Professor Karen Boyle

Journalism, Media and Communication

Personal statement

I am Professor of Feminist Media Studies and have been at Strathclyde since 2018, having previously held positions at the Universities of Stirling (Professor of Feminist Media Studies), Glasgow (Senior/Lecturer in Film & Television Studies) and Wolverhampton (Lecturer in Women's Studies). 

My research has long focused on questions of violence, gender and representation: my most recent book is #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism (Palgrave, 2019 - with an expanded and revised edition commissioned for publication in 2024) and have recently co-edited (with Susan Berridge) a major international collection for Routledge, focusing on gender and violence in fact-based media (to be published summer 2023). Earlier publications include Media and Violence: Gendering the Debate (Sage 2005) and, as editor,  Everyday Pornography (Routledge 2010). I have additional research interests in media audiences, gender and news, and the women's movement in Scotland.

Current funded projects include a BA/Leverhulme small grant project on the use of Trigger Warnings in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (with Melanie McCarry) and a Scottish Universities Insight Institute Project on women of colour in Scotland's news media (with Kate Sang from Heriot Watt and Talat Yaqoob from Pass the Mic). The SUII project builds on previous work with Talat Yaqoob and Melody House. I was Scottish coordinator for the Global Media Monitoring Project (2015, 2020) and, in 2018, I led a Royal Society of Edinburgh-funded Workshop series on Tackling Gendered Inequalities in Scottish News, which led to the foundation of Gender Equal Media Scotland, a grouping of academics, journalists and activists working towards gender equality in Scottish media. 

On the teaching side, I contribute to the MSc in Applied Gender Studies  and coordinate the Gender Studies Research Placement, working with a wide range of external organisations to support student research. I also contrbute to undergraduate teaching and supervision in Journalism, Media and Communication.

I am an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner and welcome applications from new students working in the broad areas of feminist film, television and media studies; gendered violence and representation; audience research and genre studies; and interdisciplinary feminist approaches to gender and violence.

Ongoing supervisions include:  
  • queer female bodies in horror film
  • gendered election coverage
  • transnational connections in the history of women's aid in the UK
  • South Asian women's experience of coercive control in Scotland
  • responses to #MeToo in anglophone and francophone litertaure and film
  • scandal and reputation in reporting of celebrity sexual assault cases
  • photography, sexual violence and activism
  • writing sexual violence

I have supervised 15 PhDs to completion including two AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards (one with Glasgow Film, the other with the Scottish Football Association). Other completed PhDs include projects on forensic crime drama; female atheleticism in cinema; sexual violence in teen television; queer relationships in teen film; masculinity and surveillance in the serial killer film; female cannibalism in film & literature; rape discourse on social media; feminist anti-violence campaigns in Scotland; as well as two-practice based projects, one using the audio-visual essay to explore female performance in film, the other a novella series exploring women's experiences of violence over time. 

I was Deputy Chair of Sub-Panel 34 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management) for REF2021, and am an elected member of the Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Executive Committee (2014-2022).


Time to pass the mic : gender and race in Scotland's news
Boyle Karen, House Melody, Yaqoob Talat
Journalism, pp. 1-19 (2022)
Rape in the news : contemporary challenges
Boyle Karen, Jessie Brenna, Strickland Megan
Rape Challenging Contemporary Thinking - 10 Years On Challenging Contemporary Thinking - 10 Years On (2022) (2022)
Of moguls, monsters and men
Boyle Karen
The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of the #MeToo Movement (2020) (2020)
#HimToo and the networking of misogyny in the age of #MeToo
Boyle Karen, Rathnayake Chamil
Feminist Media Studies Vol 20, pp. 1259-1277 (2020)
Sexual violence
Boyle Karen
International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media & Culture (2020) (2020)
How to report sexual assault trials responsibly
Boyle Karen, Jessie Brenna

More publications

Professional activities

Violence Against Women
Pass the Mic: Women of Colour Commentators in Scotland
Pass the Mic: Women of Colour Commentators in Scotland
Rape Crisis England and Wales Conference
Keynote/plenary speaker
COVID-19 and the reporting of domestic abuse
Advisor for Media Mindful campaign

More professional activities


Pass the Mic: Putting the experiences of women of colour at the heart of research and practice to change Scotland's news media landscape.
Boyle, Karen (Principal Investigator) Yaqoob, Talat (Research Co-investigator) Sang, Kate (Co-investigator)
Pass the Mic (PtM) works to improve the representation of women of colour (WOC) in Scottish news media working with academic, third-sector, media and communications partners – as well as with individual WOC experts – to map, challenge and change news content and journalistic practices. This programme - funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute - aims to disseminate and build on the learning from PtM’s first years in order to support longer-term change. It will do this firstly by gathering data relating to the experiences of WOC involved in PtM, and then by sharing this and other existing research with key stakeholders. Through this programme, we seek to expand the range of key stakeholders working with PtM, retaining existing collaborations with media partners and complementing this with direct engagement with communications teams who can play an important gatekeeper role in bringing research by women of colour to a wider audience (e.g. through working with research funding bodies, universities, trade unions and third-sector organisations). The events will all be led by WOC and provide unique opportunities to bring the diverse and dispersed community of WOC involved in PtM together for the first time to facilitate networking, skills development and capacity building. Through this programme we also aim to expand the PtM network, in particular by involving more WOC academics working in diverse disciplinary contexts across Scotland. Outcomes from the programme will include the development of commissioned commentary and analyses pieces by WOC to be shared through partnerships with not-for-profit media platforms and third-sector organisations.
20-Jan-2023 - 31-Jan-2023
Trigger Warnings?: Towards a trauma-informed curriculum in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Boyle, Karen (Principal Investigator) McCarry, Melanie (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2023
Spring Into Methods
Boyle, Karen (Principal Investigator)
19-Jan-2018 - 20-Jan-2018
Fandom, Media and Gender in Scotland's "National" Game
Boyle, Karen (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2021
Tackling gender inequalities in Scottish news
Boyle, Karen (Principal Investigator) Duncan, Sallyanne (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019

More projects


Journalism, Media and Communication
Lord Hope

Location Map

View University of Strathclyde in a larger map