School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Gareth Longstaff

Lecturer - Media and Cultural Studies & Head of Teaching and Learning – Media, Culture, Heritage



I am a lecturer in media and cultural theory and the head of teaching and learning for both the UG and PGT programmes in Media, Culture, Heritage. My teaching and research interests are primarily concerned with sexuality, celebrity, discourses of reality and representation, identity/identifications, pornography, nostalgia, psychoanalysis and visual culture. I work at the intersection of how these are connected to other dimensions of cultural, philosophical, mediated and social life and in my research I closely engage with queer theoretical critique and Lacanian psychoanalysis to do so. At its core both my teaching and research seeks to examine the construction and representation of subjectivity, identity and desire via the mediation of the subject in film, photography, pornography/sexual representation, and networked / digital media.  I also work towards how these paradigms are connected to other dimensions of visual, cultural and social experience.


Undergraduate Teaching

Representations: Identity, Culture and Society

Celebrity Culture

Television Studies 

Dissertation Supervision

Postgraduate Teaching

Methodologies: Researching Media, Culture & Society

Dissertation Supervision


My current research can be split into two related strands.  In the first, I am extending my research around the critical use of Freudian and Lacanaian psychoanalysis in relation to contemporary representations of gender, masculinity, sexuality, and desire in pornographic and digital / networked media.  I am also interested in emerging transformations, and circulations, of the categories of ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ which are reconfiguring how we think about representation and self-representation. In particular, my most recently published work and work in preparation attempts to critically connect these practices with online and offline modes of desire and signification. 

In the second, I am honing in this interest in desire to specifically examine how identity and identification through mediated strategies of representation activate a precarious politics of psycho-socio-sexual desire.   In this strand, I have been concentrating on the paradigms of neoliberalism, self-representation, celebrity, reality TV, authenticity, and nostalgia in order to think about how, where, and why desire occurs in contemporary media.  Recent activity includes ‘From Reality to Fantasy: Gay celebrity, pornography, and representation’ published in The Journal of Celebrity Studies: Sex and the Celebrity (Routledge); a chapter on Queer Theory with EUP and another on Celebrity Sex Tapes in The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality. I am also in the process of producing my first monograph 'Bodies that Stutter - Celebrity, Pornography and the Psychoanalysis of Self-Representation' due to publication in 2017. 


  • Longstaff G. Celebrity Sex Tapes. In: Feona Attwood, R. Danielle Egan, Brian McNair, Clarissa Smith, ed. The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality. Routledge, 2015. In Press.
  • Longstaff G. Queer Theory. In: Prof. Stuart Sim, ed. The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory. Edinburgh University Press, 2015.
  • Longstaff G. From reality to fantasy: celebrity, reality TV, and pornography. The Journal of Celebrity Studies. Special Issue: Sex and the Celebrity 2013, 4(1), 71-80.