Overview of Research Interests
My research interests centre on media-making and media viewing/consumption, and particularly how these activities relate to, reflect and express gender identities and relationships. I am the co-founder of Girl-Kind North East (a part-Economic and Social Research Council IAA funded project working with girls in the North East of England, coordinated by Northumbria and Newcastle Universities), and a Trustee of the Young Women’s Film Academy.
PhD Aberystwyth University 2011
MA Aberystwyth University 2007
BA Aberystwyth University 2002
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Executive committee member, International Girls’ Studies Association.
Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)
Women’s Film and Television History Network (WFTHN).
Overview of Research Interests
Sarah joined Northumbria University in September 2015 and is currently Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Arts.
From 2012 to 2015 she was Research Associate on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry’ at the University of East Anglia.
Sarah has previously taught film, television and media at Aberystwyth University, Portsmouth University and the University of East Anglia.
PhD Supervision and Examination
Sarah is currently supervising PhDs on print media representations of women’s team sports pre- and post- the 2012 Olympics, and girls’ media culture of the past and their use in the present.
Sarah has supervised two PhDs to completion: on postfeminism and historical female ensemble dramas to successful completion (November 2017), and identity formation in audience memories of The Exorcist (2020)
Publications and Research Outputs
Girls Shift Digital: Reflecting on the impact of moving online in girls’ creative youth projects (with Amanda McBride) In: MAI: A Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture. (Summer 2020)
‘Mean Girls’ in Ross, K. et al. (Eds) Encyclopaedia of Gender, Media and Communication Wiley Blackwell (2020).
Alien Audiences: Understanding the Pleasures of Ridley Scott’s Film (with M. Barker, K. Egan & T. Philips) Palgrave Pivot, 2016.
Celebrity Audiences (edited with S. Holmes & M. Barker) Routledge, 2016.
Using Stars, Not Just ‘Reading’ Them: The roles and functions of film stars in mother-daughter relations In: Audiences for Celebrity Special Issue of Celebrity Studies. 6:1 2015: 23-38.
“A place for talking about female stars”: Exploring versatility, femininity and ‘fantasy’ in mother-daughter talk on film stars In: Gender and 21st Century Popular Culture: The Politics of Being A Woman. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (2015): 91–111.Policy/Research Reports
Holland, T., A. McBride, Ralph, S. and Winkler-Reid, S. (2020) Hearing Girls’ Voices: Girl-Kind North East’s Story So Far (Published Report).
Ralph, S. and Winkler-Reid, S. (2020) ‘Girl-Kind North East: Creating spaces of girlhood in the North East of England’. Betrifft Mädchen magazine (Concerning Girls), German translation.
The Voices of Girls in Middlesbrough (with Dr Mel Gibson) Spotlight section of the Plan International UK State of Girls’ Rights in the UK 2019-2020 report (2020)
Ralph, S. and Winkler-Reid, S. (August 2018) Girls Will: A Guide to the Girl-Kind North East Programme (Published Report).
Recent Conferences & Talks
• (with Mel Gibson, Northumbria University) ‘What’s Your Worry?’ Using historical media artefacts to discuss girlhood with contemporary girls, IAMHIST Conference, Northumbria University, July 2019
• Depth of Field: the Impact and Value of an all-female space at the Young Women’s Film Academy, CAMEo Care in the Media and Cultural Industries conference, Sept 2018
• (with Sarah Winkler-Reid, Newcastle University) Girl-Kind North East: Generating Liminal Spaces of Girlhood in Schools, International Girls’ Studies Association conference, Notre Dame University, U.S. Feb 2019
• Motherhood and Monsters: Audience recollections of ‘Ripley-as-mother’ Researching Past Cinema Audiences conference, Aberystwyth University, March 2018
• ‘Shared Pleasures? Watching Game of Thrones ‘as a couple’ MeCCSA conference, London South Bank University, Jan 2018.
Examples of Public Engagement
Since 2017, co-founder of Girl-Kind North East, an impact and engagement project working with girls aged 11-18 in schools and youth groups across the North East (https://www.girlkind.co.uk/)
External funding/research grants
• Principal Investigator, ‘Spotlight on Middlesbrough’ research report commissioned by Plan International UK. (£3050) (May 2019 – August 2019)
• Northumbria University Faculty funding for a Research Assistant (£4,964) (2019 – 2020)
• Co-applicant, Newcastle University Faculty Impact Fund (£19,750) (2019 – 2020)
• Northumbria University Faculty Impact Case Study Support Fund (£2673.18) (2018 – 2019)
• Co-applicant, ERSC Impact Accelerator Grant (£9,985) (2017 – 2018)
Editorial Board and Peer Review Experience
• Book Reviews Editor, Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
• Manuscript Reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan and Edinburgh University Press.