Dr Sarah Cefai

Dr Sarah Cefai specialises in affect studies vis-à-vis the critical and social epistemologies of feminism, queer theory and cultural studies.

Staff details

Dr Sarah Cefai


Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies


Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


s.cefai (@gold.ac.uk)

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)

Publications and research outputs


Cefai, Sarah. 2023. Lauren Berlant on Genre. Media Theory, 7(2), pp. 267-284. ISSN 2557-826X

Cefai, Sarah. 2023. Consent-deception: A feminist cultural media theory of commonsense consent. Feminist Theory, ISSN 1464-7001

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

Book Section

Cefai, Sarah. 2022. Feminist Aesthetics of Resistance. In: Todd W. Reeser, ed. The Routledge Companion to Gender and Affect. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 227-236. ISBN 9780367492014

Cefai, Sarah. 2022. Exit Wounds of Feminist Theory. In: Joanna Zylinska, ed. The Future of Media. London: Goldsmiths Press, pp. 157-174. 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

Conference or Workshop Item

Cefai, Sarah. 2023. 'Trust, Mistrust and AI: Intimacy, Consent, Affect'. In: Trust, Mistrust and AI: Intimacy, Consent, Affect. University of New South Wales, Australia.

Cefai, Sarah. 2022. 'Consent-Deception in the Hyper-Aesthetic Present: A Feminist Cultural Media Theory of Commonsense Consent'. In: Postdigital Intimacies and the Networked Public-Private. Coventry University, United Kingdom 24 - 25 November 2022.

Cefai, Sarah. 2022. 'Aesthetics of consent: Reflections on the illiberal freedoms of consent culture'. In: Gender, Digital Culture and Consent. University of Queensland, Australia 14 July 2022.

Edited Journal

Cefai, Sarah, ed. 2018. Mediating Affect, Cultural Studies, 32(1). 0950-2386

Cefai, Sarah, ed. 2014. Cartographies of Belonging: The Marketisation of Desire Through Media, Practice and Place, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21(5). 0966-369X


Cefai, Sarah. 2018. Feminist Aesthetics of Consent: Stories, Genres, Politics.


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


Cefai, Sarah. 2022. The Flood. UNDEFINED.

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