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


Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary American Literature



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 tweet @s_mcbean

Undergraduate Teaching

In the 2016-17 academic year, I am teaching on:

Postgraduate Teaching

In the 2016-17 academic year, I am teaching on:


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. My first monograph, Feminism's Queer Temporalities, builds on critiques of feminism’s time as singular, progressive, and generational. In dialogue with queer temporality theory, I explore alternative models of time in 20th and 21st century popular feminist genres (such as feminist science fiction, graphic novels, riot grrrl subcultural production) to explore how they revise dominant temporal orders, producing models of feminism in time that resist linear narratives of either decline or progress. I have an ongoing interest in collaboratively exploring ways of engaging with feminisms’ past, particularly the so-called second wave.

Since the monograph project, my research has taken me in a number of different directions. The first has been a turn to re-visit the links between sexuality and narrative theory. Exploring texts including Spike Jonze’s her, MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show, and MTV’s Faking It, I am interested in the ongoing relevance of narrative to the articulation of sexuality across media forms, as well as in exploring the continued complex relationship that queerness has to narrative. A second strand of my ongoing work is interested in using queer temporality theories to think about new media and digital technologies. This work has involved considering lesbian YouTube channels and Facebook pages of LGBTQ nights in London. I have begun to expand this interest in time, affect, and new media to think about race and Reality TV using UnReal and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Finally, I was recently awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Grant for a collaborative project with Zara Dinnen (University of Birmingham), titled ‘Mediating Contemporary Literature’. Through a series of workshops, we are aiming to bring 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’re specifically interested in how contemporary literature responds to, incorporates, or challenges the aesthetics of new media.



Feminism's Queer Temporalities (Routledge, 2016)


(in development) "New Media Face Cultures, Cinematic Affect, and the recent films of Scarlett Johansson", with Zara Dinnen (University of Birmingham)

(forthcoming) ‘“We Fuck and Friends Don’t Fuck”: BFF Narratives and Lesbian Desire’, Textual Practice, Special Issue: Feminist and Queer Narratology

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

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

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

'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:

PhD Supervision

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

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