PhD students

We have a number of PhD students studying in the Centre.

Christian Harrison (he/him/his) 

I am a current PhD student in Sociology and Social Policy. My current PhD research addresses the use of social media by disabled transgender people in understanding their bodies and identities. My MA research focused on smartphone use of disabled and non-disabled people in relation to embodiment and perceptions of accessibility. I have an interest in the areas of disability, gender (in particular trans/non-binary experiences), queer theory/sexualities and technology. Follow me on twitter at @CJ_Harrison101


Gellar Day (they/them) 

My research is interested in the experiences of transgender autistic people and how these can help us reappraise our understandings of gender. More widely my research interests include queer theory, activism and representations and the ways in which autism is understood by neurotypical people. Also, very intrigued by how class plays into all of this. Outside of the academy, I’m involved in several projects centred around self-advocacy and activism. Most notably, I am the Equity and Diversity officer on the Trans Pride Leeds committee for 2020.


Karen Hardcastle-Rad (she/her/hers) 

My current research addresses the Equality Act (2010) and focuses upon questions of gender recognition and inclusion in public spaces. The research will speak to crucial questions of gender and citizenship as they are currently being debated in social, cultural, legal and policy spheres.


Taoyuan Luo 

I have a BA in Journalism from Guangxi University and MA Cultural and Creative Industries from Cultural Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London. Before I started my PhD in October 2019 in CIGS, I worked as an intern journalist in Xinhua News Agency (Guangxi Branch) and People Daily (Guangxi Branch) in China. My research interests are primarily located in gender studies, attempting to explore the interrelationship of feminist theory, popular culture, mediated texts, youth, and identification. My PhD topic is ‘Identification or Alienation: A Study of Chinese Young Women’s Attitudes towards Feminism’.


Qiqi Huang 

I am a PhD student of Gender Studies in the School of Sociology and Social Policy. I have a background in feminist literature, literature theory and theatre studies. My current research focus on the intersections of feminism, social media, Chinese women, and cultural studies. My PhD thesis is about how feminism travels via social media from the West to China and different powers behind travelling feminism and digital feminism’s backlash. Outside of my PhD, I love cooking and I am also a catholic.


Faiza Tayyab

I hold an MA in Sociology and an MPhil in Women’s Studies from University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. My areas of interest include Feminist Theories, Gender based Violence, and Minority women’s rights. My PhD project focuses on women’s perceptions and experiences of domestic violence residing in the rural and urban settings of the Punjab Province, Pakistan. For further details regarding my PhD project, you can read more here.  I have also published articles on the issue of gender-based violence in Pakistan (See here and here. I am on twitter as @fwaseem


  • Enas Al-Nidawi
  • Sally-Anne Beverley
  • Claudia Coveney
  • David En
  • Zara Hussain
  • Sel Lee
  • Chong Luo
  • Emily Maddox
  • Lauren Milor
  • Mary Robson
  • Josephine Sirotkin
  • Vasikili Toumanidou
  • Jess Wild
  • Cheng Zhang