Feona is Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media. Her work investigates the changing place and significance of sex and gender and their representation in contemporary society, the ways in which sexual practices and representations are caught up in wider debates around bodies, media and technologies, and the emerging centrality of new technologies in conceptions of gender and sexuality.
She is known for developing the study of pornographies and for her contribution to debates on the sexualization of culture. She has contributed to these in her own research which has been concerned with developing new areas of focus within the study of sex and culture and in her documentation of a paradigm shift in these areas.
Since 2012 she has been co-editor of the leading critical sexualities studies journal, Sexualities, with Roisin Ryan-Flood and Travis Kong, established in 1998 by Ken Plummer and covering the social sciences, cultural studies, cultural history and anthropology, social geography, feminism, gender studies, and lesbian and gay studies. In 2014 she co-founded a new international journal, Porn Studies, which she co-edits with Clarissa Smith and Giovanna Maina.
Feona is on the editorial boards of Journal of Gender Studies, International Journal of Gender Sexuality and Law, Transgressive Culture, Cine-Excess and the Mimesis International book series ‘Mapping Pornographies: Histories, Geographies, Cultures. She is a member of the MECCSA WMSN Committee. She has worked for the AHRC Peer Review College and she reviews research proposals for the Marsden Fund Council, New Zealand, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada and FWOS, Netherlands.
Her current research focuses on the construction of pornography in public, political and intellectual discourse. She is also a member of the team on a large scale study of pornography audiences (pornresearch.org) and a Game of Thrones audience research project (www.questeros.org).
Her academia edu profile is here https://mdx.academia.edu/FeonaAttwood
Feona has taught and developed curricula in Media and Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies, Gender and Sexualities Studies. The modules she has developed include Media Theory, Reading Media Texts, Media Text and Audience, Consumption and the Everyday, Celebrity Cultures, Histories of Sexuality, Gender, Sexuality and Media, Culture, Identity and the Body, and Sex Media.
She is an experienced supervisor of doctoral students and has examined numerous PhDs. She was External Examiner for MA Media and Film Studies and MA Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, 2010-2012 and External Examiner for MA Communication, Culture and Media, Coventry University, 2013-2016.
Feona is best known for her edited collections Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture. I.B.Tauris. 2009 and porn.com: Making Sense of Online Pornography. Peter Lang. 2010.
She is the co-editor of ‘Moments of Transformation’ (with Ruth Deller). International Journal of Cultural Studies. 2015. Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge (with Vincent Campbell, I.Q. Hunter & Sharon Lockyer). Palgrave. 2012. ‘Investigating Young People’s Sexual Cultures’ (with Clarissa Smith). Sex Education. 2011, reissued as a book, Investigating Young People’s Sexual Cultures. Routledge. 2014. ‘Researching and Teaching the Sexually Explicit’ (with I.Q. Hunter). Sexualities. 2009, and ‘Controversial Images’ (with Sharon Lockyer). Popular Communication. 2009.
Her newest publications are
‘Mediated Intimacies’ (with Jamie Hakim and Alison Winch). Journal of Gender Studies. 2017.
Sex Media. Polity. Forthcoming.
The Routledge Handbook of Media, Sex and Sexuality (with Brian McNair & Clarissa Smith). Routledge. Forthcoming.
Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2014) Anti/pro/critical porn studies. Porn Studies, 1 (1-2). pp. 7-23. ISSN 2326-8743
Attwood, Feona and Smith, Clarissa (2014) Porn Studies: an introduction. Porn Studies, 1 (1-2). pp. 1-6. ISSN 2326-8743
Attwood, Feona (2009) Intimate adventures: sex blogs, sex 'blooks' and women's sexual narration. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 12 (1). pp. 5-20. ISSN 1367-5494
Attwood, Feona (2012) Art school sluts: art, porn and aesthetics. In: Hard to swallow: reading pornography on screen. Hines, Claire and Kerr, Darren , eds. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231162135
Attwood, Feona (2010) Younger, paler, decidedly less straight: the new porn professionals. In: Porn.com: making sense of online pornography. Attwood, Feona , ed. Digital Formations (48). Peter Lang, New York, pp. 88-106. ISBN 9781433102073
Feona’s funded research includes an AHRC Fellowship (2012 - 2013) ‘Beyond Concern: The implications of sexualization for the study of sex, the media and culture’, AHRC Research Network (2010 - 2012) ‘Onscenity: Sex. Commerce, Media and Technology’, and AHRC study leave (2006-2007) ‘Sex On Screen: Women, Technology and Sexualization’.
She has also received funding from JISC, the ESRC, Wellcome Trust and British Academy.
Feona has experience in leading projects which bring together academics and practitioners, thereby extending the impact of academic work beyond university settings.
‘Investigating young people’s sexual cultures: an exploratory project with researchers, agencies and educators’ (2008-2010), funded by the British Academy, drew together academics and representatives from the major youth, sex education and sexual health agencies in the UK.
Her JISC funded project, ‘’Creating Content for Communities: Codex’ (2011), involved academics and practitioners in public health and education in the co-creation of sex education resources for teachers working with young people.
Her Wellcome funded project ‘Public engagement, sexual health and sexualization’ (2012-2013) created spaces for academics, science communicators, sex advisers and educators, journalists and writers to work together in workshops and public engagement activities. This project culminated in the production of The Sexualization Report (2013, with Meg John Barker and Clare Bale https://thesexualizationreport.wordpress.com/), an accessible publication aimed at practitioners in the fields of sexual health and education, drawing on the expertise of 30 academics in the field.
Feona regularly presents at public events such as science festivals and to practitioner groups