Dominic Reilly is a Phd candidate in the Psychosocial Studies department at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interrogates the phenomenon of racialised ‘preferences’ – and prejudices – in the romantic sphere, using the hook-up and dating app Grindr as a virtual site of condensation through which to explore the wider racialisation of desire. Applying critical discourse analytic techniques to Grindr profiles and narrative interviews with Grindr users, the project explores the contemporary psychosocial life of historically-anchored discourses of ‘race’, gender, desire, and their intersections. Drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework including object relations psychoanalysis, and queer, postcolonial and critical race theory, the project aims to better understand how ‘race’ becomes psychically and socially inscribed, and how it can be reified and amplified in online and romantic encounters. The project also aims to promote more reflexive user-engagement with Grindr in a bid to foster a more mutually-supportive culture in LGBTQ spaces.
In addition to his research, Dominic has previously worked as a management consultant across financial services, aviation and government, and currently works in public health, co-running an LGBTQ outreach project for Terrence Higgins Trust, which is exploring new ways of using virtual spaces (such as Grindr) to conduct public health interventions. Dominic completed a BA (Hons) in History and French at UCL and Paris IV La Sorbonne, and received an MSc in Psychology from UEL.