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 Violet Thompson

Violet Thompson

Research student,


Using RuPaul's Drag Race as a case study, my research analyses the emergence of queer texts into mainstream popular culture. Specifically, my research assesses the impact of this mainstreaming on radical queer politics, representations, audiences, and the subversive potential of queer culture. This will primarily be explored through research questions considering the consequences of this mainstreaming on local drag cultures and communities. 

Prior to undertaking PhD study, I earned a BA in Media, Journalism and Culture from JOMEC, Cardiff University in 2018, followed by an MA in Journalism, Media and Communications from the school in 2019. 

I am currently an active member of the Trans Journalists Assosciation, as well as the JOMEC Feminist Media Studies Research Group.


Research interests

My research interests primarily focus on the commercialisation and commodification of drag, representations of gender non-conformity in popular culture, transgender studies, and the emergence of queer texts into mainstream popular culture. I am also interested, more broadly, in queer media, drag studies, reality television, representations of transgender identities, feminist media studies and the relationship between children, media and queer identities.


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

I currently teach on the following undergraduate modules within JOMEC: 

  • MC3633: Popular Music, Media and Culture (Autumn 2022, Module Leader: Dr Lucy Bennett)

  • MC1110: History of Mass Communications and Culture (Autumn 2022, Module Leader: Matt Walsh)


The Globalisation of American Drag & Queer Authenticity: An analysis of the Drag Race franchise and the cultural, political, and social ramifications of its expansion.

We are currently facing an important cultural moment, in which drag performers are entering the mainstream in groundbreaking ways. My research project will assess the implications of this mainstreaming, through a textual analysis of the Drag Race franchise. Focusing on the international spin-off's, including those in the United Kingdom and Australia, this research will establish a picture regarding how the mainstream success of Drag Race has influenced its representations of queerness, gender, sexuality and cultural identity. 



Dr Hannah Hamad

Senior Lecturer Media and Communication

Maria Kyriakidou

Dr Maria Kyriakidou

Senior Lecturer