Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Associate Professor Nikki Sullivan

Associate Professor in Critical and Cultural Studies


Office: Y3A 159

Phone: (02) 9850 2159

Undergraduate Teaching: CUL120,CUL260CUL322


Nikki is one of the founders of the Somatechnics Research Network and co-founding Editor of the Somatechnics journal which is published by Edinburgh University Press. For the last fifteen years her research has focused on the regulation of a variety of forms of body modification, as well as on the ways in which biopolitical technologies regulate gender and sexuality. These interests continue to underpin her work, in particular her current research project which aims to develop a genealogy of gender variance as lived (in the phenomenological sense) in the UK and Australia in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.

Research Interests

Somatechnics, body modification studies, sexuality studies, phenomenology, feminist philosophy of the body, critical legal studies, critical medical studies, feminist science studies. I have supervised students who have written PhD theses on phenomenology and race, the discursive construction of fatness, suffering, new materialism, modificatory practices, and apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Selected Publications


Sullivan, Nikki and Jessica Cadwallader A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory, 2nd, revised edition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. New York: New York University Press, 2014) forthcoming

Downing, Lisa, Iain Morland & Nikki Sullivan Fuckology: Critical Essay on John Money's Diagnostic Concepts (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2014) forthcoming.

Sullivan, Nikki and Samantha Murray (eds.) Somatechnics: Queering The Technologisation of Bodies (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009). ISBN 978 0 7546 7530 3

Sullivan, Nikki  A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. New York: New York University Press, 2003).  ISBN 0-8147-9841-1

Sullivan, Nikki   酷儿理论导论, trans. Shana Ye (Shanghai: Lijiang Press, 2013). This is a Mandarin translation of A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory.

Sullivan, Nikki Tattooed Bodies: Subjectivity, Textuality, Ethics, Pleasure (Connecticut and London: Praeger, 2001).  ISBN-10: 0275966755

Book Chapters

Sullivan, Nikki '"BIID"? - Queer (Dis)Orientations and the Phenomenology of "Home"', in Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine, eds. Kristin Zeiler and Lisa Folkmarson Käll (Albany: SUNY Press, 2014) (forthcoming). ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5007-0

Sullivan, Nikki 'BIID and the Question of Ethics', in The Routledge Companion to Bioethics, eds. John D. Arras, Rebecca Kukla and Elizabeth Fenton (New York and London: Routledge, 2013) (forthcoming) ISBN-13: 978-0415896665

Sullivan, Nikki 'Foucault's Body', in Routledge Handbook of Body Studies, ed. Bryan Turner (London: Routledge, 2012), 106-16, ISBN 9780415593557

Sullivan, Nikki 'Queering the Somatechnics of BIID', in Body Integrity Identity Disorder: Psychological, Neurobiological, Ethical and Legal Aspects, ed. A. Stirn, A. Thiel, and S. Oddo (Lengeritch, Germany: Pabst Publishing, 2009), 187-98, ISBN 978-3-89967-592-4

Sullivan, Nikki and Susan Stryker 'King's Member, Queen's Body: Transsexual Surgery, Self-Demand Amputation, and the Somatechnics of Sovereign Power', in Somatechnics: Queering the Technologisation of Bodies, ed. N. Sullivan and S. Murray (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 49-64, ISBN 0754675200

Sullivan, Nikki  'Smacking my Bitch Up: Queer or What?', in The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory, ed. N. Giffney and M. O'Rourke (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 435-50, ISBN 0754671356.

Sullivan, Nikki 'Tattooing: The Bio-Political Inscription of Bodies and Selves', in Cultural Theory and Everyday Practice, ed. N. Anderson & K. Schlunke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), ISBN 0195562453

Sullivan, Nikki 'Incisive Bodies: Lolo, Lyotard and the Exorbitant Law of Listening to the Inaudible', in Gender After Lyotard, ed. M. Grebowicz (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 47-66, ISBN 0791469552 (paper) ISBN 0791469559 (cloth).

Sullivan, Nikki (2006) 'Transmogrification: (Un)becoming Other(s)'  in The Transgender Studies Reader, ed. S. Stryker and S. Whittle (New York: Routledge, 2006), 553-63, ISBN 0415947081. 

Journal Articles

Sullivan, Nikki 'The Somatechnics of Perception and the Matter of the Non/Human: A Critical Response to the New Materialism', European Journal of Women's Studies, 19:3, 2012, pp. 299-313.

Sullivan, Nikki 'The Somatechnics of Bodily Inscription', Studies in Gender and Sexuality: Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, Treatment, Research, 10: 3, 2009, 129-41, ISSN 1524-0657.

Sullivan, Nikki 'Transsomatechnics and the Matter of "Genital Modifications"', Australian Feminist Studies, 24: 60, 2009, 275-86, ISSN 0816-4649.

Sullivan, Nikki 'The Somatechnics of Intersexuality', GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 15: 2, 2009, 313-27. ISBN 978-0-8223-6705-5

Sullivan, Nikki 'Dis-orienting Paraphilias? Disability, Desire, and the Question of (Bio)Ethics'Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 5: 2-3, 2008, 183-92, ISSN 1176-7529

Sullivan, Nikki 'The Role of Medicine in the (Trans)Formation of 'Wrong' Bodies', Body & Society. 14: 1, 2008, 103-114, ISSN 1357-034X

Sullivan, Nikki '"The price we pay for our common good?": Genital Modification and the Somatechnologies of Cultural (In)Difference', Social Semiotics, 17: 3, 2007, 395-409, ISSN 1035-0330.

Sullivan, Nikki 'Somatechnics, or Monstrosity Unbound', Scan: Journal of Media Arts Culture 3: 3, 2006, Online: available []. ISSN 1449-1818

Sullivan, Nikki 'Integrity, Mayhem and the Question of Self-demand Amputation', Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 19: 3, 2006, 325-333, ISSN 1030-4312

Sullivan, Nikki '"It's as plain as the nose on his face": Michael Jackson, Body Modification, and the Question of Ethics', Scan: Journal of Media Arts Culture 3: 1, 2004, online: available [], ISSN 1449-1818

Sullivan, Nikki  'Being Exposed: "The Poetics of Sex" and other Matters of Tact', Transformations: Online Journal of Region, Culture, and Society 9, 2004, online: available [], ISSN 1444-377.

Sullivan, Nikki  'Writing, Thinking, Being, "with"', Cultural Studies Review 9: 1, 2003, 51-59, ISSN 1446-8123

Sullivan, Nikki  'Queer Material(ities): Lyotard, Language, and the Libidinal Body', Australian Feminist Studies 17: 37, 2002, 43-54, ISSN 0816-4649.

Sullivan, Nikki  'Fleshly (Dis)Figuration, or How to Make the Body Matter', International Journal of Critical Psychology 5, 2002, 12-29, ISBN 0853159610

Sullivan, Nikki  'Queer Pleasure: Some Thoughts', Social Semiotics, 9: 2, 1999, 251-5, ISSN 1035-0330

Sullivan, Nikki  'Fleshing Out Pleasure: Canonization or Crucifixion', Australian Feminist Studies, 12: 26, 283-91, 1997, ISSN 0816-4649

Sullivan, Nikki  'Illustrative Bodies: Subjectivities, Sociality, Skin Art', Social Semiotics, 5:1, 1995, 143-58, ISSN 1035-0330