Shawna Marks

Website under construction! 

I finished my PhD (!!!) and now work outside of academia in policy and advocacy.


I want to keep this site as a resource and update it over time BUT no one seems to talk about post-PhD fatigue or how stark unpaid labour feels when working in a structured, paid job.

Updates to this website, like the information below, will come slowly and eventually I’ll write new pieces based on my PhD and current research and work.

Stay tuned!

I’m still sporadically active on Twitter. Maybe I’ll see you there in the meantime.

I am an academic and policy specialist with particular expertise on sport and gender; everyday sexual violence; sex, consent, and dating culture; and sexual violence prevention. My work is distinctly feminist, with an emphasis on how gender connects to and overlaps with other forms of marginalisation, particularly race, sexuality, and class. I also work as an independent educator, speaker and writer for universities, community groups, and businesses.

My recently completed PhD examines these issues in the broader context of sport, masculinity, and sexual violence, specifically amateur Australian football. This work considers how we construct masculinity, femininity, sex,and sexual violence as a community and the stake we all have in preventing sexual violence.

The work presented on this website is meant to be accessible and educational, and draws on academic sources, community leaders and educators, personal experience, and the people around me. My expertise is reflective of a collective expertise, just as much as my own experience, education, and research.


I have given over a dozen conference presentations at domestic and international meetings, since beginning a PhD in 2015.

Speaking at conferences has refined my public speaking skills and ability to craft specialised talks.  I have experience as a speaker across a range of audiences and modes including media commentary and interviews, public talks, workshops, and in classroom settings.


As a PhD Candidate, and now as a Policy Officer, I write every day. Writing and rewriting a large manuscript, and smaller ones too, is at the crux of what I do as a researcher. My writing style is largely academic but is meant to be accessible, in a clear departure from the convoluted and overly complicated prose that academia is known for.

I have experience writing reports for industry, funding applications, literature reviews, and informative blog content, as well as academic publications. I am also familiar with writing for websites, including social media in my work as an event organiser, representative, and in other community-building work.


I have over five years of teaching experience across community and tertiary spaces.

This has included mentorship and assisting with academic skills in my role as a volunteer coordinator of a Learning Club for non-profit, The Smith Family. Students were largely from working-class and migrant backgrounds, including refugees and first-generation Australians. For many students, this space was the only opportunity they had outside of school to access the internet and homework help. The Learning Club was popular and well attended by a range of students from nearby secondary schools. I developed good working relationships with many of the students and was able to see them progress over time, including realising their goals of going to university.

The bulk of my teaching experience is as a sessional teaching assistant across two South Australian universities. I have experience teaching undergraduate students in tutorials and workshop settings across Gender Studies and Sociology. Additionally, I have taught several workshops on academic skills that I designed and facilitated for postgraduate and early career academics.

Recently, I have begun developing and delivering workshops for general audiences based on my doctoral research, specifically on gender and power, sex and consent, and sexual violence. For example, I delivered a two-hour workshop on consent and power to student leaders at a residential college that I had designed specifically for them.


I am Social Sciences researcher with specific expertise in Gender Studies. My research experience spans diverse projects and I am comfortable conducting or assisting on projects in academic, community, and corporate sectors.

I have assisted on over a dozen academic projects on topics ranging from older women and homelessness; young queer peoples’ conceptualisation of care; diversity and inclusion policies in higher education; female caregivers who abuse children; sport and development policy; and evaluations of funding for women’s sport participation.

I also have experience consulting and developing policy for universities and not-for-profit and community organisations.

My specific research interests are in masculinity, sex, and sexual violence in the context of sport and other popular cultures. I am interested in taken-for-granted norms that aid in the spread of gendered misunderstandings that surround sex and sexual violence.

I have also published a number of sole and co-authored academic articles and chapters. Most of my published work is on media, popular culture (including sport), and violence against women.