Media Talent Prize
Dr. Leanne Dawson, Lecturer in Film and German Studies here in the School of Literatures, Language and Cultures, is a winner of the 2016 University of Edinburgh-wide Media Talent Competition.
Leanne has published on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and 'class', particularly in relation to 'passing' lesbian, femme, and trans identities, in North American and European film - from Hollywood to independent productions - as well as in German-language literature and theatre from the 1930s to today.
Her current academic work includes editing a book, Queering German Culture; a special journal issue on ‘Queer Film Festivals’, the second in her five-part series on Queer European Cinema; and completing her monograph, From Girls in Uniform to Men in Drag: Queering Femininity on the German Screen.
Outward-facing by inclination, Leanne has always been interested in the wider use of her academic research to promote LGBTQ visibility, acceptance, and wellbeing. Her social impact outside of the academy is aided by regular invitations to speak as an expert on gender and sexuality for BBC radio; academic consultancy for performance artists and theatre productions; talks and workshops for LGBTQ groups; writing for non-academic publications; the curation and introduction of film seasons and programmes for independent cinemas; and co-organisation of SQIFF, Scotland’s first Queer International Film Festival, which was hugely successful last year and will run again at the Centre for Contemporary Arts and other locations across Glasgow from 29 September – 2 October 2016 (put it in your diary!). Furthermore, she is currently making her first documentary, Femmes on Film, about lesbian representation and reality.
In order to be short-listed for the Media Talent competition, the first of its kind here at the University of Edinburgh, Leanne wrote a journalistic piece based on her research on the representation of LGBTQ identities. The next stages of the competition saw her undertake mock radio and television interviews of interest to audiences beyond the academy, before being announced as a winner.
Follow her research and impactful activities on Twitter: @Dr_LeanneDawson