About: Dr Gemma Commane

Dr. Gemma Commane is a Lecturer in Media and Communications at the Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University. She is also the Broad Course Leader at the Birmingham School of Media. Gemma’s academic background is in Media and Cultural Studies, specialising in subcultures, youth, sexual deviancy, gender and identity, and urban ethnography. Gemma’s PhD ‘The Transfigured Body: Fetish, Fashion and Performance,’ was a sociological and ethnographic enquiry into female sexual identity in burlesque, fetish and BDSM clubbing cultures. She is committed to social and cultural change and was part of the research team for CITISPYCE (funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme) at Aston University in 2015.
The main focus of Gemma’s research is on areas of social exclusion, specifically in relation to youth subcultures, sexual deviancy, intoxication and pleasure, place and class, and gender non-conformity in alternative lifestyles.

Gemma’s research interests and teaching specialisms include: subcultures, youth and deviancy, fetish and BDSM clubbing cultures, LGBTQ, sexualities, class and inequality, creative protest, burlesque striptease, body modification, alternative femininities and ethnography.

Gemma is currently working on several areas of research, including: bad girls and dirty bodies, queering sexualities and protest, ethnography and affective research (including researcher positionality in sensitive research), and dirt, stigma and entrepreneurship in kink.


Twitter: @gemcommane


Email: gemma.commane@bcu.ac.uk


2012 – PhD, Media and Cultural Studies (University of Kent)

2006 – MA, Continental Philosophy (University of Warwick)

2005 – 1st Class BA (Hons.) Communication, Culture and Media Studies (Coventry University)


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)



European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).


Gemma is a reviewer for the Journal of Youth Studies, Gender Studies, SAGE Open, YOUNG Nordic Journal of Youth Research, SQS-Journal (Finland Queer Studies Association Journal), and Health, Risk & Society. Gemma has also reviewed books, including a review of Katrien Jacobs’ book ‘The afterglow of women’s pornography in post-digital china,’ for Sexualities.

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