically they examine gender, the body and sexuality, queer theory, discourses of self-representation, celebrity and the ways in which psychoanalysis can be used to interpret visual culture.

I have worked in both creative and academic environments and for me an academic setting is where I feel most at home. I think the highlight of my career so far has been working as a lecturer and tutor in both online and “real” settings. This way of engaging has allowed me to develop a skill-set and hopefully an ability to communicate clearly with my students.

I also relish the opportunity to develop and share my own ideas and being a lecturer/ tutor has given me the perfect opportunity to do that.

My greatest achievement

Possibly gaining my PhD and then moving into the territory of being able to publish academically. Also being able to use the passion I have to develop and energise students to think and interpret in new ways.

Other career highlights include (currently) leading a series of funded research and networking seminars entitled “Queer Media, Self-Representation and Cultural Change.” This is a project that hosts, develops and sustains a unique programme of network events around the three key themes of community, resistance and performance. By bringing together writers, performers, political activists and academics the project explores, unpacks and discusses how media texts, archives, subjectivities, technologies, experiences, desires and memories are all linked.

I am working with individual and organisational partners on this such as The Freud Museum, London, The London Metropolitan Archives, Tyne and Wear Archives, Northern Pride, and the Lesbian and Gay NewsMedia Archive.

In addition I am also an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) and the Association of Internet Researchers (AIOR)

My inspiration

Originality, resistance, kindness, style, when someone describes or manages to represent something in a really funny, original or unique way. The possibilities that new ways of thinking can generate.

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