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Elizabeth Reid Boyd

Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd

One of the core values at ECU is engagement between the academic community and the wider society, and an emphasis on synergistic thinking across the boundaries. Elizabeth Reid Boyd is becoming well known for her ability to present complex social and cultural ideas to a general audience. With Dr Abigail Bray she is the co-author of Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls (2005, Hodder Headline) which was widely promoted through television, radio and newspapers. Pitched at an audience of teenage girls, the book engages with health and social issues facing young women today, particularly around bodies and body image. Elizabeth Reid Boyd has contributed regularly to newspapers and magazines in the UK and Australia including The West Australian,The Australian, NOVA, Girlfriend, Dolly, Reader’s Digest, Town and Country Magazine, Haymarket Magazine Group (UK), andPacific Magazines (Australia). She is a work and wellbeing columnist for She is represented by literary agents Curtis Brown.

Elizabeth Reid Boyd’s research interests include employability across diversity; community and cultural development; youth, gender and the body and family/work balance. Research projects addressing these themes include Being There: Mothers Who Stay at Home, A Study of Separations in Nature and Time; research into Social Literacy, Job Seeking and Gender (funded by the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Australian Research Consortium);Job Seeking for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups(funded by the South Metropolitan Migrant Centre and the Department of Training) and “But I’m Not Unemployed”: An Exploration of the Employability Maintenance Needs of Mothers and Fathers outside the Paid Workforce (with Northern Suburbs Career Options, funded by the Lotteries Commission of WA, Social Research Funding Program).

Elizabeth Reid Boyd was awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant for research into Employment Literacy: Young People, Job Readiness and Employability in Western Australia. With Dr Abigail Bray of The University of Western Australia, she has researched the chastity movement among young people in Australia.

Elizabeth Reid Boyd is also a contributor, referee and book reviewer for academic journals including the International Journal of Women in Leadership, the Journal of the Association of Research on Mothering and Women’s Studies International Forum. Elizabeth is an invited member of the UNESCO Women’s/Gender Studies Network in the Asia Pacific Region and the Australian Future Directions Forum.

Dr Abigail Bray

Dr Bray is a post-doctoral research fellow, who is researching 'The Cultural Politics of Child Sexual Abuse in the Last Thirty Years' and is based in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia. She completed an interdisciplinary PhD at Murdoch University on eating disorders, post-structuralism and corporeality. She has published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Cultural Studies, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, Feminist Theory, Media Information Australia, Southern Review, Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, and Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology.

She has also contributed to Dolly magazine. Her first book, Helene Cixous: Writing and Sexual Difference (Palgrave, 2004), offers a lucid and accessible introduction to Helene Cixous's theorisation of writing and sexual difference. The book explores the context of feminist debates surrounding Cixous's work and provides a concise explanation of her major philosophical concepts as well as demonstrating through original and provocative readings of James Joyce, Clarice Lispector, Virginian Woolf and Angela Carter, the creative potential of Cixous's thought for literature and philosophy. Reading Cixous alongside Nietzsche, Hiedegger, Deleuze and Derrida, she argues for recognition of Cixous as one of the important thinkers of our age.

Her research on the intersection between post-structuralist theories of embodiment, psychiatric knowledge and eating disorders has been widely cited internationally and is taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in Australia, the UK and US. Her article The Anorexic Body: Reading Disorders has been anthologised with Judith Butler, Foucault, Elizabeth Grosz, Franz Fanon etc in The Body: A Critical Reader edited by Tiffany Atkinson (Palgrave 2005). Her 2001 article The Silence Surrounding Ellen West": Binswanger and Foucault, The Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology (32:2, 125-146), provoked a published debate in JBSP with psychiatric experts on Ludwig Binswanger from New York and Germany. This led to the opening of Binswanger's archives and a psychiatric conference in Germany on the subject.

Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls was written as a mental health prevention/intervention and enabled her to translate feminist cultural studies theory into the practice of everyday language.

She is currently researching the implications of Freud's suppression of child abuse for psychoanalytically informed accounts of post-structuralist theories of subjectivity. Following Ian Hacking, Vicki Bell and Frigga Haug, she is researching the politics of public emotion surrounding child abuse scandals. She is interested in the relationship between consumption, teen status anxiety and mental health.

With Elizabeth Reid Boyd she is also researching the youth chastity movement in Australia and working on their mainstream book Ladies and Gentlemen which attempts to communicate new feminist paradigms of gender mutuality to a popular audience.

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