Professor Heather Savigny

Job: Professor of Gender, Media and Politics

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Media Discourse Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44(0)116 255 1551




Personal profile

I have recently joined DMU as a Professor in the Leicester Media School. I was previously at Bournemouth University (2011-2015) and began my academic career at UEA (2004-2011). I gained my Phd in Political Science 2005 from the University of Birmingham.

My research interests are interdisciplinary and focus broadly at the intersection of debates between gender, politics and media; and is primarily concerned with the structural operation and distribution of power and mechanisms through which disruption is desirable and possible.  This has led to a range of work which analyses the structures of communication within politics; the political representation of women in media; the ways in which popular culture can form sites of gendered resistance; and the ways in which the gendered nature of academia can be problematic for women within the sector. 

I am PI on a  recently awarded a BA/Leverhulme small grant together with (CI) Rosey Hill (Leeds) on the representation of male sexual violence in rock music. 

My current projects are:

A feminist analysis of heavy metal (monograph)

A feminist analysis of the PMRC Senate hearings 

An analysis of media coverage of rape 'jokes'

I am keen to support research students with an interest in women and gendered power structures, and would invite contact from interested prospective students.

Publications and outputs 


(2020) Cultural Sexism: The politics of feminist rage in the #MeToo era (Bristol University: Policy Press)

(2016) Political Communication Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2015a) Media, Margins, Civic Agency and Social Change (co-edited with E. Thorsen, D. Jackson & J. Alexander) Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2015b) Media, Margins and Popular Culture (co-edited with E. Thorsen, D. Jackson & J. Alexander) Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2015c)  The Politics of Being a Woman: Feminism, Media and 21st Century Popular Culture (co-edited with Helen Warner)  Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2011) Doing Political Science and International Relations. Theories in Action (with L. Marsden) Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2009) Media, Religion and Conflict (edited with L. Marsden) Farnham: Ashgate 

(2008) The Problem of Political Marketing (New York: Continuum) 

Articles in peer reviewed journals 

(2019) 'The politics of normalising gendered violence: feminised asuterity and masculinised wealth creation' with R. Scullion accepted and forthcoming in European Journal of Politics & Gender

(2019) 'Cultural sexism and the UK Higher Education sector'  Journal of Gender Studies, 28:6, 661-673

(2019) 'Rape Jokes aren’t funny:The mainstreaming of Rape Jokes in contemporary newspaper discourse' with S. Lockyer Feminist Media Studies online early

(2019) 'The violence of impact: unpacking relations between gender, media and politics' Political Studies Review online early

(2019) 'Sexual violence and free speech in popular music' with R. Hill Popular Music 38 (2) pp237-51

(2018) 'Putting the studies back into Metal Music Studies' with J. Schaap Metal Music Studies (4:3)

(2018) 'Editorial: Metal and Politics' in editors J. Round & H. Savigny 'Special Issue Metal & Politics' Metal Music Studies 4 (2) 

(2017) Cultural sexism is ordinary: writing and re-writing women in academia Gender, Work & Organisation  24 (6) pp643-55

(2016) ‘Are you tough enough? Performing gender in the UK 2015 leader debates’ Media, Culture and Society with Emily Harmer & Orlanda Ward 39 (7) pp960-75

 (2016) Pursuing the diversity and inclusion agenda: the PSA in the UK with A. K. Awesti & M. Flinders European Political Science 15 (4) pp 508–518

(2016) ‘Experiencing Gender in political science: results from a practitioner survey’ with Nick Allen, Royal Holloway British Journal of Politics and International Relations

(2016) ‘Women politicians in the UK Press: seen but not heard?’ with Deirdre O’Neill and Victoria Cann Feminist Media Studies 16 (2) 

(2015) ‘Postfeminism and heavy metal: sexy or sexist’ with Sam Sleight Metal Music Studies 1 (3) pp341-57 

(2015) ‘Women in Political Science’ Symposium European Political Science co-editor with Stephen Bates, University of Birmingham 14 (2) 

(2014) ‘Women, know your limits: Cultural sexism in academia’ Gender and Education 26 (7) pp794-809 

(2014) ‘Female politicians in the British press: The exception to the ‘masculine’ norm?’ with Deirdre O’Neill Association for Journalism in Education 

(2013) ‘The 2010 UK General Election: Business as usual?’  with D.J. Wring & Guest editor with D.J. Wring (Loughborough) Election Special Issue 2010 Journal of Political Marketing 

(2013) ‘The (political) idea of a university: political science and neoliberalism in English higher education’ European Political Science (special issue, invited by editor Bob Reinalda) 

(2012) ‘Selling Scandal or ideology? The politics of business crime coverage’ with Henry Allen European Journal of Communication 27 pp278-290 

(2012) ‘Political Market Orientation: A Framework for Understanding Relationship Structures in Political Parties’ with R. Ormrod Party Politics Online 18 (4) pp487-502 

(2011) ‘Possibilities for democratic ‘postgovernance’?: Genealogy and the political’ British Politics 6 (2) pp265-72 

(2010) 'Political marketing models: the curious incident of the dog that doesn't bark' with M. Temple Political Studies 58 (5) pp1049-64 

(2010) ‘Looking back to move forward: historicising the construction of disciplinary narratives in European Political Science and International Relations’

EPS Special Ruby Red Issue to Celebrate the ECPR’s 40th Birthday: ‘Forty Years of European Political Science’  9 Special Issue (ppss99-110) eds. Luis Sousa, Martin Bull and Jonathon Moses. ppS99-S110 

(2009) ‘‘An Ideology of Disconnection:  for a Critical Political Marketing with D.J. Wring Central European Journal of Communication pp251-66 

(2008) ‘The voice of the people? Musicians as political actors’ Hague, S., Street, J & Savigny, H Cultural Politics 4 (1)  pp5-24 

(2008) ‘Playing to the crowd: the role of music and musicians in political participation’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations with J. Street and S.Hague 10 pp269-85 

(2007) ‘Focus Groups and Political Marketing. Science and Democracy as Axiomatic’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations  9 (1) NOMINATED FOR BEST ARTICLE IN JOURNAL PRIZE pp122-37 

(2007) ‘Ontology and Epistemology in Political Marketing: Keeping it Real’ special issue of Journal of Political Marketing   6 (2/3) pp33-47

(2005) With Dave Marsh ‘Changes in Trade Union and Government Relations 1974-2002’ Politics 25 (3)  pp165-74 

(2005) 'Labour, Political Marketing and the 2005 Election: A Campaign of Two Halves' Journal of Marketing Management  21( 9-10) pp925-42 

(2004) ‘The Media and the Personal lives of Politicians in the United States’ Parliamentary Affairs 57 (1)  pp223-35 

(2004) ‘Political Marketing: A Rational Choice?’ Journal of Political Marketing 3 (1) pp21-38 

(2004) ‘Political Science as a Broad Church: The search for a pluralist discipline’ with Dave Marsh Politics 24 (3) pp155-68 

(2002) ‘Public Opinion, Political Communication and the Internet’ Politics 22 (1) pp1-8 

(2006) (Contributor) Entries on Free riding, bureau shaping and citizenship for M. Bevir (ed) Encyclopaedia of Governance Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage (commissioned)

Book Chapters

(2018) ‘BückDich: Rammstein in Amerika and the Subversion of Masculinized Sexuality’ with S. Sleight in ed. G. Bayer Metal at the Movies (London: Routledge)

(2015) ‘Metaphors on Women in Academia. A review of the literature 2004-2013’ with Amery, F., Bates, S & Jenkins, L in eds. V. Demos & M. T. Segal  At the centre: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge 

(2013) ‘Media, politics and empowerment:  In whose interests?’ in R. Scullion & D. Jackson (eds.) Agents of (dis)empowerment: media and civic engagement Routledge pp11-23 

(2012) ‘Religion, Media and Security’ with Lee Marsden in (eds) Hoover, D., Seiple, C & Otis, P Routledge Handbook of Religion and International Security Routledge pp204-12 

(2012) ‘The Importance of Being Theoretical: Analysing Contemporary Politics’ with Lee Marsden, invited contribution to, eds. Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Simon Lightfoot Teaching Political Studies Basingstoke: Palgrave 

(2009) ‘Political marketing’ Oxford Handbook of British Politics eds. A. Gamble, M. Flinders, C. Hay & M. Kenny Oxford: Oxford University Press  pp798-817 

(2009) ‘Ideology, political marketing and the 2005 UK election’ in ed J. Lees-Marshment Political Marketing: principles and applications  London: Routledge p284-5 

(2009) ‘Introduction: Media, religion and conflict’ with Lee Marsden in eds. L. Marsden & H. Savigny Media, Religion and Conflict Farnham: Ashgate pp1-16 

(2009) ‘Towards a theorisation of the link between media, religion and conflict’ with Lee Marsden in eds. L. Marsden & H. Savigny Media, Religion and Conflict Farnham: Ashgate  pp145-62 

(2008) ‘Constructing the consumer (or politics – what not to consume)’ in Voters or Consumers: imagining the postmodern electorate  Eds D. G. Lilleker & R. Scullion Cambridge : Cambridge Scholars Publishing pp35-50 

(2006) ‘Political marketing and the 2005 election: what’s ideology got to do with it?’ in (eds) D. Lilleker, N Jackson, R Scullion The Political Marketing Election? UK 2005 Manchester: Manchester University Press pp81-100


Search Who's Who

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.