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Dr. Aoife Neary


Aoife Neary (BSc, MA, PhD) is Lecturer in Sociology of Education in the School of Education, University of Limerick, Ireland. She held an Irish Research Council (IRC) Government of Ireland Doctoral Scholar award from 2011 until 2014 and has been an IRC New Foundations Awardee in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She is currently PI on an IRC/Marie Curie co-funded fellowship entitled ‘Researching and Advocating for Quality Education: Achieving Transgender Equality in Schools'. Drawing on feminist, queer and affect theory, her work explores the politics of gender and sexuality as they are lived and configured in schools and society. She leads and teaches teacher education modules that explore equality, diversity & inclusion from a sociological perspective. She is currently Co-Chair of the Faculty of Education and Health Science Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee at UL.

Research Interests

Broadly, my current research interests lie within and across the following areas:

Gender, Sexualities and Schooling.

School Culture and the Workings of Privilege
Feminist Post-strucutral and Queer Epistemologies and Methodologies
The Sociology of Emotionality

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests span the following areas: diversity, equality, power and privilege in schools and society; the intersections of gender, sexuality, social class, religion, race/ethnicity/nation and ability; cultural sociology; the sociology of emotion and affect; qualitative research methods.

Currently, I coordinate and teach two foundational studies modules with pre-service teachers: EN4025: Inclusive Education 1
and EN6153: Understanding Schools.

Professional Activities


  • 2016 - Faculty of Education and Health Sciences Early Career Researcher Seed Funding (€1000)
  • 2015 - New Foundations: Teacher Education for Gender and Sexuality Diversity (€9980)
  • 2015 - UL Development Education Project (€6310 Joint Application)
  • 2014 - New Foundations Engaging Civic Society (€9,778)
  • 2014 - National Seminar Series Award (€1,440)
  • 2012 - New Foundations (€4816)
  • 2011 - Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship 2011-2014 (€60,963)


  • 2015 University of Limerick - PhD
  • 2010 University of Limerick - Master of Arts
  • 2003 University of Limerick - BSc


  • 2003 Department of Education and Skills - Post-Primary Teacher
  • University of Limerick - Lecturer in Sociology of Education


  • Irish Educational Studies Journal Peer Reviewer, Educational Studies Association of Ireland
  • Member, European Conference for Educational Research
  • Sexualities SIG Peer Reviewer, British Educational Research Association
  • Queer Studies SIG Member, American Educational Research Association


  • School of Education Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team,



Book Chapter


Robot Babies, Young People and Pregnancy Prevention: Alternative Imaginings of Sexual Futures
Rasmussen, ML. and Neary, A.
Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development

Conference Publication

Other Journal


Other Publication

Peer Reviewed Journal


A Queer Politics of Emotion: Reimagining Sexualities and Schooling
Neary, A., Gray, B. and O'Sullivan, M.
Gender And Education DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2015.1114074

Published Report


Exploring Homophobia and Transphobia in Primary Schools in Ireland
Neary, A., Irwin-Gowran, S. and McEvoy, E.