Clarissa is Reader in Sexual Cultures in the Centre for Research in Media & Cultural Studies at Sunderland University. Her research and publications focus on sexuality in contemporary culture; representations of sex and sexuality; identities and the body; pornographies, their production, consumption and regulation; and taboo/controversial media.
Her recent work includes articles and chapters on performance, pornography, regulation, sexual agency, and British sexual cultures. She is currently writing on controversial images and the relation between Art and pornography, questions of authenticity in the representations of sex, and contemporary debates about the sexualization of young people.
She is also working (with Professors Feona Attwood (Sheffield Hallam) and Martin Barker (Aberystwyth)) on a project which employs audience research in order to understand the particular pleasures and meanings of sexual representations and their place in the practices of everyday life. Clarissa has acted as Expert witness for the Defence in prosecutions brought under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, 2009; and the Obscene Publications Act 1959.
She is also interested in the practice and development of audience studies within a broad cultural studies framework and she is a member of the Editorial Board for Participations: Online Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. Her teaching interests are: Media audiences, advertising, television drama, sexualities, cultural consumption, pornography and problematic media. Qualifications include: BA (Bachelor of Arts) MA (Master of Arts) DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy)