School of English and Drama

Dr Sam McBean, BA (McGill) MSc (LSE) PhD (Birkbeck)


Senior Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality, and Contemporary Culture



I am originally from Toronto and did my BA in Women’s Studies at McGill University in Montreal. I then moved to London to study for my MSc in Gender at the LSE and went on to complete my PhD in English at Birkbeck, University of London. I joined QMUL in 2014, having previously been a Lecturer at Birkbeck and a Visiting Fellow at the LSE’s Gender Institute.

I am a founding member and current Chair of the Sexual Cultures Research Group in the School of English and Drama:

I tweet @s_mcbean

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

  • ESH293: The Long Contemporary
  • ESH393: Feminism(s)
  • ESH6037: Thresholds of America: The Spatial Imaginary in American Fiction since 1930

Postgraduate Teaching

I have also taught on:

ESH7057: Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction


Research Interests:

  • Sexuality and gender
  • Feminist and queer theory
  • Contemporary American literature
  • Popular culture
  • Affect and digital technologies

Recent and On-Going Research

My work is situated in feminist and queer theory, focused on contemporary literature, media, and culture. I have a particular interest in exploring questions of time and narrative. My first monograph, Feminism's Queer Temporalities, explores popular feminist genres from the 20th and 21st centuries, insisting that they contain models of time that resist the dominant wave or generational model of time. I have an ongoing interest in collaboratively exploring methods for engaging with feminisms’ pasts, particularly the so-called second wave.

Since the monograph project, my research has taken me in a number of different directions, including articles which re-visit the link between sexuality and narrative via a number of contemporary popular cultural texts, as well as articles which use theories of queer time to think about new media and digital technologies. I am currently at the very early stages of researching a project with a working title of ‘Intimacy as Technology’, which both looks at the intersections in contemporary literature and culture of narratives of new media technologies and narratives of intimacy, while also considers the technological metaphors and logics at work within queer theory.

Finally, I recently completed a BA/Leverhulme Small Grant funded collaborative project with QM colleague Zara Dinnen, titled ‘Mediating Contemporary Literature’. Through a series of workshops, we brought together scholars to explore how new media has affected contemporary aesthetics - shifting the borders of reality and fiction, restructuring notions of privacy and publics, producing new forms of intimacy, and creating a temporality of immediacy. We continue to work collaboratively to explore how contemporary literature and culture respond to, incorporate, or challenge the aesthetics of new media.




Feminism's Queer Temporalities (Routledge, 2016)


’The Face as Technology’ (co-authored with Zara Dinnen), new formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory & Politics 93 (2018), 122-137

‘“We Fuck and Friends Don’t Fuck”: BFF Narratives and Lesbian Desire’, Textual Practice, Special Issue: Feminist and Queer Narratology, 32.6 (2018), 957-972.

‘The “Gal Pal” Epidemic’, Celebrity Studies Forum, 7.1 (2016)

'The Gamble of Reproduction: Conceiving Ada’s Queer Temporalities', Studies in the Maternal, Special Issue: Non-Reproduction, 6.1 (2014), 1-16

'Remediating Affect: “Luclyn” and Lesbian Intimacy on YouTube', Journal of Lesbian Studies, Special Issue: Transnational Lesbian Cultures, 18.3 (2014), 282-297

'Feminism and Futurity: Revisiting Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time', Feminist Review, 107 (2014), 37-56

'Seeing in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home', Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture and Media Studies, 28.3 84 (2013), 103-123

Book Chapters

(forthcoming) ‘Queer Feminisms’, in New Feminist Studies: 21st-century Critical Interventions, edited by Jennifer Cooke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

‘Digital Intimacies and Queer Narratives’, in New Companion to Theories of Narrative, edited by Zara Dinnen and Robyn Warhol (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

‘The Feminist 1970s’, in American Literature in Transition, 1970-1980, edited by Kirk Curnutt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

‘Feminist Temporalities’, in Gender and Time, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbook, edited by Karin Sellberg (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference, 2016, 2018)

'Being "There": Contemporary London, Facebook, and Queer Historical Feeling’, in Sex, Time, and Place: Queer Histories of London c.1850-present, edited by Simon Avery and Katherine M. Graham (Bloomsbury, 2016)

'What Stories Make Worlds, What Worlds Make Stories: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake', in A Handbook of Feminist Theory, ed. by Mary Evans et al. (SAGE, 2014), pp. 149-162

'Dragging Antigone: Feminist Re-Visions of Citizenship', in Beyond Citizenship?: Feminism and the Transformation of Belonging, ed. Sasha Roseneil (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 21-38

Online Publications

'Being "There": Digital Archives and Queer Affect', Photomediations Machine, curated by Professor Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths), available:


I would welcome enquiries from potential PhD students about any aspect of my research.