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Violet Olivia Thompson  BA (Cardiff), MA (Cardiff)

Violet Olivia Thompson BA (Cardiff), MA (Cardiff)

Research student

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS


Violet's research explores the emergence of queer texts into mainstream popular culture, with a specific focus on the mainstreaming of drag media. Primarily using RuPaul's Drag Race as a case study, her research assesses the implications of this mainstreaming, considering how the franchise represents local cultural identity and non-binary identities, as well as non-normative drag performances. She is also interested in debates regarding queer representations, audiences and fandom, the subversive potential of queer popular culture, and queer histories. More broadly, she is interested in popular culture and the intersections of representing gender, sexuality and class.

Prior to beginning her PhD, Violet achieved a BA (First Class Honours) in Media, Journalism and Culture from JOMEC, Cardiff University in 2018, followed by an MA (Distinction) in Journalism, Media and Communications from JOMEC in 2019.

Violet is a member of the JOMEC Feminist Media Studies Research Group , as well as the Trans Journalists Association (TJA). She also sits on the JOMEC Education and Student Experience Committee, and the JOMEC Equality and Diversity Committee. 


Violet's primary research interest is queer sub-cultures, with a particular focus on drag performers and performances. Specifically, she is interested in the mainstreaming of drag performance, as well as its commercilisation and commodification. More broadly, Violet is interested in representations of gender non-conformity in popular culture, transgender studies, as well as the intersecting debates on these topics regarding audiences and fandom. As part of her research, Violet is also interested in queer media, reality television, and feminist media studies. 


Conference Presentations

  • "Taking over the Mother-Tucking World!": RuPaul's Drag Race and North American Universalism. PhD Conference, JOMEC, Cardiff University, 10th May 2022. 


Violet has taught on the following undergraduate modules within JOMEC: 

  • MC1110: History of Mass Communications and Culture (Autumn 2022, Seminar Leader, Module Leader: Matt Walsh)
  • MC3633: Popular Music, Media and Culture (Autumn 2022, Seminar Leader, Module Leader: Dr Lucy Bennett)
  • MC3634: Clothing Matters: Global Fashion Cultures & Politics (Spring 2023, Guest Lecture, Module Leader: Dr Alida Payson)


Hannah Hamad

Dr Hannah Hamad

Senior Lecturer Media and Communication

Maria Kyriakidou

Dr Maria Kyriakidou

Senior Lecturer


  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Drag
  • Queer Theory
  • Gender
  • Film and Television