Jilly Kay joined Loughborough University in 2023, having previously worked as a Lecturer at the University of Leicester. Her research and teaching specialisms are in feminist media and cultural studies, and she has published widely in this field, particularly on feminism and popular culture, the gender politics of 'voice', feminism and television, and feminism and anger. Her first monograph Gender, Media and Voice: Communicative Injustice and Public Speech was published in 2020.

Her current research focuses on the turn to ‘reactionary’, ‘pink-pilled’ and anti-liberal feminisms within popular and political culture, including the online 'femosphere', post-liberal political commentary, and female dating influencers.

She is also co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Re-CARE TV: Reality Television, Working Practices and Duties of Care’ (2023-26), within which she leads the work package on reality television participation.

She has published widely in journals such as Feminist Media Studies, Feminist Media Histories, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Media History, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Journalism, and Critical Studies in Television. 

She has shared her research through keynotes and invited talks at institutions including Cardiff University, Monash University, University of Tübingen, Goldsmiths University, Sheffield University, Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid), Roehampton University, De Montfort University, University of Calcutta, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Her research and commentary has been featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Magazine, the GuardianThe Atlantic, and the Sunday Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and in the documentary When We Speak (Wiser Films, 2022).

In 2023, she became a co-editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies, having previously worked for the journal as an assistant editor, and then as founding editor of the short-form ‘Cultural Commons’ section (2020-23).

She co-convenes the cross-institutional Media and Gender research group.


Jilly Kay is a scholar of feminist media and cultural studies. Her PhD researched the relationship between talk-based television programming in Britain between 1970-1990, and its shifting relationship to second-wave and neoliberal feminist politics during that period. Since then, she has published widely on the gender politics of popular and political media culture, including in her monograph Gender, Media and Voice: Communicative Justice and Public Speech (Palgrave 2020).

She has a particular interest in the gender politics of mediated anger in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Her current research considers the rise of reactionary, anti-liberal and ‘pink-pilled’ feminisms in anglophone popular and political culture. She traces this mutation of popular feminism across three domains: the ‘femosphere’ – the diverse ecology of female-centric online communities that have arisen in response to the manosphere, including femcels (involuntary celibate women) and ‘female dating strategists’; political commentary by ‘post-liberal’ and ‘anti-progressive’ feminist writers; and female dating influencers on platforms such as TikTok, who are sometimes referred to as the ‘female versions of Andrew Tate’.

Her other major research project is on labour, care, and reality television. She is co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Re-CARE TV: Reality Television, Working Practices and Duties of Care’ (2023-26), working with Professor Helen Wood (Aston University) and Dr Jack Newsinger (Nottingham University). She leads the project’s work package on reality television participation, working in partnership with the union Equity.

She has a developing interest in the work of Raymond Williams, and edited a special issue to mark the centenary of his birth in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. She is particularly interested in his writing on cultural representations of ‘the country and the city’, which has informed her research into the mediation of rural and urban space in Britain during the coronavirus crisis.

Jilly Kay has experience of teaching a wide range of topics within communication, media and cultural studies.

Her teaching specialisms are in feminist media and cultural studies, screen cultures, television studies, social inequalities, and cultural work.