About the researcher

Elena is a PhD student focusing on the entanglement between televisual representation of contemporary transgender identity and individual gender identity and the cyclical nature of the two informing one another. She received her Master’s and Batchelor’s degrees at Falmouth University studying Film and Television where her academic writing often focused on how outside forces affected the individual or the collective.  

Since transitioning in 2020, her work has become more focused on Gender Studies and Intersectional Feminism and has taken a more personal approach, in hopes of providing a positive voice for the transgender community in the current sociological and political climate. 

Research interests

  • Gender Studies 
  • Transgender Studies 
  • Pedagogy 
  • Philosophy 
  • Postmodernism 
  • Representation in Film and Televisual Media 
  • Intersectional Feminism 
  • Critical Analysis 
  • Contextual Analysis 
  • Autoethnography 
  • Identity Studies 


PhD abstract

Thesis title

Who Shapes Us? An Autoethnographic Response to Contemporary Transgender Representation on Television. 


The thesis aims to explore the entanglements between the impact of television representation of transgender identity to the lived experiences of one's own experiences as a transgender individual. 

The rise of positive transgender representation within television over the last decade has provided access to visible mainstream representation of a marginalised group who historically were at the fringes of representation. The research will critically and contextually analyse case studies of contemporary transgender representation in television and their approach to trans identity through class, ethnicity, sexuality, and identity philosophy. The case studies will also examine the impact they have on wider perceptions of gender identity. 

Such research informs the use of journalling throughout the thesis, in which my own experiences with transgender identity will be detailed through the same critical lenses as the case studies. The journals centre a ‘response and reaction’ approach to autoethnographic studies and experiments with stream-of-consciousness writing that serves as a contemporary and vital insight into lived experiences of transgender identity. All of this is to serve as an evaluation of the entangled nature between televisual representations and the effect it has on informing the individual on their own identity. 


Year Qualification Awarding body
2017 MA in Film and Television Studies (Distinction)  Falmouth University
2016 BA in Film Studies (2:1)  Falmouth University