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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 488497
Michele researches ways that ideas about gender and youth circulate in popular and institutional settings such as media texts and schools, and how these ideas shape young people’s views of themselves, their world and their imagined futures. She focuses on issues relating to girlhood and power, and is particularly interested in the ways in which such ideas are formed in the intercourse and interstices between academic study and the public imaginary.
Before moving to Brookes Michele had a career in the Secondary education sector, and she has led national educational programmes with regard to widening participation. She was also a Lettrice at the University of Bari in Italy. She undertakes consultancy work with NGOs, governments and schools,with a focus on gender, equalities, and youth/media cultures. She has a strong commitent to widening participation in HE, and to the teaching/research nexus. She has held both ASKE and CETL teaching fellowships.
At undergraduate level Michele leads the Advanced Digital Media and Youth Identities and Audiences, Users and Producersmodules, and the Honours module Citizen Journalism and Civic Engagment. She also contribues to the Understanding Culture, Research Methods, Special Topics in CMC, and Gender, Culture and Sexuality modules.
At postgraduate level Michele teaches on the MA in Publiishing and in Education, and on the Ed.D programme.
Michele offers PhD and M.Res supervision in areas relating to youth and media engagement; gender and girlhood; audiences and identities; media and institutional discourses, narratives and taxonomies.
Michele's research demonstrates her interest in gendered aspects of power relationships, in discourses and experiences of girlhood, and in the potential of participation in research to address inequalities. She is currently leading a study investigating girls' imaginings of leadership, exploring ways in which they draw on local figures and transnational celebrities as well as their own experiences. In 2014-15 she led an international project developing models of participant action research to explore and address gendered barriers to leadership in youth in Scotland and The Netherlands. Her doctoral thesis employed Foucault’s (1969) Archaeological model to investigate the circulation of discourses of gender and ability with regard to girls. This study is interdisciplinary in its exploration of the ways in which identities and narratives are constructed in educational and popular culture settings, in schools, on television and on-line. It has purpose-built research website, www.smartgirls.tv. Michele was co-organiser of 'The Neoliberal Life Cycle of Success: Alternative Perspectives' seminar series in 2015-16, and of the ‘Communities, Culture, Diversity and Cohesion’ series of public events on academica and ethics in public life. (with Prof. Beverley Clack), with a focus on feminist methodologies, research relationships and community benefits. While working within Education, she developed a range of Action Research projects at national and local levels and supported teacher-researchers on the BPRS scheme.
Centre for Diversity Policy Practice and Research (Oxford Brookes)
MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network
2017: PI for ESRC bid to conduct research into girls’ imaginings of leadership in England and Denmark (with Aarhus University). This project explores an issue of pressing national and international significance identified by the European Commission (2010) and the World Economic Foundation (2016)—that of the under-representation of women in decision-making roles. It aims to understand what girls apprehend female leadership to mean in local contexts, and also global contexts of transnational celebrity and popular discourses of leadership.
2014-2015: Led participant action research (PAR) project with WAGGGS Europe looking at gendered barriers to leadership in youth in different European contexts. This involved working with volunteer leaders in Scotland and The Netherlands in both single-sex and mixed settings to identify and address challenges in their own settings through PAR approaches.
2008-2012: smartgirls.tv. This investigation of 'successful girl' discourses in educuatonal and media settings is a muliti-site, mixed method project that brings together the voices of girls interviewed in their schools, with participants in a dedicated website forum (www.smartgirls.tv), and stories for and about girls in film and television. It is published as Girhood, Schools and Media: Popular Discourses of the Achieving Girl (Routledge 2015)
'The Neoliberal Life Cycle of Success: Alternative Perspectives' seminar series blog https://nottheneoliberallifecycle.wordpress.com/about/
The persistence of gendered learning myths in educational contexts and the wider imaginary continues to trouble feminist educational researchers and practitioners. The tracing of such myths and the categories they create through authoritative and elite discourses of the past suggests how they have functioned across different fields to preserve a hierarchised binary. Gendered myths seem to be lent authority by some of the more popular claims of contemporary neuroscience as they were by the nascent Victorian psychological sciences. Adopting Michele Le Doeuff’s (2003) heuristic of identifying which attributes are absorbed into masculine intellectual legacies and which ‘cast off’ to women allows for a focus on patterns of privileging of learning discourses across the humanities and sciences, and the ways these are constituted in historical and contemporary contexts
Books (practitioner and student)
Michele provides consultancy and media commentary on matters relating to:
Selected conference and seminar papers
October 2016: ‘Girls, mediated perceptions and experiences of leadership’ for the Oxford University International Gender Studies Centre seminar series, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
June 2016: 'Gender and discourse in audience studies' Seminar for the Oxford University Womens' Group, St Catherine's College, Oxford
June 2016: 'Working on Gender and Leadership' Opening keynote for the 15th Annual WAGGGS conference in Oslo
April 2016: 'Banning Bossy and Leaning In: Girls' mediated perceptions of leadership'. Paper presented at the International Association of Girlhood Studies, UEA, UK
October 2015:'Girls and the gendering of leadership'. Invited keynote for the 'ABC for youth participation in Europe' WAGGGS event, Bratislava, Slovakia.
June 2015. 'Girls’ negotiations with genre and gender on screen: the pedagogies of teen TV' at the Feminisms, Power and Pedagogy: 10th Biennial Conference of the Gender and Education Association at the University of Roehampton
June 2015: ‘”Something similar happens in TV-land”: Girls’ on- and offline audience strategies in relation to successful girl narratives’ at the Consuming Cultures: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels conference (OBU)
November 2014:' “He gave me all these options. And it kind of put me off”: Life-planning, anxiety and institutionalised choice in successful girl discourses'. Paper for seminar series: The Neoliberal Life Cycle of Success: Alternative Perspectives, Oxford Brookes University
May 2014.'Gender, Youth and Popular Discourses of Leadership'. Invited keynote for the WAGGGS International Convention on Gender, Youth and Leadership, Helsinki, Finland.
June 2013: ‘I was blonde and off a council estate’: Girls negotiating gender, class and success in television viewing. Console-ing Passions,International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, De Montfort University, Leicester
November 2012: ‘Girls Online: Access, autonomy and anxiety’ Invited speaker at Children and Parents' Media Literacy research event,Ofcom, London
September 2012: ‘Researching with Girls: Spaces for reflection?’ Paper presented at A Tale of Two Cultures – Feminist Academia and Feminist Activism event held with the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Oxford Brookes University
June 2011: 'The Future Girl’s Problem Past: A Genealogical Approach to Feminised Success’ Paper presented at GEA: The Gender and Education Conference held at the University of Exeter
From Initial reviews of Girlhood, Schools, and Media: Popular Discourses of the Achieving Girl (Routledge 2015):
The book is particularly innovative in its weaving together of media analysis and focus group/web data from girls who both respond to media, and articulate their own ‘smart girl’ identities. What also makes this book very original is its literature review on gendered notions of ‘genius’ and ‘gifted’ students. I have not seen that done anywhere else and it does offer some very interesting information for context
The author has definitely done the research to be considered an ‘expert’ on the topic and has been engaged to speak on the topic in a number of international and national venues
None of the competing literature weaves together media analysis with qualitative data. The element of on-line data collection is also a unique twistIt will also push thinking in new and innovative directions. The theoretical framework is novel, as is the tri-format for data collection
Seminar series blog: https://notheneoliberallifecycle.wordpress.co