Dr Roberto Kulpa

Dr Roberto Kulpa

Lecturer in Sociology

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Lecturer in Sociology


PhD in Social Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

MA in Film and Media Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, PL

Professional membership

Higher Education Academy - Fellow

Roles on external bodies

Evaluator and Rapporteur for numerous RPOs and other funding bodies, including:

EC Research Executive Agency (EU), ESRC and AHRC (UK), NWO (NL), FWO (BE), NCN (PL), ESF (EU), SEDA (LV).

Teaching interests

Currently I teach introduction to sociology, research methods, and social theory. My previous teaching and current/past contributions to other modules include the following areas of specialisation:
  • Individual and group identities
  • Bodies, genders, sexualities
  • Intersections of gender, sexuality, class, race/ethnicity
  • Trans-national sexual politics 
  • Nationalisms and globalisation(s)
  • Social inequalities
  • Popular culture and politics
  • Discourse analysis
  • Media, society, and culture

Research interests

I am interested in the transnational sexual politics, nationhood and non-normative identities as interlocked with discourses of geography and temporality, and EUropeanization. 
Another area of my research concerns the critical epistemologies of knowledge production in social and cultural studies, esp. in the contexts of the hegemonic geographies ('West and the Rest'), and neoliberalisation of the education. The concept of the ‘cultural translation’, the possibility of using the decolonial and post-colonial theories in the study of ‘post-communist Europe’ is also important to me. 
Finally, recently I have been reading into 'friendship' and developing questions concerning wellbeing, resilience, and liveability in the precarious times. This last strand addresses the societal challenges faced in the UK and internationally in respect of societal proliferation of non-traditional and ‘beyond-kinship’ relations; the increasing concerns about individual and community resilience in times of economic crises, intensified migrations, and technological impacts on social relations (notwithstanding the recent inflammation of these by the COVID-19 pandemic); underdeveloped ‘friendship studies’ in sociology of relations.

  • Friendship, resilience, togetherness, resistance to neoliberal precarity
  • Individual and group identity formations, intersections of numerous identity position we occupy across lifespan
  • Uses of body, feminism, gender, sexuality, queer studies
  • Trans-national sexual politics, discourses of gender/sexual rights
  • Nationalism, national identities, regionalism, globalisations
  • Occidentalism and Orientalism, discourses of othering, 
  • Critical epistemologies, focused esp. on the critique of the neoliberalisation of the academic sector, and geopolitics of knowledge production between the 'West and the Rest'
  • Idea of 'Europe', 'West', 'Central-Eastern Europe'
  • Qualitative methods (esp. ethnography, interviews, and discourse analysis).

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Current PhDs: 

James Read works on remediation and the professional identity formation among the medical students.

Janina Smietanka works on unwanted sexual attention among the LGBT community and nighttime economy.

Samuel Thomas works on the epistemological enquiry into the limits of human knowledge.

Juliet Hall works on lived experiences of parents, and parents' movements of autistic/neurodiverse children.

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Kulpa R 2019 'National Menace: Mediating Homo/sexuality and Sovereignty in the Polish National/ist Discourses' Critical Discourse Studies , DOI Open access
Alldred P, Fox N & Kulpa R 2016 'Engaging parents with sex and relationship education: A UK primary school case study' Health Education Journal 75, (7) 855-868 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Kulpa R 2014 'On attachment and belonging: Or why queers mourn homophobic president?' Sexualities 17, (7) 781-801 , DOI Open access
Kulpa R 2014 'Western leveraged pedagogy of Central and Eastern Europe: Discourses of homophobia, tolerance, and nationhood' Gender, Place and Culture 21, (4) 431-448 , DOI Open access
Mizielinska J, Mizielinska J & Kulpa R 2013 'Debating Sexual Politics in the Central-Eastern Europe. A Response to Takács and Pichardo Galán’s Comments on De-Centring Western Sexualities. Central and Eastern European Perspectives (Farnham: 2011: Ashgate)' Southeastern Europe 37, (1) 102-110 , DOI
Kulpa R 2011 'Queer in Europe. Contemporary case studies, edited by Lisa Downing and Robert Gillett' Psychology and Sexuality 4, (2) 216-218 , DOI
Kulpa R 2008 'Homophobia and nationalism in Poland: The reactions to the march against homophobia in Cracow 2004' EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES 60, (8) 1458-1458 Author Site
Kulpa R; Mizielinska J 2011 De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspectives. Farnham Ashgate Publisher Site
Kulpa R 2020 'Antisemitism and Homophobia in Polish Liberal Discourses: The Cultural Logic of Comparison and a Proposal for Intersectionality' Public Discourses About Homosexuality and Religion in Europe and Beyond Springer International Publishing 147-169 , DOI
Kulpa R & Silva JM 2016 'Decolonizing Queer Epistemologies: Section Introduction' in Brown G; Browne K The Routledge Research Companion to Geographies of Sex and Sexualities Routledge Author Site Publisher Site Open access
Kulpa R 2013 'L’Est Visto Dall’Ovest. Dei Discorsi Occidentali sull’Omofobia nell’Europa Centro-Orientale' in Rinaldi C Alterazioni. Introduzione alle Sociologie delle Omosessualità Milan Mimesis 161-192 Open access
Kulpa R, Mizielinska J & Stasinska A 2012 '(Un)translatable Queer? or What Is Lost & Can Be Found in Translation' in Mesquita S Import - Export - Transport Queer Theory, Queer Critique and Activism in Motion Vienna Zaglossus 115-145
MizieliNska J & Kulpa R 2012 '‘Contemporary peripheries’: Queer studies, circulation of knowledge and East/West Divide' De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspectives 11-26
Kulpa R 2011 'Nations and sexualities - 'West' and 'East'' De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspectives 43-62
Kulpa R & Mizielinska J 2011 'Why study sexualities in central and Eastern Europe?' 1-9
Kulpa R 2011 'LGBT issues and the queer approach' 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook 856-864 , DOI
Kulpa R 'Hay, Harry (1912-2002)' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Kulpa R 'Lesbian Separatism' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Kulpa R 'Male Feminists' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Kulpa R 'Mattachine Society' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Kulpa R 'National Gay and Lesbian Task Force' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Kulpa R 'Same-Sex Families' SAGE Publications, Inc. , DOI
Other Publications
Kulpa R 2012 Nation Queer? Discourses of Nationhood and Homosexuality in Times of Transformation: Case Studies from Poland.

Reports & invited lectures

•   Keynote & Master Class. To: 9th Winter School. Troubling Gender: Theory and Method. (Forthcoming, 03-09.02.2020, University of Tartu, Estonia).

•  Plenary: Trans/National Sexualities & the Conservative Turn. To: Quiet Revolution? Alternative Sexualities in Europe and the post-Soviet Region. (19.09.2019, Cardiff University, UK).

•   Friendship as Resilience. To: Transnational Solidarities: Gender and Sexualities Beyond Geopolitics. (23-24.05.2018, University of Goteborg, Sweden).

•   Plenary Roundtable Speaker: Activism in Central and Eastern Europe. To: Outing the Past, Annual Conference in Celebration of the LGBTIQ History Month, (16-18.03.2018, John Moores Liverpool University, Schools OUT UK Charity).

•   Keynote – Unlikely Analogies? Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, and Polish National Identity. To: Contested Privates: Religion and Homosexuality in Public Discourse. (26-28.10.2017, University of Utrecht, Netherlands).

•   Non-Anglophone Epistemologies in/of Queer Studies? To: De-Centring Gender Studies Conference. (17-18.12.2015, Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany).

•   Regional & Sexual: European Occidentalism and the (semi)peripheral Central and Eastern Europe. To: Estonian Human Rights Centre Seminars. (24.03.2015, Tallin, Estonia).

•   Keynote – Geographies of (Queer) Knowledge: Reflections on the Critical Epistemologies and the Geo-Temporal ‘Knowledge Situations’ in Queer Studies. To: 2nd European Geographies of Sexualities Conference. (05-07.09.2013, University of Lisbon).

•   Sexual Politics and Cultural Translation between the West and the East of Europe. To: The Cultural Translation of Sexuality in European Context: One Day Seminar. (10.06.2013, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick).

•   “40 Years of Equality, 20 Years of Freedom”? Sexual Politics in “Central and Eastern Europe” and the “Western” Narrations of Sexual Liberation.
To: 40 Years On: Where Are LGBT Rights. (20.05.2011, LSE London).

•   Temporalities of “West” And “East”, Homosexuality and the Hegemony of “Post-Communism”. To: “Beyond Gender Boundaries” Lecture Series of AG Queer Studies Group. (04.05.2011, University of Hamburg).


Full list of publication, incl. pdfs, is available at: