I’m Anaïs and I’ve recently joined the YSJ Sociology team as a part-time lecturer. I’m originally from New-Caledonia (a French colony in the South Pacific but have been living at York for the past 6 years).
I’m currently in the process of writing my PhD on non-assisted suicide at the University of York. Unlike many suicidologists, I’m interested in instances in which suicide prevention is problematised and suicide isn’t necessarily perceived as a social nor health problem (for example: suicide as a rational decision or as a right to die). I look at narratives or spaces that provide alternatives to the mental health discourse or reject it altogether. Two of my sources of data are « suicide websites » and my personal experience. In parallel, I’m (slowly) collecting data for a side research project on young girls’ (below 13 years old) sexual and romantic experiences with other girls and challenging notions of asexuality and heteronormativity in children, especially girls.
In the past, I’ve written on personal narratives of victims/survivors of sexual violence by using women’s memoirs and diaries. I looked at the ways in which they negotiated and reconstructed their identity after rape. This has led me to be a prevention of sexual violence activist for several years. I’ve been involved in local associations who support victims of sexual violence such as Survive and have organised training for university stakeholders and students on how to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus. In my MA in Women’s Studies I was famous for being the one who wrote a dissertation on mermaids! I looked at visual representations of mermaiders (a subculture of people who dress up as mermaids, mermen and merbabies for entertainment or personal purposes, principally in the US but increasingly in the UK) and compared them to photographs of Polynesian women in the South Pacific islands. I showed that Polynesian women and mermaids shared many visual markers in the western imagination especially as exotic Others. As you can see, my academic interests are varied : death, sexual violence, feminism, postcolonialism, pop culture, personal experiences, visual methods, sexuality and queer studies…
Before teaching at YSJ, I was tutoring on seminars in Social Psychology and on the Sociological Imagination at the University of York. I’m also an academic writing tutor and give advice to students about the ways in which they can improve their academic writing. You can follow me on Twitter where I re-tweet a lot of resources that are relevant to my teaching and learn more about my research projects on my academic blog.