Dr Maria do Mar Pereira
Lecturer in Gender Studies
I am a feminist ethnographer with a background in Sociology and a commitment to interdisciplinary research and teaching.
I joined the University of Leeds in September 2011, after working as a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Gender Research (GEXcel) at the University of Örebro (Sweden).
I hold a PhD in Gender from the Gender Institute at LSE (funded by FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology), and a BSc+MSc (Distinction) in Sociology from the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL, Portugal).
I maintain an active involvement in feminist movements at local and international, grassroots and policy levels, having coordinated a number of awareness-raising and education projects aimed at young people and been a member of the executive committee of various Portuguese and European non-governmental organisations.
My current research project is an ethnographic study of negotiations of the epistemic status of women's, gender, feminist studies (WGFS) in Portugal. By epistemic status, I understand the degree to which, and terms in which, knowledge claims are recognised as fulfilling the requisite criteria to be considered credible and authoritative. The project draws on feminist epistemology, Michel Foucault’s work and debates in science and technology studies to analyse how WGFS and non-WGFS scholars discursively and institutionally demarcate the boundaries of ‘proper’ scholarly knowledge and how they position WGFS in relation to those boundaries. Using a combination of qualitative methods (including participant observation in a range of sites of academic work and sociability, interviews and archival research), the project maps these negotiations, characterises their protagonists and the sites where they take place, identifies the resources deployed in them and examines their effects on research and teaching.
I have also conducted research on the negotiation of gender and sexuality among children and young people in school settings, feminist methodologies and pedagogies, contemporary transformations in higher education and science policy in Europe, men’s discourses about masculinity and fatherhood, and issues of language difference and translation in social science research.
Other professional activities
Founder and Co-Convener of the “Sexuality and Gender” Thematic Section of the Portuguese Sociological Association
Associate Researcher of the Women’s Studies Research Group, Centre for Migration and Intercultural Relations (CEMRI) - Universidade Aberta (Portugal)
Peer Reviewer for Routledge, "Feminist Theory", "Feminism and Psychology", "Sexuality Research and Social Policy", "ex aequo - Portuguese Journal of Women’s Studies", and "Graduate Journal of Social Science".
Member of the Academic Board of the Graduate Journal of Social Science.
Membership of European Gender Studies Networks:
- GenderAct: Academic Cultures and Transformation in European Gender Studies; funded by the Swedish Riksbanken Jubileumsfonds (from 2009 to present)
- ATHENA: Advanced Thematic Network in European Gender Studies; funded by the European Commission (from 2007 to 2010)
I am currently teaching on the following undergraduate and postgraduate modules at the University of Leeds:
- Contested Bodies(MA, course convener)
- Theorising Gender (MA)
- Researching Gender (MA)
- Que(e)rying Sexualities (MA)
- Sociology of Gender (UG, Level 2)
- Sexualities and Society (UG, Level 3)
- Study Skills for Today and Tomorrow (UG, Level 1, co-convener for Strand 3: Critical Thinking)
In previous years, I also contributed to the modules "Individual, Mind and Societ2 (UG, Level 2) and "Sexualities and Society" (UG, Level 3).
I have guest lectured on gender studies and feminist theory/epistemology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at universities in Portugal, Finland, Germany and the UK. In 2010, I was awarded an LSE Teaching Award, in recognition of excellence in postgraduate teaching. In 2013, I was awarded a University of Leeds Student Education Fellowship.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). In 2007-2008, I received funding from HEA’s Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) to collaborate with Christina Scharff (KCL) and Natasha Marhia (LSE) to create an innovative teaching programme for doctoral students entitled “Lost (and Found) in Translation”, and focusing on the methodological and epistemological challenges of working with language difference and translation in social science research.
I have also contributed to the design and teaching of international summer schools in gender studies, such as the “Practising Interdisciplinarity in European Gender Studies” intensive graduate programme at Radboud University, Nijmegen (the Netherlands, June-July). I am also involved in pedagogical review and innovation internationally, having contributed to the drafting of the European Tuning Reference Points for the design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in Gender Studies (2010)
I have (co-)authored a series of conference papers and articles on these and other teaching initiatives (see list of publications below).
- Pereira, Maria do Mar (2012), Fazendo Género no Recreio: uma Etnografia da Negociação do Género na Escola (Doing Gender in the Playground: an Ethnography of the Negotiation of Gender in Schools), Lisboa: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.
- Pereira, M. M (2012) "Feminist Theory is Proper Knowledge, But..: The Status of Feminist Scholarship in the Academy" Feminist Theory, 13 (3), 283-303.
- Pereira, M. M (2012), “Uncomfortable Classrooms: Rethinking the Role of Discomfort in Feminist Teaching”, European Journal of Women’s Studies. 19 (1), 128-135
- Pereira, Maria do Mar (2011), “Activismo na «Academia sem Paredes»: (Im)possibilidades de Intervenção Política em Tempos de Performatividade e Precariedade” (Activism in the "Academia Without Walls": the (Im)possibilities of Political Intervention in Performative and Precarious Times). LES – Journal of Lesbian Issues, 3 (1), 3 - 13.
- Pereira, Maria do Mar (2009), “Fazendo Género na Escola: uma Análise Performativa da Negociação do Género entre Jovens” (Doing Gender in School: a Performative Analysis of the Negotiation of Gender among Young People), ex aequo – Portuguese Journal of Women’s Studies, 20, 113 - 127.
- Marhia, Natasha; Pereira, Maria do Mar, and Scharff, Christina (2009), “Interrogating Language Difference and Translation in Social Science Research: Towards a Critical and Interdisciplinary Approach”, Graduate Journal of Social Science, 6 (3), 1 – 12.
- Pereira, Maria do Mar and Grenz, Sabine (2009), “Tuning an Interdisciplinary Introductory Gender Studies Course”, The Making of European Women's Studies, IX, 42 – 45.
- Pereira, Maria do Mar (2008), “The Epistemic Status of Women's, Gender, Feminist Studies: Notes for Analysis”, The Making of European Women's Studies, VIII, 145 – 156.
Journal Articles under review
- Pereira, M. M.,The Importance of Being Modern and Foreign: Feminism and the Epistemic Status of Nations”, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
- Pereira, M. M. (forthcoming - 2013), “On Being Invisible and Dangerous: The Challenges of Conducting Ethnographies in/of Academia” in L. Husu and S. Strid (eds.), New Directions in the Study of Gender in Scientific and Academic Work, Örebro: University of Örebro.
- Pereira, M. M (2013), “Women’s and Gender Studies” in Mary Evans and Carolyn Williams (eds.), Gender: The Key Concepts, Routledge.
- Pereira, M. M (forthcoming – 2012), “Negotiating the Status of Knowledge in Changing Academic Organisations: The Paradoxical Case of Women’s and Gender Studies” in Liisa Husu and Lena Gunnarsson (eds.), Gender Paradoxes in Changing Academic and Scientific Organisations, Örebro: GEXcel/University of Örebro.
- Pereira, M. M (2010), “Os Discursos de Género: Mudança e Continuidade nas Narrativas sobre Diferenças, Semelhanças e (Des)Igualdade entre Mulheres e Homens” (Discourses of Gender: Change and Continuity in Men’s Narratives about Differences, Similarities and (In)Equality between Women and Men) in Sofia Aboim and Karin Wall (eds.), A Vida Familiar no Masculino: Novos Papéis, Novas Identidades, Lisboa: CITE.
- Pereira, M. M.; Santos, A.C. (eds.) (forthcoming - 2014), Special Issue “Metodologias Feministas: Debates, Desafios, Dilemas” (Feminist Methodology: Debates, Challenges, Dilemmas), ex aequo – Portuguese Journal of Women’s & Gender Studies.
- Pereira, Maria do Mar; Marhia, Natasha and Scharff, Christina (eds.) (2009), Special Issue “Lost (and Found) in Translation”, Graduate Journal of Social Science, 6 (3).
- Pereira, Maria do Mar and Joaquim, Teresa (eds.) (2009), “Dossier: The Making of Women’s Studies in Portugal”, The Making of European Women's Studies, IX, 116 - 151.
Selected Keynotes and Invited Presentations
November. 2012 Conference: Transversal Dialogues. Current Practices and Topics within European Gender and Queer Studies, Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin
- Keynote Address: “The Status of Gender and Queer Studies in Contemporary Academia in Europe: Changes and Challenges (and How to Negotiate Them)”
June 2012. 7th National Sociology Conference (Portuguese Sociological Assoc.), University of Porto
- “Contemporary Portuguese Sociology: Problems and Opportunities”
June 2012 . Conference: Doing and Undoing Academic Labour, University of Lincoln, Lincoln
- “(Im)possible Labour? Critical Education in ‘Performative’ Universities”
May 2011. International Conference Carolina Beatriz Ângelo – the Historical Trajectories of Citizenship, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa
- Keynote Address: “Feminist Scholarship in Times of Austerity
March 2006 : Portuguese Parliament, Hearing on Gender Equality
- Invited Expert Address: Deconstructing Gender Stereotypes: the Role of Men”
Selected Recent Conference Papers
September 2012: Feminism in Academia: an Age of Austerity? FWSA Conference, University of Nottingham
- Of Public Speeches and Corridor Talk: the Impact of Austerity on the Institutionalisation and Epistemic Status of Feminist Scholarship
May 2012: 8th European Feminist Research Conference: The Politics of Location Revisited, Budapest
- The Politics of the Location of “Proper” Knowledge: Feminist Scholarship and the Epistemic Status of Nations”
April 2012: Sociology in an Age of Austerity, Annual BSA Conference, University of Leeds
- “(Re)Shaping Epistemic Boundaries and Hierarchies in Times of Austerity”
I have been interviewed for Portuguese and UK print, radio and television media on the following themes:
- negotiation of gender among young people in schools
- the representation of gender in the media
- feminist activism and social movements in Portugal and the UK
- the impact of austerity policies on women and young people
- the London riots of August 2011
- Room: G27 The Coach House
- Tel: 0113 34 38272
- Fax:0113 34 34415