Race/Gender Matters

Race/Gender Matters (R/GM) is a research group that captures and concentrates research on theoretical, critical and creative engagements with race, gender, sexuality and the environment. R/GM emerges from our shared recognition that a strong and substantial core of our research is concerned with materiality and with attendant methodologies which destabilise notions of human and nature, self and world, and that emphasise difference and contingency as conditions of lived experience.

R/GM is transdisciplinary in focus and welcomes the involvement of all staff and postgraduate research students from across Kingston School of Art and the University more widely. Its members seek to:

  • develop materialist theories
  • expand their methodological applications to studies of language, literature, performance, visual arts and pedagogy
  • explore their political and ethical dimensions in new configurations of gender, race, sexuality and environment.

Race/Gender Matters events in 2021

Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck): Care again, Care better: the temporalities of failure and repair

Wednesday 13 January 2021, 6pm–7.15pm

Lisa Baraitser's talk, the following discussion led by Kingston PhD students Anna Johnson and Katie Hall, and a concluding Q&A will explore the complexities of failure and its possible relations to practices of care, politics, ethics, time, creativity and more.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and Enduring Time (Bloomsbury 2017), and has written widely on motherhood, psychoanalysis, care and time. She is currently co-PI on the Wellcome Trust-funded project Waiting Times, that investigates the relation between time and care in health contexts. She is a psychoanalyst, and member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

This event is online and free to attend. For details about how to join the online event, please email Martin Dines: m.dines@kingston.ac.uk.

Queer Materialisms: an online training day for PhD students

Thursday 11 February 2021, 11am–6pm

This training day of workshops, funded by AHRC Techne, will interrogate recent developments in the field of sexuality studies to help PhD students evaluate potential applications for their own research.

Facilitators include Broderick Chow (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London), Helen Palmer (Vienna University of Technology), Samuel Solomon (University of Sussex), and Nat Raha (University of St Andrews)

This event is online and free to attend. 

For further information and to register to attend the training day please visit this eventbrite page.

James Polchin (New York University): Queer true crime stories and the archive

Wednesday 17 March 2021, 6–7.15pm

James Polchin, author of the recently published book Indecent Advances, will discuss the historical recovery of queer true crime and contextualising these crimes within queer history. The event will begin with James Polchin discussing the history of true queer crime with Kingston's Dr Martin Dines; this discussion will be followed by an extended Q&A.

James Polchin is a cultural historian and Clinical Professor in Liberal Studies at New York University, and an Arts Instructor in the Creative Nonfiction Foundation. He has held faculty appointments at NYU sites in London, Paris, and Florence. His Edgar Award nominated book Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall (2019) is published by Counterpoint Press in the US and Icon Books in the UK. His articles and reviews have appeared in Slate, TIME, Huffington Post UK, Crime Reads, Paris Review, Rolling Stone, NewNextNow, The New Inquiry, Lambda Literary, The Irish Times, The Smart Set and the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide.

James Polchin will be in discussion with Martin Dines.

This event takes place online and is free to attend. For details about how to join the online event, please email Martin Dines: m.dines@kingston.ac.uk.

Decolonising Research

Thursday 1 April 2021, 10am–1pm

This half-day session will explore the varied ways in which researchers at Kingston are currently addressing vital areas relating to decolonisation, as subject matter, as method, and within research and the curriculum. The session will include a range of short talks by speakers, group discussion, and space for participation. We hope that this session can be a platform for finding commonalities across the university for people working on this area to create more connections and collaborations.

The session will begin with a dedication and tribute to Mary Vaughan Johnson and her work in this area.

Speakers and chairs are Éadaoin Agnew, Michael Badu, Bill Balaskas, Helena Bonett, JJ Chan, Danielle Chavrimootoo, Martin Dines, Azadeh Fatehrad, Nasra Hersi, Astrid Korporaal and Ken Rona.

Introduction to Podcast Training Workshops

15 and 19 July, 2021, 2–5pm

R/GM have organised this pair of online workshops on producing podcasts, an increasingly important vehicle for presenting and disseminating research. These are free and open to all Kingston postgraduate researchers and staff, and will be facilitated by Fili Gibbons.

Fili Gibbons (we/them/us) are a musician and recording engineer working across a range of community and professional contexts to support plural voices, expressions, and sonic experiences. As well as leading community workshops they frequently work with other sound and video artists, drawing on listening, memory and intuition as guiding forces in collaborative making practices. Their work interfaces with plural cultural histories and experiences, intangible arts traditions, and community-oriented sound practice. They have recently co-curated a series of audio podcasts titled 'How to Think' for Performance Philosophy.

Previous Race/Gender Matters events

Helen Wickstead, ‘Soho Typescripts: The Craft and Commerce of Pornography in Post-war London'

Event held in collaboration with the Literary London Reading Group at Ram Books, London, 5 November 2019.

Soho Typescripts were a distinctive type of handmade pornography associated with London's Soho. Thousands were produced in the 1950s and 1960s, of which only a small proportion survive. Kingston's Helen Wickstead discussed how the consolidation of production and consumption networks around Soho was linked to an alternative economy regulated though informal alliances between bookshop owners and police. Retailers classified obscene typescripts through their placement within bookshops and using folk-sexological slang. Soho Typescripts are disproportionately under-represented in British institutional collections. Consequently the significance and reach of this hand-crafted commercial pornography may have been underestimated. This event took place at Ram Books, which has the world's largest and most important collection of this mode of pornography.

Camille Barton, Embodied Social Change workshop

Held at Kingston University, 23 October 2019

In this dance workshop, somatics and mindfulness were used to explore how oppression is rooted in the body and how we can shift its hold on our lives using mindful attention and movement.

This work was inspired by Camille Barton's ongoing research into somatics and social justice: exploring how trauma from oppression is rooted in the body and how it can be healed with movement and mindfulness.

Camille Barton is a movement artist who brings her passion for social change to life through a variety of art mediums, including dance, film and clowning. Their art practice fuses improvisation, ritual and Afrofuturism to weave new realities inspired by the creativity of the African Diaspora.

Genos / Matter / Theory

Two-day conference held at Kingston University, 6 to 7 June 2019


Emmanuela Bianchi (New York University), ‘Genos Between Nature and Hegemony'

Martin Dines (Kingston), ‘Houses, comics, fish: graphic narrative ecologies of the American suburban home'

Observing the Infant: an interdisciplinary workshop on infancy from 1900 to today

Symposium held at Kingston University 21 June 2018

Organised by Chiara Alfano; co-sponsored by Race/Gender Matters and The Leverhulme Trust

We have never known more about babies than we do today. Indeed, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries the turn to infancy seems ubiquitous. For psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature, psychology, neuroscience and many other disciplines the turn to infancy has been transformative. Yet, the complexity of our cultural attitudes towards infancy (from birth to 18 months) only seems to intensify with our discoveries. Given the pervasiveness and complexity of our preoccupation with infancy, it is remarkable that the turn to infancy itself has not attracted more critical attention.

This symposium provided a space in which researchers from across the arts, humanities, and sciences, as well as health care and early years practitioners, and artists could exchange perspectives, explore possible overlaps in inquiry, and map out future directions for the field.


On 29 June 2017 Kingston University launched the Race/Gender Matters research cluster with a symposium event.  With keynotes from Arun Saldanha (University of Minnesota) and Prof. Felicity Coleman (Kingston University), as well as performances from the LGBTQI breakdancing poet, Azara Meghie, and trans poet, Travis Alabanza, the event demonstrated the diverse range of research interests incorporated in this new cluster.

Contact us

For further information, please contact the Group's chair Dr Martin Dines.