• United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    I welcome PhD students in any areas related to my research interests.

    Personal profile

    Contact Details

    Room:  MB740a
    Phone: 0121 204 3599


    Katy is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Deputy Head of the Department of Sociology and Policy, and Undergraduate Programme Director. She joined Aston University in September 2013 as a Lecturer in Sociology. Prior to joining Aston, Katy held research positions in the School of Health Sciences and Social Care at Brunel University, and the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham.

    Katy has undertaken research projects relating to erotic dance; sex work; creative pedagogies; ageing and everyday life; and ageing, racism and digital exclusion. Her three most recent projects include a BA/Leverhulme-funded project entitled ‘Empowering Pleasures? ‘Sexual’ Leisure Spaces For Women’ (P.I); a project on Ageing and Digital Exclusion, funded by Research England (C.I); and research into the sexual health needs of ‘online’ sex workers in Birmingham for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (C.I).

    Katy's current research includes a collaborative project with Fun Palaces: 'Creative Voices, Activist Voices: Sensory Stories of Creative Communities', which explores whether finding your creative voice can unlock your civic activist voice. Katy is Co-PI with Fun Palaces, and the project is funded by the Collaborate Fund within The Centre for Cultural Value (AHRC, ACE, Paul Hamlyn Foundation). 

    Katy’s research monograph Erotic Performance and Spectatorship: New Frontiers in Erotic Dance was published in 2017 (Routledge), and she has co-edited two books: Embodying Religion, Gender and Sexuality (2021, Routledge, with S. Page); and Queer Sex Work (2015, Routledge, with M. Laing and N. Smith), which brings together insights from sex workers, academics, practitioners and activists. 

    Teaching Activity

    Katy usually teaches on the following modules:

    • Embodiment and Feminist Theory
    • Bodies, Power and Resistance
    • Identities and Inequalities
    • Foundations in Qualitative Research (PhD training)
    • Dissertation supervision and module convener

    Research Interests

    • Gender
    • Sexualities
    • Embodiment
    • Power Dynamics and Social Inequalities
    • Work and Employment Relations
    • Ageing
    • Digital Exclusion
    • Sex Work
    • Leisure Spaces and Night-time Economies
    • Visual Methods
    • Creative Pedagogies
    • Religion and Spirituality
    • Mothering and Inequalities


    • Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Practice in Higher Education, with Distinction, Aston University (2015, HEA Fellowship).
    • PhD Sociology (ESRC Funded), University of Warwick (2012).
    • MA Social Research, with Distinction (ESRC Funded), University of Warwick (2008).
    • BA (Hons) Sociology, with First Class Honours, University of Warwick (2007).

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    External positions

    External Examiner in Sociology, University of Westminster

    Nov 2022 → …

    Editorial Board Member, Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online

    Mar 2015Oct 2018

    FWSA Executive Committee Member - Small Grants Scheme Officer, Feminist and Women's Studies Association UK and Ireland (FWSA)

    Jul 2010Sept 2016


    Dive into the research topics where Katy Pilcher is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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