Trans Lives: East Mids Inaugural Event with Paris Lees





On Thursday 17th November, in the Broadway Cinema Mezzanine Bar, Trans Lives: East Mids, a research cluster within the Gendered Lives Research Group, held its first event for the trans communities in the East Midlands.

After an introduction by Catherine Armstrong, who is leading the research project, we welcomed Paris Lees, a leading trans journalist and activist, who talked about growing up in Nottingham, giving an insight into her childhood and teen years in the area. Lees also addressed the areas that she sees as the most important facing the trans community today, including the treatment of teens and the need to combat continuing discrimination. She also talked about her exciting autobiography, due out next year, which she described as employing six different voices in order to recount her past, including its more traumatic elements.

The event was publicised through various trans and LGBTQI groups in the East Midlands, and attracted a wide audience of approximately 40 people. The atmosphere was fantastic: welcoming, warm, and friendly, and the audience clearly enjoyed what Lees had to say, as was evident in the lengthy and engaged questions which followed her talk.

Trans Lives: East Mids is an oral history project for the trans community in the East Midlands. The next phase of the project is to move into consultation with members of the trans community who signed up on the night to be involved. We are seeking collaboration in designing the project, so that the archive can be useful to the trans community, as well as participants who would be prepared to share their stories. Trans Lives: East Mids has an advisory committee of trans and LGBTQI people, both academics and non-academics.

If you think you might like to be involved in any way, do please get in touch with Catherine Armstrong or Jennifer Cooke. You can use the email on these pages or contact us directly.

New Publications by GLRC Members

Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies by Marsha Meskimmon (Author, Editor) and Marion Arnold (Editor), Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016

In May 2016 one long-standing research network project delivered an important outcome: Liverpool University Press published Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies, co-edited by Marion Arnold and Marsha Meskimmon of the School of the Arts, English and Drama. This project, which directly addresses the questions of communication, culture and citizenship, anticipated the Challenges by several years. The publication is tangible evidence of the Lens of Empowerment research network, conceived in 2009 by Meskimmon and Arnold and formalized in a partnership between Loughborough, the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah. Edited by Arnold and Meskimmon, the book’s primary identity is established in the key concepts of home and land. Fractured by a slash in the title, used as a single word or two separate words in discussion, and finally united by a hyphen in the postscript, language permits the expression of the geo-political, cultural and personal commonalties and differences which women experience.

Home/Land does not arrive at a unified conclusion, nor does it identify a singular form of photography, a fixed definition of ‘citizenship’ or ‘woman’, or a universal home or land. Rather, this compendium demonstrates that women, from many different places and in many different times, have used photography to image and imagine belonging in a world marked by movement and migration.

Drawing Difference: Connections Between Gender and Drawing by Marsha Meskimmon and Phil Sawdon, London: IB Tauris, 2016

Drawing has been growing in recognition and stature within contemporary fine art since the mid-1970s. Simultaneously, feminist activism has been widespread, leading to the increased prominence of women artists, scholars, critics and curators and the wide acknowledgement of the crucial role played by gender and sexual difference in constituting the subject. Drawing Difference argues that these developments did not occur in parallel simply by coincidence. Rather, the intimate interplay between drawing and feminism is best characterised as allotropic a term originating in chemistry that describes a single pure element which nevertheless assumes varied physical structures, denoting the fundamental affinities which underlie apparently differing material forms.

The book takes as its starting point three works from the 1970s by Annette Messager, Dorothea Rockburne and Carolee Schneeman, that are used to exemplify critical developments in feminist art history and key moments for drawing as a means of expression.

Marsha Meskimmon is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory in the School of the Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University.

Dr Marion Arnold is a Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies, also in the School of the Arts.

Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood: Acceptability and Clinical Utility of the World Health Organization’s Proposed ICD-11 Criteria 

Gemma Witcomb (Psychology, Loughborough) has been involved in a WHO study looking at whether the diagnosis for trans should change and the perceived implications if it does.


Working Lunch, 2nd November 2016

Last week saw the first Gendered Lives working lunch of the academic year. In it, the aims of GLRC were identified and funding opportunities and forthcoming events were highlighted.


The Wellcome Trust: Funding theme on Sexuality and Health, see more at: (deadline March 2017).

LU Funding opportunities: CALIBRE Research Development Fund and CALIBRE International Collaboration Fund (both deadlines 20th November 2016)

Please do get in touch if you intend to apply for one of the CALIBRE funds with a Gendered Lives slant.


Gemma Witcomb (Psychology, Loughborough) has been involved in a WHO study looking at whether the diagnosis for trans should change and perceived implications if it does.

Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood: Acceptability and Clinical Utility of the World Health Organization’s Proposed ICD-11 Criteria 

Beek TF, Cohen-Kettenis PT, Bouman WP, de Vries ALC, Steensma TD, et al. (2016) Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood: Acceptability and Clinical Utility of the World Health Organization’s Proposed ICD-11 Criteria. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0160066.


The Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FSWA) has a forthcoming conference on Making Space for Feminism in the Neoliberal University. CFP deadline 3rd March 2017.

Line Nyhagen will be running a workshop in the new year entitled Embedding memory work / experience stories into your research / teaching practice- more details coming soon!

The Association of Art Historians is coming to Loughborough in 2017. Read more here:

The ‘new woman’ writer George Egerton has a conference dedicated to her work coming up next year. Read more here:

Reminder of Gendered Lives Activites 2016/2017


17th November- Trans East Midland event (invite only)

20TH November, 2-4pm: Research Seminar- Rachael Grew (Art History, Loughborough) and Zara Dinnen (English, Birmingham).


22nd February, 2-4pm-: Research Seminar- Gemma Witcomb (Psychology, Loughborough) and Katherine Johnson (Psychology, Birmingham).

29th March, 1-2pm: Working Lunch

29th March, 3-5pm: PGR Research-in-progress presentations


3rd May, 2-4pm: Research Seminar- Sarah Parker (English, Loughborough) and Jana Funke (Exeter, Medical Humanities).

24th May, 1-2pm: Working Lunch