Ciara Gorman

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Research Focus

My thesis seeks to make a contribution to the intersecting fields of crime fiction and gender studies by examining the representation of criminal women in contemporary French fiction. The novels in my corpus span the best part of the last decade (2011-2020) and represent several literary genres, from general fiction to the police procedural and the emerging crime fiction subgenre of domestic noir. This diverse corpus is united by shared themes of the gendered exercise of agency, the consequences of sexual violence, and oppressive ideologies about the nature and destiny of women under patriarchy. It is ideally suited to the application of an intersectional feminist lens, which I deploy to interrogate the novels’ re-working of mythological and psychosocial stereotypes about criminal women. My thesis also analysis the disruptive nature of criminal women with regard to knowledge acquisition in criminal investigations – particularly relevant in the wake of recent social justice movements which interrogate the (im)possibility of accountability under patriarchal systems of criminal justice. I further apply space and affect theory to evaluate the aesthetics of crime scenes, both domestic and urban, and how they figure in the public imagination about crime perpetrated by women.


Research Interests

Crime Fiction

Female Villainy

Domestic Noir

Women & Crime

Gender Studies

Intersectional Feminist Theory



I am indebted to the Northern Bridge Consortium, whose scholarship funds my studies at Queen's University Belfast. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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