New program on Gender, Law and Drugs (GLaD)

ARCSHS is proud to announce the launch of a new research program called Gender, Law and Drugs (GLaD)

Established and led by ARC Future Fellow and practising lawyer Associate Professor Kate Seear, the GLaD program draws on social scientific and legal research methods to develop new critical, socio-legal understanding of gender, sexuality, health and drugs. The program is a key outcome of Associate Professor Seear’s ARC Future Fellowship, and supported by La Trobe University.

A core aim of the GLaD program will be to consolidate critical analyses of law, alcohol and other drugs from feminist (and related) theoretical perspectives, such as queer theory and science and technology studies. The program is also directly concerned with how the law understands and constitutes relationships between alcohol, other drugs, gender/sex and sexuality, and major social problems such as family violence, sexual assault and other health problems. ‘Ideas about sex, gender and sexuality have long been important in how we understand and regulate drugs’, Kate says. ‘And Australia has long been a leader in critical alcohol and other drug scholarship.’ As Kate explains:

‘Ideas from feminism and queer theory have often been used to critique legal approaches to drugs. However, there is room for more interdisciplinary work on these issues, including work that more explicitly incorporates analyses of legal cases, statutes, practices and processes, human rights processes and legal education.’

In this way, the program aims not only to build research capacity in Australia around these issues, but to develop work that can directly inform the design of policy and best-practice health and community services.

Drawing on research methods in law, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology and related fields, the interdisciplinary approaches of the GLaD program complement existing areas of expertise within ARCSHS.

Updates from the program will be made available via the program’s new website:, or via its Twitter account: @GLADLaTrobe. If you want to know more about the program, you can contact Associate Professor Kate Seear at: