Dr Ruth Pearce
- Lecturer in Community Development (School of Education)
I am a Lecturer in Community Development in the School of Education. My work explores issues of inequality, marginalisation, power, and transformative political struggle from an interdisciplinary trans feminist perspective.
I joined the School and the Community Development Team in July 2021, having previously worked in the voluntary sector and in various precarious, part-time and/or fixed-term academic research, teaching, and administrative roles. It is very strange to have an open-ended role after a decade of job insecurity. I am committed to acknowledging the violence and exclusionary nature of this academic pathway, and fighting against precarity with and for my colleagues.
My PhD was awarded by the University of Warwick in 2016. My thesis looked at how trans health is differently understood within trans communities, activist groups and professional literatures, with a range of meanings and practices contested within and between these spaces. Findings from this work have been published in the book Understanding Trans Health (Policy Press, 2018).
I am co-Editor of the Community Development Journal, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, and also sit on the Editorial Board for the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies. I am a former member of the Editorial Board for the Sociological Review, and have undertaken peer review for many other leading journals and publishers.
You can read more about my work (and access free versions of most my academic publications) on my personal site: http://ruthpearce.net.
I am interested in how communities of marginalised peoples can work to positively transform their own lives within, against, and outside of social, educational, and political institutions.
My research to date has included:
- Understanding Trans Health (2010-2018) - a study of experiences and discourses associated with trans healthcare services in the UK.
- Queer, trans, and feminist music scenes (2012-2022) - a series of collaborative projects with Dr Kirsty Lohman, exploring cultural production and grassroots community development within DIY and punk spaces.
- Athena SWAN and equality accreditation (2017-2018) - a critical examination of equality accreditation within Higher Education, including a collaborative study with Dr Charoula Tzanakou.
- Trans Pregnancy (2017-2021) - international research on pregnancy and childbirth among trans people as part of the ESRC-sponsored Trans Pregnancy project, plus a support role in the NHS-sponsored community project Improving Trans Experiences of Maternity Services (ITEMS).
I have also written on social research ethics and methodologies, plus trans and feminist politics. For more information, see my publications list and my personal website.
[Co-PI] Gender Joy: the embodied politics of sex, desire and oppression. 2022-2023. Reinvigorating Research Scheme, University of Glasgow. With Co-PI Katharine Jenkins. £14,116.
[Co-author] Trans Learning Partnership. 2022-2024. Cornerstone Fund. Charitable grant for Spectra CIC. £498,000.
[Lead author] Levelling the Field: Centering Trans People of Colour in Community Led Service Provision and Policy. 2021-2023. Esmée Fairbairn. Charitable grant for Spectra CIC. £370,000.
[Co-author] Trans Learning Partnership. 2021-2022. Trust for London. Charitable grant for Spectra CIC. £133,000.
[Co-I] Trans and non-binary people’s experiences of maternity services. 2020. NHS England commissioned research. With the National LGB&T Partnership. £40,000.
[PI] Trans health in Aotearoa New Zealand. 2019. Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, University of Leeds. £2000.
[Co-I] Re-theorising Gender and Sexuality: The Emergence of Trans. 2012-2014. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). With PI Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg and Co-I Dr Lyndsey Moon. £15,000.
Travel grant for Gender, Bodies and Technology Conference (Roanoke, USA). 2012. American Study and Student Exchange Committee, University of Warwick. £770.
[PI] Understanding Trans Health. 2011-2016. Department of Sociological University of Warwick. £8320.
I welcome PhD proposals from students interested in conducting social research on questions of sexuality, gender, feminist methodologies, and applied transgender studies, especially from an interdisciplinary social research perspective and/or within the field of community development.
I currently sit on the thesis committee for Talen Wright (University College London), who is conducting an ESRC-sponsored doctoral study titled Trans and Non-binary Suicidality: Microaggressions & Mental Health.
I teach on a range of courses for the BA Community Development and MEd/PgDip Adult Education, Community Development & Youth Work in the School of Education. My participation in 2022-2023 courses will be announced soon.
Professional activities & recognition
- 2021: Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies
- 2018: Community Development Journal
- 2017 - 2022: The Sociological Review
Professional & learned societies
- , British Sociological Association
- , Feminist Studies Association of the UK and Ireland
- , Feminist Gender Equality Network
- , World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
- , European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH)
- , Transgender Professional Association for Transgender Health (TPATH)
Selected international presentations
- 2022: Queer and Trans Mobilisations – Possibilities and Challenges (Krea University, India)
- 2021: TPATH Conference: Transgender Health and Activism (Online (international))
- 2020: Trans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Body Autonomy (Leeds, England)
- 2019: Aotearoa New Zealand Trans Health Symposium (University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand)
- 2019: Future research on LGBTQI issues in Finland (Åbo Akademi, Finland)
- 2019: Gender Equality and Athena SWAN (University College Cork, Ireland)
- 2019: American Sociological Association 2019 Annual Meeting (New York, USA)
- 2019: EPATH Conference (Rome, Italy)
- 2018: WPATH Symposium (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
- 2018: ISA World Congress of Sociology (Toronto, Canada)
- 2016: re:publica TEN (Berlin, Germany)
- 2016: WPATH Symposium (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- 2012: Gender, Bodies and Technology (Roanoke, USA)