Dr Jilly Kay

Lecturer in Media and Communication

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of



I am a scholar of feminist media and cultural studies. My central interest which underpins all my research and teaching is in the complex relationships between feminism gender injustice and media culture. I have published widely on feminism popular and political culture reality television and talk shows and contemporary dating culture. I have shared my work widely at international conferences and invited talks.


I am editor of Cultural Commons the short-form section in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. I co-convene the Media and Gender research group and the Media Cultures research cluster at the University of Leicester.



(2020) Gender, Media and Voice: Communicative Injustice and Public Speech (2020, Palgrave)

(2021) 'Abject Desires in the Age of Anger: Incels, Femcels, and the Gender Politics of Unfuckability' in Imagining 'We' in the Age of 'I': Romance and Social Bonding in Contemporary Culture, ed. Mary Harrod, Suzanne Leonard and Diane Negra. London: Routledge.

(2021) The Guardian and Neoliberal Feminism. In D. Freedman (ed.) Capitalism's Conscience: 200 Years of the Guardian. Pluto Press *with Mareile Pfrannebecker

(forthcoming 2022) 'The race for space': Covid-19 and the old/new British enclosures', special issue on 'Pandemic Citizenship' in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. 

(2020) 'Celebritised Anger: Theorising Women's Rage, Voice and Affective Injustice through Hannah Gadsby's Nanette' in Gender and Australian Celebrity Culture, eds. Anthea Taylor and Joanna McIntyre. London: Routledge.

(2020) The Wedding Spectacle Across Contemporary Media and Culture: Something Old, Something New (Routledge) *with Helen Wood and Melanie Kennedy (eds.)

(2020) 'Stay the fuck at home!: feminism, family and the private home in a time of coronavirus' in Feminist Media Studies, Online First.

(2020) 'Re-enchanting the crisis: rurality, futurity and Covid-19' in European Journal of Cultural Studies, Online First.

(2019) 'Feminist anger and feminist respair' in Feminist Media Studies, 19:4, 603-609 *with Sarah Banet-Weiser

(2018) 'Gender, protest and the production of historical memory: the framing of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison in British newspapers, 1913-2013', Media History *with Kaitlynn Mendes. 



I am interested in supervising PhD projects in the broad areas of feminist media and cultural studies; popular feminism; neoliberal feminism; reality television; contemporary dating culture; and feminist theory.


I am programme leader for MA Media Gender and Social Justice. In 2021-22 I convene the modules MS1001 Introduction to Media and Communication and MS7009 Contemporary Issues in Media and Culture (semesters 1 and 2).

Press and media

Popular feminism; neoliberal feminism; gender politics in contemporary media; reality television; dating culture


(2021) ‘Incels, femcels, and the politics of unf*ckability under neoliberalism’. Cultural Studies Association Virtual Conference. June 10-12, 2021.

(2019) ‘The risks of rage: Hannah Gadsby, feminist anger, and the affective
injustices of celebrity culture’. The 17th Annual Cultural Studies Association Conference. Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. May 30 - June 1.

(2018) ‘The Business of Reality Celebrity and its ‘Illegitimate’ Cultural Labour’. Celebrity Studies conference. Sapienza University of Rome *with Helen Wood

(2018) ‘Beyond ‘Whitestream Feminism’: Teaching Feminist Media Studies in the Transnational Classroom’. Console-ing Passions. Bournemouth University, July 11-13, 2018 *with Melanie Kennedy and Jessica Bain 

(2017) ‘Sponsored selves: reality celebrity and the labour of ‘worklessness’ on social media’, MeCCSA conference, University of Leeds, 11th-13th January.

(2016) ‘Reality television celebrity and illegitimate cultural labour’, Crossroads in Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, 14th-17th December. * with Helen Wood

Media coverage

I have been interviewed in media including the Guardian Sunday Times and NBC News. I was interviewed as an academic expert in the forthcoming documentary feature film 'When We Speak' (Wiser Films 2021).
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