Academic Staff Directory

Helen Hester

Dr Helen Hester

Associate Professor of Media and Communication
Job title:
Associate Professor of Media and Communication
Higher qualifications:

BA (University of East Anglia), MA (University of Sussex), MA (University of East Anglia), PGCHE (University of Chichester), PhD (University of Chichester)

Professional organisations:
Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK and Ireland)
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Helen Hester joined UWL from Middlesex University, where she had served as Lecturer in Promotional Cultures and Senior Lecturer in Media.

Her research interests include technofeminism, sexuality studies, and theories of social reproduction, and she is a member of the international feminist collective Laboria Cuboniks.

Helen is the author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014) and the co-editor of the collections Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (Ashgate, 2015) and Dea ex Machina (Merve, 2015). She is also the series editor for Ashgate’s 'Sexualities in Society' book series.

Research and scholarly output:


Books (including edited collections and book chapters)

Hester, H. (2014) Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex SUNY Press. ISBN: 978-1438449616



Avanessia, A., and Hester, H. (eds.) (2015) Dea ex Machina Merve (in German). ISBN: 978-3883963693

Walters, C., and Hester, H. (eds.) (2015) Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism Ashgate. ISBN: 978-3883963693


Hester, H. (forthcoming, 2015) Perverting the explicit: Catherine Breillat’s visual vocabulary of desire in Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversities I.B. Tauris. Ed. Donna Peberdy and Darren Kerr. ISBN: 978-1780761961

Hester, H. (forthcoming, 2015) Promethean Labours and Domestic Realism in: The Scales of Our Eyes: The Scope of Leftist Politics Mimesis International. Ed. Joshua Johnson. ISBN: 978-8857526713

Under the collective pseudonym Laboria Cuboniks (2015) Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation in: Dea ex Machina Merve (available in German, English, French, and Spanish). Ed. Armen Avanessian and Helen Hester. ISBN: 978-3883963693

Hester H. (2015) After the image: Labour in pornography in Queer Sex Work Routledge. Ed. Mary Laing, Katy Pilcher, and Nicola Smith. ISBN: 978-0415704557

Hester, H. (2014) Weaponizing prurience in: Narrating Poverty and Precarity in Britain De Gruyter. Ed. Barbara Korte and Frédéric Regard. ISBN: 978-3110367935,



Hester, H. (forthcoming, 2015) Echoing flesh: The 'voluminous body' in heterosexual hard core Sexualities

Hester, H., Jones, B., and Taylor-Harman, S. (forthcoming 2015) Giffing a fuck: non-narrative pleasures in participatory porn cultures and female fandom Porn Studies

Hester, H. (2015) Synthetic Genders and the Limits of Micropolitics …ment Journal 6

Hester, H. (2014) Exchanging Bodily Fluids: Transubstantiations in Contemporary Pornography Inter/Alia: A Journal of Queer Studies 9

Hester, H. (2013) Rethinking Transgression: Disgust, affect, and sexuality Journal of Lesbian Studies 17 (3 – 4): 240 – 252

Hester, H. (2013) No New Pleasures: On Larry Clark’s 'Impaled' One + One: Filmmakers’ Journal 10: 21 – 26

Hester, H. (2013) Dirty Books: Pornography, Censorship, and the Naked Word Litro Magazine 25

Hester, H. (2008). 'Desiderio in Search of a Master': Desire and the Quest for Recognition Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts 6


Recent invited talks:

'Revisiting Technofeminism.' Technofeminism Now, ICA, London, 17 June 2015.

'Graphic: Bracketing the Sexually Explicit in 'War Porn''. Fear of Missing Out, ICA, London, 31 May 2015.

'From Cyberfeminism to Technofeminism.' Merve@Schinkel, Schinkel Pavillion, Berlin, 26 May 2015.

'Technically Female: Women, Machines, and Hyperemployment.' Inhuman Symposium, Fridericianum, Kassel, 24 - 25 May 2015.

'Post-Digital Anxieties and the Explosion of the Pornographic.' English Research Seminar Series, University of Surrey, Guildford, 29 April 2015.

'The Imagined Futures of Gendered Technologies.' Future Polities, AutoItalia, London, 15 December 2014.

'Synthetic Genders.' Speculative Tate, Tate Britain, London, 12 November 2014.

'Actually Existing Accelerationisms.' Vienna Open Festival, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, 19 October 2014.

'Feminism and Technology after Firestone.' Emancipation as Navigation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 1 – 12 July 2014.

'Molecular Politics: Re-engineering Gender and Sexual Embodiment in Preciado’s Testo Junkie.' Occupy the Future, Westminster University, London, 23 May 2014.

'Displaced Paroxysms: Contemporary Visual Culture and the Generalized Affective Response.' Modern and Contemporary Research Seminar Series, Loughborough University, Loughborough, 30 April 2014.

'Pharmacopornographic Embodiments.' Coming Off Clean, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, Oxford, 18 March 2014.

Research degree supervision:


Student Role in team Thesis title
Callum Cant Principal supervisor The workers are doing it themselves?  Strike action in the UK, 2008-2018
Alva Gotby Principal supervisor They call it love – Materialist feminism and emotional labour
Mariam Kauser Principal supervisor YouTube as a micro industry: Evaluating YouTube’s technocultural curation and promotion of diversity in the UK
Rowan Lear Second supervisor

Playing against the camera: tracing the emergence, labour and potential of a feminised photographing body

Gabriela Loureiro Principal supervisor 'This is my story': the role of emotions in online feminist activism in Brazil
Pam Myers Principal supervisor Mad Men, Meerkats and Microphones – the impact of voice overs on the effectiveness of UK radio & TV advertising from 1955.