Dr Gemma Ahearne

gemmaahearneleedsmet

Dr. Gemma Ahearne

Welcome to my blog. I am an award winning educator with 8 years lecturing experience and 19 years experience of the sex industry. As a proud Dyslexic I am committed to innovative, creative and ‘out of the box’ ways of communicating information. I work as a full time University Teacher at the University of Liverpool but also act as a consultant and advisor to a range of orgs and bodies. I specialize in how to break down complex ideas for a variety of audiences and in developing strategies. As a Dyslexic I can see the ‘big picture’ and balance complex and competing ideas.

My work is trauma-informed from both my counselling training and my own MH. I am a committed advocate of the value of lived experience, and have a diverse range of experiences that inform my work.

My interests:

  • Sex industry
  • Women in prison
  • Mental health and trauma
  • The punishment in women’s centres
  • Regulation of women’s bodies
  • Instagram culture and plastic surgery
  • Celebrity
  • Medical sociology, in particular the PIP implant scandal, vaginal mesh scandal, Endometriosis and violence of gendered medicine
  • Food poverty/insecurity
  • Relationship between religious right and sex work abolitionism
  • Purity culture
  • Organized Crime Groups- women and children as collateral damage and processes of exploitation
  • Criminal Law
  • Poetry as method
  • Photo voice
  • Walking as method
  • Showgirl Sociology

I love both research and teaching, and aim to use innovative exciting methods in both the research field and my pedagogical approach.

My aim is to break the myth that only certain people are ‘made’ for academia: we all have a story to tell, and we all bear witness to social inequalities.

For me Sociology is a way of telling stories and formulating patterns of social behaviour and theories for change.

I use creative research methods, and prefer participatory action research (PAR) wherever possible.

I am a Trustee with Basis Yorkshire.

My specialist module SOCI349 Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry is featured here.

soci349navigationgrid

Art partnerships:

Sex Work Tours commissioned for FACT Liverpool, ‘Real Work’ exhibition

Performative Talk for Bloc Projects Sheffield, ‘Into the Spotlight’ exhibition

Research:

Needs Assessment for Umbrella Lane featured on the University of Liverpool blog here.

My blog featured in Samantha Cole’s Exodus Cry Vice article– September 2020

My blog featured in Justine Halley’s Medium article- July 2020

My research on organized crime groups featured in the Liverpool Echo on Sunday 1st September 2019.

My research in the Liverpool Echo Sunday 16th September 2019

University of Liverpool blog- Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry

‘Snog Marry Avoid’ for Celeb Youth

BBC News- lap dancing report

BBC on Aintree races

Publications:

gemmastudentbulletin

Ahearne, G (2014) A review – Flexible Workers: Labour, Regulation and the Political Economy of the Stripping Industry, Crit Comm, Council For European Studies

Connelly, L., Ahearne, G., Jarvis-King, L (December 2015) (eds.) Blurred Lines: The Contested Nature of Sex Work in a Changing Social Landscape – Graduate Journal of Social Science, Vol 11. No. 2

Connelly, L., Ahearne, G., Jarvis-KIng, L (December 2015) ‘Editorial: Blurred Lines: The Contested Nature of Sex Work in a Changing Landscape, Special Edition of The Graduate Journal of Social Science’, 11,3

Ahearne, G (December 2015) ‘Between Lap Dancing and Academia: Navigating Stigma and Disgust’, Graduate Journal of Social Science, Vol 11, No. 2, pp. 28-37

Ahearne, G. (January 2016) ‘Paying the Price: Sex Workers in Prison and the Reality of Stigma’, ‘Prison Services Journal, No, 223, pp. 24-30

Ahearne, G. (2017). A Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Female Sex Workers’ in Prison, Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Leeds: Leeds Beckett University

Ahearne, G. (2019). ”They Only Care When There’s a Murder on’: Contested Perceptions of Vulnerability From Sex Workers in Prison’, British Journal of Community Justice, Vol 15, No.1

Ahearne, G (2020). Sex Workers in Prison Summary Report

Ahearne, G (2020) Crime Justice and the Sex Industry, 8th July 2020, University of Liverpool blog

Ahearne, G, Ryan, A, Jarvinen, K (2020) Needs Assessment Summary Report, Scotland: Umbrella Lane

Ahearne, G. (2020) Sex workers and Covid-19, University of Liverpool blog

Ahearne, G. (2021) ‘Criminologist or Criminal? Autobiography and Trauma as Liminal spaces,  Methodological Innovations, doi/10.1177/20597991211012054

Ahearne, G. (2021) Developing a micro-learning pedagogy as a teacher with Dyslexia, Times Higher Education Online

Ahearne, G. (2021) International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, University of Liverpool blog

Ahearne, G. (2021) Special: HE Colleagues’ personal perspectives: Living with Endometriosis, personally and professionally- The Academy Podcast, University of Liverpool

Ahearne, G. (2021) EDI News – Dr Gemma Ahearne: International Women’s Day and Endometriosis- University of Liverpool Faculty Newsletter, Available at: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/intranet/hss-staff/education/blog/faculty-news/edi-endometriosis/

Ahearne, G. (2021) Online micro-learning can transform the teaching of sensitive topics,  Times Higher Education

Ahearne, G (2021) An Interview with Dr Gemma Ahearne, The Sociology Show

Ahearne, G. (Accepted with minor corrections) Reflective Article:  Micro-learning and the sex industry, Developing Academic Practice, Liverpool: University of Liverpool

Ahearne, G. & Freudenthal, R. (Forthcoming, 2021) The health/power/criminality-nexus in the state of exception?, Journal of Contemporary Crime, Harm, Ethics

Ahearne, G (2022) Chapter for Handbook on Women’s Experiences of Criminal Justice System, Oxon: Routledge, Pink Punishment The Curious Case of Women’s Centres 

Ahearne, G. (2022) Chapter for Sex on Stage: Writing the Body Politic

Ahearne, G. (2022) Pole Pedagogy… the power of stripper autobiography in making sense of the sex industry, Chapter in Sex Work: Erotic Labor in the 21st Century

Ahearne, G. (2022) Review for International Journal of Gender, Sexuality and Law

Armstrong, L. Ahearne G., (2023) Chapter for International Handbook for Activist Criminology, Making a difference? Reflections on sex work, activism, and research for social change

Ahearne, G. (2019) ‘Evangelism as Listening: an illustration from listening to sex workers’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, Birkenhead, March 2019

Ahearne, G. (2019) ‘Extending the Table- the LGBTQIA+ community’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, May 2019

Ahearne, G (2019) ”Rachel Held Evans’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, June 2019

Ahearne, G. (2019) ‘Friends Across The Barricades’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, July and August 2019

Ahearne, G. (2019) ‘Blinded By Your Grace’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, July and August 2019

Ahearne, G, (2019) ‘Heroin and the gospel of St. Luke’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, October 2019

Ahearne, G (2019) ‘Building walls and welcoming the stranger’, Parish Magazine, Christ Church Birkenhead, December 2019

Blog used as a core text:

University of Leicester, Criminology, CR3023 Gender and Crime- Undergraduate

University of Hull, Criminology, 771770, Contemporary Slavery Studies and Critical Victimology- MA

Durham University, Sociology, MA Crim Theory course

Liverpool John Moores University, Sociology, SOCI6014 Body Politics

Tulane University, New Orleans USA, ENLS 3630, Expository Writing

Employment:

University Teacher in Criminology & Sociology, University of Liverpool, September 2019- present

Performance at Bloc Projects, Sheffield for Alison J. Carr’s ‘Into The Spotlight’.

Freelancer at FACT Liverpool- see my work here

Visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds, July 2019-July 2020

Visiting Lecturer in Sociology at LJMU, Jan 2019- present

Guest Lecturer: 2013- present

Lectureship in Sociology at LJMU: October 2017- Aug 2018

Sessional Lecturer in Sociology at LJMU: 2013-2017

Part Time Lecturer in Criminology and Psychology at Leeds Beckett: 2013-2017

Internal Committee Roles:

Independent Progress Independent Panel (IPAP)

Canvas Task Force 2020/21

Job presentation panel 2021

Widening Participation

Widening Participation Outreach Officer

Go Higher guest lecturer 2020/21, 2021/22

Outreach in schools for recruitment 2020/21, 2021/22

UOL Summer School 2021

Community Engagement

Student Sex Work National Co-ordination Group (July 2020-)

Trustee- Basis Yorkshire (June 2019-)

Sex Work Research Hub

Commissioned Expertise

Consultant Researcher, Umbrella Lane, June 2020-September 2020

Editorships

Palgrave Advances in Sex Work Studies (Invited position)

Reviewer

Bristol University Press

Palgrave Macmillan books

British Journal of Social Work

Sociological Research Online

Violence Against Women

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Sexualities

Methodological Innovations

Dissertation Students:

I have supervised 3 dissertation students 2017/18 all of whom received First Class Marks for their work. One student also received the David McEvoy Prize for the best dissertation with a grade of 78.

Greedy A Social Study of Non-Monosexualities And Stigma Within Society
“I feel like I got gang-banged by the f*cking planet”: A Critical Examination of Current Sociological Discourse on Revenge Pornography
An Analysis Of Sex Robotics; The Abolition Of Prostitution, McDonaldization Of Sexual Labour And The Construction Of Need
12 undergraduate students in 2019/20
13 undergraduate students in 2020/21
2 Masters students 2020/21

Conference Papers:

‘Being a Sociologist: from EBL to Post-Graduate study’(Keynote Speaker) Studying Sociology Student Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, March 2013

Lap dancing in Liverpool: Translating moral panics on sex work’ Translation and Transformation, University of Sheffield, June 2013

‘Slut Shaming: The Anxiety Of Excess’ Youth Sexualities, University of Durham, October 2013

(Re)Imagining the Researcher (Re)Discovering the ‘Other’ Postgraduate Bi-annual Sex Work Conference, University of Leeds, January 2014

‘Sex Worker Experiences of Prison: From Punishment to Exiting, An overview’ Research Cafe, Liverpool John Moores University, March 2014

‘Engaging With Female Sex Workers in Prison Through Literature’, Engaging with Gender Issues, University of Liverpool, Blackburne House, April 2014

‘I know why the caged bird sings: narrative and nuance through shared reading with female prisoners’ Gender Conference, University of Lancaster, April 2014

‘Researching Sex Workers in the UK: A New Appreciative Approach’ (with Lucy Binch) British Sociological Association Annual Conference, University of Leeds, April 2014

‘Down the Rabbit Hole: Exploring Prison Experience Through a Literary Lens’ PORESO Ph.D Symposium, Leeds Beckett University, June 2014

‘The Imprisoned Body: Female Sex Workers’ Experiences of Prison’, Talking Bodies International Conference, University of Chester, March 2015

‘The Narratives of Female Sex Workers in Prison’, North West Gender Conference, University of Manchester, April 6th 2015

Paying the Price: Sex Workers in Prison and the Reality of Stigma, ‘Prison Research Network Annual Conference, Leeds Beckett University, 12th April 2016

Strip it Down: Micro-learning and the Sex Industry as a Dyslexic Teacher, Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Liverpool, July 2021

Public workshops:

Interrogating ‘stripping’ as concept, Wed 11th November 2020, 6-7:30pm via Zoom. 

Craftivism in Lockdown: Zines Back on the Scene? Monday 9th November 2020, 6-7pm via Zoom.

Invited Talks:

Sex Workers in Prison,  Liverpool University Fem Soc, International Women’s Day 8th March 2021

Guided Walk of Liverpool Sexual Entertainment Venues, Liverpool John Moores University, March 2020

Sex Workers in Prison, University of Liverpool Feminist Society, February 2020

Showgirl Sociologist, Bloc Projects Sheffield, August 2019

Guided Walks as part of ‘Real Talk’ exhibition, August 2019

Barbie Craftivism Workshop, LJMU Feminist Society, April 2019

Gender and Crime panel, Birmingham City University, November 11th 2014

Soap Box Session, ‘Sex Work’ North West Gender Conference, University of Manchester, April 2015

Online Publications:

How Can We Protect Sex Workers?

Bodies of Excess: Aintree Races

‘Sex Work IS work’, June 26th 2013, FWSA

‘Snog Marry Avoid: The Moral Economies of Whiteness’, 14th May 2013, Celebrity Youth

Guest Lectures:

Facing Your Final Year, September 2012, Level 6, Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University

Doing Your Dissertation, September 2012, Level 5, Methods, Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University

Guided Walk of Sexual Entertainment Venues, November 2013, Social Research Methods, Level 5 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Gender, Power and Resistance, February 2013, Identities Power and Inequalities, Level 4 Sociology module, Liverpool Johnh Moores University

Sex Work Wars: The Politics of Sex Work, March 2014, Body Politics Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Guided Walk of SEVS, March 2014, Body Politics Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Dirty White Celebrity Chavs March 2014, Race Power and Resistance Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Sex Workers: Excluded by Theory? March 2014, Exclusion, Marginalisation & Mobilisation Level 6 Criminology module, Liverpool John Moores University

The Daily Fail and Women: A Case Study of Misogyny in the Media November 2014, Body Politics Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Methods in Action, November 2014, MRes module, Liverpool John Moores University

Migrant Sex Workers and Trafficking Discourse, November 2014, Globalization and the Sex Trade, Masters level Criminology module, Leeds Beckett University

Revisiting Whiteness and Social Exclusion January 2015, Race Power and Resistance Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Women in Prison February 2015, Level 5 Criminology module, University of Lancaster

Celebrity Culture and Consumption February 2015, Consumption in Global Societies Level 5 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Sex Work Wars: The Politics of Sex Work and Experiencing this in Practice , February 2015, Body Politics Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Guided Walk of SEVS in Liverpool, February 2015, Body Politics Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Sex Workers: Excluded by Theory? March 2015, Exclusion, Marginalisation & Mobilisation Level 6 Criminology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Social Construction of Prostitution and Sex Workers, March 2015, Media Constructions of Crime and Deviance Level 4 Criminology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Bodies Inside Prison, March 2015, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology Module, Liverpool John Moores University

Mapping out Liverpool’s SEVs, February 2016, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology Module, Liverpool John Moores University

Sex Work Politics, March 2016, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology Module, Liverpool John Moores University

Media Bodies, March 2016, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology Module, Liverpool John Moores University

The stigma of sex workers in prison, Sex Workers: Excluded by Theory? April 2016, Exclusion, Marginalisation & Mobilisation Level 6 Criminology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Sex Workers: Excluded? or Excluded by Theory? April 2017, Exclusion, Marginalisation & Mobilisation Level 6 Criminology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Guided Tour of Sexual Entertainment Venues, Feb 2019, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Walk of Liverpool SEVs, March 2020, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology module, Liverpool John Moores University

Pole Pedagogy: What strippers can teach us about the sex industry, April 2021, Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University

Speaking with Sex Workers: Ethics and Considerations, April 2021, International Field Work, Level 6, Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University

Lecturer:

Sociological Perspectives, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2014)

Identities Power and Inequalities, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2014)

Psychology and Crime, Level 5 Criminology, Leeds Beckett University (2014)

Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology, LJMU (2014/2015)

Body Politics, Level 6 Sociology, LJMU (2015/2016)

Body Politics, Gender Sexuality and the Body, LJMU (2016/2017)

Globalization, Development and Society, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2016/18, 2017/18)

Body Politics (Module Leader), Level 6 Sociology, Crim/Soc, LJMU, (2018)

Globalization,Development and Society Level 4 Sociology,Crim/Soc, LJMU, 2018

Researching the Everyday, Level 5 Sociology, Crim/Soc, LJMU (2017/18)

Understanding Contemporary Social Problems, Level 3, Crim/Soc/Policing, LJMU (2018)

Stream Leader for Sociology- Professional Studies Work Based Learning, LJMU, 2017-2018

Social Change and Social Policy in Contemporary Society, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21

Observation, Level 7, Soc/ Crim, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21

Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry,  Level 6 Crim, University of Liverpool 2020/21

Culture, Power and Social Change, Level 5, University of Liverpool 2020/21

Understanding Violence, Level 5, University of Liverpool, 2020/21

Seminar Tutor:

Sociological Perspectives, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2014-15, 2015-16)

Introduction to Criminology, Level 4 Criminology, LJMU (2014-15, 2015-16)

Media Constructions of Crime and Deviance, Level 4 Criminology, LJMU (2013/14)

Identities Power and Inequalities, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2014/15, 2015/16)

Media Crime and Deviance, Level 4 Criminology, LJMU, (2014/15)

Studying Society, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2014/15)

Psychology and Crime, Level 5 Criminology, Leeds Beckett University (2014)

Advanced Research Methods, Level 5 Psychology, Leeds Beckett University (2015-2016, 2016-2017)

Identities and Studying Sociology, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2016)

Sociological Imaginations, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2016)

Researching the Everyday, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2016)

Culture and Sociology, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2016)

Globalisation, Development and Society, Level 4 Sociology, LJMU (2017)

Social Research Methods, Level 5 Sociology, LJMU (2017)

Ethnic and Racial Politics Power, Conflict and Participation, Level 6 Sociology, LJMU (2017)

Body Politics, Gender Sexuality and The Body, Level 6 Sociology, LJMU (2017)

Being a Criminologist, Level 4 Criminology, Leeds Beckett University (2017)

Doing Criminological Research, Level 5 Criminology, Leeds Beckett University (2017)

Researching the Everyday, Level 5 Sociology, Crim/Soc, LJMU, 2017-18

International Fieldwork Module, Level 6, Sociology, Crim/Soc, LJMU, 2017-2018

Globalization, Development and Society, Level 4, Sociology, Crim/Soc, LJMU, 2018-2019

Introduction to Crime and Society, Level 4, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22

Sociological Theory, Level 4, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20

Studying Society, Level 4, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22

Thinking Sociologically, Level 5, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2021/22

Understanding Policing, Level 5, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21

Gender and Crime, Level 6, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2019/20

Controlling Crime An Introduction, Level 4, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21

Punishment, Penology and Prisons, Level 5, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21

Contemporary Social Problems, Level 3, Soc/Crim, University of Liverpool, 2020/21, 2021/22

Module Leader:

Body Politics, Gender, Sexuality and the Body, Level 6, Soc, LJMU, 2017/18

SOCI103, Social Change and Social Policy in Contemporary Society, Level 4, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22,

SOCI256, Culture, Power and Social Change, Level 5, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2020/21, 2021/22, (I re-designed this module at one month’s notice and received excellent student evaluation)

SOCI349, Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry, Level 6, Crim, University of Liverpool, 2020/21, 2021/22,  (I designed and delivered the module and received excellent student evaluation)

SOCI347, Creative Consultant: Dissertation by Portfolio, Level 6, University of Liverpool, 2021/22, (I designed this module)

SOCI533, Observation, Level 7, Crim/Soc, University of Liverpool, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22,

Awards

Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Award, 2021, University of Liverpool, 2021

The David McEvoy Prize for Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2012

Best in Class, Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2012

Funding  Awarded 

LTSE Award, March 2021, £500, University of Liverpool

3 year Ph.D full studentship stipend, October 2013-October 2016, Leeds Beckett University

Higher Education Authority (HEA) £300 funding for Photo Voice training, 2012

Grants applied for

University of Liverpool Flexible Faculty funding £1000 bid submitted (April 2021)

Liverpool Learning Partnership, £4000 bid submitted (April 2021)

Physical Fest Female Artist Bursary- Arts Council England, £1500 bid submitted (April 2021)

Dangerous Femininities, Space and Commercial Pro-Domme Enterprise- AHRC Open Call with PI from Birmingham City University (in progress)

Experience of organizing events/ editing:

Founder and Facilitator of ‘Guide Dog Social Wallasey, January 2018-present – hosting monthly events for members with visual impairment. Facilitating a supportive accessible online community.

Organiser and host of ‘To My Trans Sisters’ By Charlie Craggs book launch, Liverpool John Moores University, April 2018

Co-Editor of Guest Edition of Graduate Journal of Social Science, ‘Blurred Lines: The Contested Nature of Sex Work in a Changing Social Landscape’, March 2015

Organising Committee member for Poreso Annual Symposium, Leeds Beckett University, 11th June 2014

Co-Organiser of two streams at the Royal Geographical Conference, August 2014 “Researching Sexed Spaces: (Re)Imagining the Researcher and (Re)Discovering the ‘Other’ in Understanding Lived Experiences of Exclusion” (Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group) Organisers: Emily Cooper (Lancaster University) and Gemma Ahearne (Leeds Beckett University) Co-Lead PORESO, Leeds Beckett University, 2014/2015

Media:

PlasticDollHeads in the Media

Professional Memberships:

British Society of Criminology, Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network

Sex Work Research Hub

Associate Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy (AFHEA)

Victim Studies Network

Gender, Deviance and Society Group

National coordination group for the student sex work strategy.

Disabled Staff Network, University of Liverpool.

CPD training

Springboard women’s leadership programme (Jan-May 2021)

ULTRA (2021/22)

Service user involvement in strategic leadership and senior management, Clinks (July 2021)

Unconscious Bias Training, Basis Yorkshire (March, 2021)

Supporting Student Experience In Hybrid Environments (July 2021)

Exploring the Role of Blending Learning (May 2020)

Exploring Inclusive Practice (May 2020)

ULTRA guidance (April 2020)