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School of English and Drama

Dr Katherine Angel


Senior Lecturer | Fellow at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences



Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again book cover Katherine AngelI write literary non-fiction, and my research is in the areas of sexuality, feminism, gender, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry. My first book, Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell was published in 2012 by Penguin/Allen Lane. Daddy Issues was published in 2019 by Peninsula Press, and Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent in 2021 by Verso. Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again has been described as ‘rousing’, ‘elegant’, ‘incisive’, ‘ingenious’, and ‘ecstatic’ (Boston Review); praised for its ‘jargon-free prose and nuanced readings of popular culture and postmodern theory’, and described as a ‘lively and incisive inquiry into the sexual dynamics of the #MeToo era’ (Publishers Weekly). The Evening Standard called it ‘one of the most important books you’ll read all year’; The New Internationalist wrote that the book ‘should be required reading’, and Stylist described it as ‘one of the smartest, most nuanced and thought-provoking books in the post-Me Too era’.

My work has been translated into thirteen languages, received international coverage, and been the subject of scholarship. I have also written for the Guardian, The White Review, Granta, Aeon, Frieze, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

My first degree was in Philosophy at Cambridge University. I spent a year on a JH Choate Fellowship at Harvard University after that, and then did an MPhil and a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at Cambridge University. My PhD, supervised by the late John Forrester and Peter Lipton, was on the impact of the ‘Freud wars’ and the shifts in American psychiatry in the post-war period on contemporary debates about symptom causation. Subsequently, I held a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick, and a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship at Queen Mary’s History Department, developing my research on ‘female sexual dysfunction’ in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. My research has been published in History of the Human Sciences, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

Before coming to Queen Mary in 2022, I was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in English, Theatre, and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, where I convened the MA in Creative and Critical Writing. Prior to that, I was a Lecturer in Kingston University’s Creative Writing Department.

I am in psychoanalytic training at the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

I regularly speak about and read from my work at seminars, conference, cultural venues, festivals, and broadcast media and podcasts in the UK and abroad.

Photo credit: Rebecca Tamás


Research Interests:

  • Feminism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Sexuality, gender, and queer theory
  • Medical humanities
  • Contemporary literary non-fiction and hybrid works

Recent and On-Going Research

Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, my most recent book, examined sexual consent as well as theories of sexual desire and arousal, elaborating a critique of consent that takes seriously both sexual violence and the challenges of knowing and expressing sexual desire. Daddy Issues was an essay on the absence of fathers within contemporary discourse about patriarchy and MeToo. And Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell was an exploration of the texture of sexual desire that sought to ask whether it is possible – conceptually and formally – to step outside over-determined discourses around power and femininity.

My next project returns to some of my earlier research in the history of psychoanalysis and psychiatry. I am working on a book that explores the long quarrel between psychoanalysis and feminism from a contemporary standpoint.  



Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent (Verso, 2021)

Daddy Issues (Peninsula Press, 2019)

Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell (Penguin, 2012)

(co-edited and written with Edgar Jones and Michael Neve): European Psychiatry on the Eve of War: Aubrey Lewis, the Maudsley Hospital and the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1930s (London: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, 2003),


Profile of Paula Rego, Frieze (221, August 2021)

‘Sex—and Everything Else’, Los Angeles Review of Books (March 2021)

‘Why we need to take bad sex more seriously’, Guardian Long Read, March 2021:

‘Shameful’, Aeon, January 2021

‘Our home is mortal too: On Stromae and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium’, Granta Magazine, 149, November 2019

Susanna Moore’s In The Cut: an essay on violence against women in film’, The White Review 29, November 2019

‘Nose or snout? On humans, animals, violence, and consent’, On Violence (ed. S Kivland, R. Jagoe), Ma Bibliothèque, 2018, pp. 105-113

‘Sex/Writing About Sex’: introduction to a special issue of Porn Studies, in Porn Studies, 2018, 5(1), 44-86

‘The False Self’, in On Balance, edited by Charlotte Shane (TigerBee Press, 2016)

‘Getting Beneath: Sex and the Individual’, catalogue essay in Wellcome Collection’s Institute of Sexology: Wellcome Collection Exhibition Catalogue (Wellcome Trust, 2015)

(co-authored with Jon Turner, Rhodri Hayward, Mathew Thomson, John Hall): ‘Mental Health in England, 1959 to 2007: An Experiment in Oral History’, Medical History, 2015, 59(4), 599-624

‘Gender, Blah Blah Blah’: on the (lack of) women in literary magazines: Los Angeles Review of Books (2014)

‘Commentary on Spurgas’s “Interest, Arousal, and Shifting Diagnoses of Female Sexual Dysfunction’, in Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 2014, 14(3)

‘On Kate Bush and Prince’, Five Dials Magazine (2013)

Papering Over the Cracks: on Monk’s House in Sussex and the Neues Museum in Berlin’, Aeon Magazine (2013)

‘Contested Psychiatric Ontology and Feminist Critique: “Female Sexual Dysfunction” and the DSM’, History of the Human Sciences, 2012, 25 (4), 3-24

‘The History of Female Sexual Dysfunction as a “Mental Disorder” in the Twentieth Century’, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 2010, 23(6), pp. 536-541

‘The Precautions of Clinical Waste: Disposable Medical Sharps in the United Kingdom’, Biosocieties, 2009, 4 (2&3), pp. 183-205

‘Green Fingers or Pink Viagra? Female Sexual Dysfunction and Medicalisation in Contemporary Medical Discourse’, in Bordering Biomedicine(2006, Peter Twohig and Vera Kalitzkus, Eds.) (Amsterdam: Rodopi), pp. 86-102

‘Defining Psychiatry: Aubrey Lewis’s 1938 Report and the Rockefeller Foundation’, in European Psychiatry on the Eve of War: Aubrey Lewis, the Maudsley Hospital and the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1930s (Katherine Angel, Edgar Jones, and Michael Neve, Eds.) (London: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, 2003), pp. 39-56


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

Public Engagement

I regularly speak about, and read from, my work in cultural venues, festivals, broadcast media, and podcasts in the UK and abroad. Some recent (and forthcoming) examples include:


The Whitechapel Gallery

The Edinburgh International Book Festival

BBC Radio Scotland

How the Light Gets in Festival (Hay-on-Wye)

TESTO Book Fair, Florence

Glasgow Zine Library in collaboration with Scottish Book Week

UNESCO/Nuit de la Philosophie, Paris

London Review Bookshop

Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre

Manchester Centre for New Writing

The Freud Museum

Picturehouse Central

McNally Jackson (New York)

Bristol Festival of Ideas

Left Bank Books (St Louis Missouri)

Blackwells Oxford

FT Weekend Festival, London

Cambridge Literary Festival

Nottingham Contemporary

Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts

Dixon Place (New York)

Somerset House, London

Southbank Centre, London

Standpoint Galery, Manchester

Foyles, London

Wellcome Collection, London

Serpentine Gallery, London

Vienna Central Library

Berlin International Literature Festival



Consumed By Desire, BBC Radio 4

Today programme, BBC Radio 4

Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4

Novara Media

New Humanist

Literary Friction


Dear Sex

Weird Era

Doing It

Times Radio

ABC Radio Australia

France 24

Newstalk Ireland

Catalunya Radio


 Print Interviews


Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

Emotion magazine, Germany

Berliner Zeitung, Germany

Die Welt, Germany

Fett, Norway

The Telegraph, UK

TANK Magazine, UK

Huck Mag, UK

Riposte, UK

The Millions, US

Morgenbladet, Norway

Il Tascabile, Italy

The Saturday Paper, Australia


I have collaborated with the Blackburn Company on a live art reading of my first, in a performance called Unmastered Remastered, at Nottingham Contemporary and Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts, and Vogue Fabrics amongst other venues.  

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