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A selection of Q+'s affiliated research projects, their authors, and links for you to find out more.

The Kurdish Queer Movement: Strategies and Tactics towards Radical Democracy

Hakan Sandal-Wilson completed a PhD in the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies. His doctoral research focused on the intersection of ethnic, gender and sexual identities during times of war and conflict. It not only shed light on a queer struggle in a Middle Eastern context, but also provided insights into creative transformative resistance practices.


Sexuality, Gender and the Law

Professor Jens Scherpe is Professor of Comparative Law and Director of the Cambridge Family Law Centre. His publications include major comparative studies on same-sex relationships, of the legal status of transgender and transsexual persons, and of law surrounding surrogacy.


A History of HIV/AIDS activism in the UK

George Severs is a PhD student in the Faculty of History, whose research focuses on HIV/AIDS activism in the UK c.1982-1997. His Master’s thesis explored the Church of England’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and his previous work has examined the BNP’s opposition to gay men.


A Great Recorded History: Queer Cambridge Audio Trail

Created by Dr Diarmuid Hester (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English), this free audio trail reveals the rich and often radical history of LGBTQ+ Cambridge. Participants can explore the city’s long-forgotten queer spaces and places, guided by the memories of queer people and queer Cambridge writing by the likes of E.M. Forster, Edward Carpenter, and Ali Smith. Listen to the tour here.


Before HIV: Homosex and Venereal Disease

Dr Richard McKay, of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Magdalene College, is a leading authority on the history of sexuality and changing definitions of sexual health in the context of HIV/AIDs. He is the author of Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic which is the basis for a documentary Killing Patient Zero (Fadoo Productions, 2019). George Severs and Dr Mackay delivered the annual LGBTQ+ History month lecture at Cambridge in February 2021 entitled ‘The Story Behind It’s a Sin. Watch a recording of their talk here.


Transgender Parents

Susie Bower-Brown is a Psychology PhD student in the Centre for Family Research. Her research focuses on trans parents, and the experiences of children and parents in these families.  Read her 2020 article on the experiences of trans and non-binary parents in the UK here.


Doctors’ Attitudes to Homosexuality

Martin Johnson is an Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Science and Fellow of Christs’ College. One focus of his current research is a study looking at the attitudes to homosexuality amongst the medical profession in the UK in the 1950s, revealed through evidence submitted by the BMA to the Wolfenden Committee, whose 1957 report finally led to legislative change in 1967.


Literature and Sexuality

Dr Caroline Gonda is a Fellow and College Lecturer in English at St Catharine’s College. Her research interests include lesbian literature, theory and criticism, and literature and sexuality in the eighteenth and early-nineteenth century. Dr Gonda recently delivered a public lecture at Cambridge hosted by Strawberry Hill House on the 18th century sculptor Anne Damer’s life as an iconic and countercultural Sapphic icon.  Read a Q&A with Dr Gonda about Damer here.


‘Coming Out’ in Higher Education

Former Sociology MPhil student Elisabeth Sandler was the lead researcher for the Out at Cambridge study in 2019. She has since been awarded a bursary by the law firm Travers Smith to build on the findings of the report and develop her research into a PhD project, with the potential for transformative impact on higher education in the UK and beyond.


The Changing Shape of Families

Dr Marcin Smietana is a research associate in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group. His current research focuses on transnational surrogacy, assisted reproduction, gay parenting and family, and the bio-politics of reproduction. Within his postdoc project, he has been exploring how family formation through surrogacy is experienced and shaped by all involved parties.

Welcome to Q+

lgbtQ+@​cam is an initiative launched in 2018 to promote interdisciplinary research, outreach and network building related to queer, trans and sexuality studies at the University of Cambridge.

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