PhD researcher in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science

Before starting at the LSE, I worked for fifteen years in the creative industries in the US, the UK, Ireland, Qatar, and Singapore. I was Head of Development at Ugly Duckling Films, a small independent film production company in London, which produced six feature films and two shorts (one nominated, the other short-listed for the Academy Award ®). Our films featured actors including Daniel Craig, Lena Headey, Felicity Jones, Mark Strong, and Emilia Fox (in total, we worked with FOUR actors currently on Game of Thrones and none of their characters have died yet!)

Following my own violent assault and rape (yes, nice segueway from Game of Thrones), I turned to film festival programming, working for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar and eventually as Film Series Producer for the Doha Film Institute. During that time, I oversaw the year-round screening programme for the Institute, cultivating an audience for arthouse and foreign cinema in Qatar. In 2013, I briefly worked as a creative consultant in Singapore, helping to develop a major eco-tourism project, conducting field research, and liaising with the top international firms in theme park and attraction design.

I now use my media skills to further the public conversation about sexual assault, most recently by co-founding and running the Clear Lines Festival, the UK’s first-ever festival dedicated to talking about sexual assault through the arts and discussion. In three months, we managed to crowdfund over £7k, curate, and organize a programme that brought together 60+ artists, comedians, journalists, and speakers, and a few hundred audience members, all dedicated to bringing about change on this issue. (We’d like to make it an annual thing.)

I have an ongoing engagement with the media on the topic of sexual assault. In addition to my semi-regular column at The Huffington Post, my writing on the topic has appeared in The Belfast Telegraph, The Irish News, a book anthology, and I’ve been interviewed by Channel Four News, London Live, BBC Radio, RTE, The Irish Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, The Daily Mail, and others. Both myself individually and the Clear Lines Festival were shortlisted for the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize, which recognises women who work against male violence. In 2016, I've been shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the Social and Humanitarian category.

I’ve also worked as a travel guide writer for the Let’s Go Travel Guides, and I still freelance as a copywriter and film/TV script editor — so please think of me for any writing gigs because I definitely need the money… As a novelist, I’m represented by the Pontas Agency. My non-academic website: www.winniemli.com

Academic Background

I have a BA (Summa Cum Laude) from Harvard University in Folklore and Mythology. My first MA is in English (First Class Honours) from the National University of Cork, Ireland, where I studied on a George Mitchell Scholarship. I specialized in Gender and Sexuality in Irish Writing. After many years working in industry, I returned to academia to pursue my MA in Creative and Life Writing (with Distinction), from Goldsmiths, University of London. During this time, I wrote my debut literary novel, Dark Chapter, which was runner-up for the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award 2015 and will be published by Norstedts in Sweden in Spring 2017 -- and hopefully elsewhere, too. While I come from an arts and humanities background, I am excited to be learning social science methodologies at the LSE. In addition to the Department of Media and Communications, I'm also part of the Leverhulme PhD Seminar, in association with the LSE's new International Inequalities Institute.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD researcher in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science