Dr Sarah Cefai

Staff details

Position Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies
Email s.cefai (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Sarah Cefai

Sarah is a feminist cultural theorist whose work examines questions of cultural experience, identity and belonging. She has an MA (hons) in Geography from the University of Edinburgh (2002), an MSc in Gender from the London School of Economics (2005), and was awarded her PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies by the University of Sydney (2012).

Sarah has published essays on feminism, whiteness, lesbian sexuality, intimacy, and hook-up culture. Affiliated with Affect Studies and working with critical immanent approaches, she is especially interested in the relationship between cultural form, experimental and other modes of writing, and the state of the world as expressed by cultural politics. Sarah joined MCCS in 2019, having worked previously at LSE, the University of Surrey and the London College of Communication.

Image credit: Julien Martinez Leclerc / LCC



Co-Convenor BA Media and Communications

Contemporary Feminist Media Cultures (module convenor)

Culture, Society and the Individual (module convenor)

Doing Cultural Studies (contributing lecturer)

TV and After (contributing lecturer)

Moving Image and Spectatorship (contributing lecturer)

Areas of supervision

Sarah welcomes applications from prospective PhD candidates who are interested in developing projects in the following areas:

  • Affect Studies
  • Cultural Studies and Cultural Theory
  • Ecology, Geography & the Environmental Humanities
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Intimacy
  • Radical Philosophy, Epistemology and Methodology



Cefai, Sarah . 2020. Humiliation's Media Cultures: On the Power of the Social to Oblige Us. New Media & Society, 22(7), pp. 1287-1304. ISSN 1461-4448

Cefai, Sarah and Couldry, Nick . 2019. Mediating the Presence of Others: Reconceptualising Co-Presence as Mediated Intimacy. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 22(3), pp. 291-308. ISSN 1367-5494

Cefai, Sarah . 2018. The Humiliation of 'Sex with Optimism': Fieldnotes from Tinder. Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry, 1(3), pp. 104-122.

Cefai, Sarah . 2018. Mediating affect in John Pilger’s Utopia: ‘the good life’ as a structure of whiteness. Cultural Studies, 32(1), pp. 126-148. ISSN 0950-2386

Cefai, Sarah . 2017. Introduction: Mediating Affect. Cultural Studies, 32(1), pp. 1-17. ISSN 0950-2386

Cefai, Sarah . 2015. Policing Aboriginality in Aboriginal policing: cultural labour and policing policy. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2015(1), pp. 12-29. ISSN 0729-4352

Cefai, Sarah . 2015. Love’s lesbian refrain of feeling: “Bette and Tina” and the subversion of heterosexual affect. Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge(28),

Cefai, Sarah . 2014. The Lesbian Intimate: Capacities for Feeling in Convergent Media Contexts. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 11(1), pp. 237-253. ISSN 1749-8716

Cefai, Sarah . 2014. Feeling and the Production of Lesbian Space in The L Word. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21(5), pp. 650-665. ISSN 0966-369X

Cefai, Sarah . 2013. Cartographies of Belonging: The Marketisation of Desire through Media, Practice and Place. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21(5), pp. 582-588. ISSN 0966-369X

Cefai, Sarah . 2013. Getting Emotional After Sex: Tendencies in Queer Studies. Somatechnics, 3(1), pp. 190-206. ISSN 2044-0138

Cefai, Sarah . 2011. Unhappy Families. Cultural Studies Review, 17(1), pp. 339-348. ISSN 1446-8123

Cefai, Sarah and Elena, Indelicato Maria. 2010. No Such Thing as Standard Beauty: Intersectionality and Embodied Feeling on America's Next Top Model. Outskirts: Feminisms Along the Edge, 24, ISSN 1445-0445

Cefai, Sarah . 2010. Up Close and Personal, But Not Close Enough. Cultural Studies Review, 16(1), pp. 273-278. ISSN 1446-8123

Book Section

Cefai, Sarah . 2022. Exit Wounds of Feminist Theory. In: Joanna Zylinska, ed. The Future of Media. London: Goldsmiths Press. ISBN 9781913380144

Cefai, Sarah . 2020. Contemporary Feminist Media Cultures. In: Karen Ross, ed. The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781119429104

Cefai, Sarah . 2015. The Critical Feelings of Audre Lorde, from the Standpoint of an Academic Minor. In: Stella Bolaki and Sabine Broeck, eds. Audre Lorde's Transnational Legacies. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 193-206. ISBN 9781625341396

Cefai, Sarah . 2004. Navigating Silences, Disavowing Femininity and the Construction of Lesbian Identities. In: , ed. Geography and Gender Reconsidered. Women and Geography Study Group, pp. 108-117.

Conference or Workshop Item

Cefai, Sarah . 2011. 'The Racialisation of Feeling in the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Australia: Anger and Aboriginal Contact with the Law'. In: Directions and Intersections: Proceedings of the 2011 Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association and Indigenous Studies Research Network Joint Conference. Surfers Paradise, Australia 7-9 December 2011.


Cefai, Sarah and Couldry, Nick . 2016. Analysing 'Media Lives': Time, Change and Dynamics of Media Literacy. Documentation. London School of Economics, London.


Cefai, Sarah . 2021. The Flood. The Sociological Review Foundation.