Mary Evans has worked in higher education for forty years and for much of this time has  written and talked about the ways in which gender informs and structures the social world. This work took place in the context of teaching Sociology but the porous boundaries of that subject allowed her to consider some of those aspects of the world which sociologists have often ignored , most specifically works of fiction. This interest led her to re-thinking the meaning of ‘fiction’ and hence to the study of non-fiction, in the course of which she came to the conclusion that boundaries between fiction and fact are often over-stated.

 

This theme in her work has run side by side with a passionate interest in the ways in which what we describe as ‘knowledge’ is constructed.  First and foremost here is the question of gender : is there such as thing as ‘male’ or ‘female’ knowledge? But a second theme ..and one that has come to the fore in recent years …is the question of the ways in which creative work, and work of the imagination, is increasingly becoming marginalised by economic and social constraints. Killing Thinking is the title of one of her most recent books, a polemic against those bureaucratic procedures which increasingly organise education.

 

In all, her work is organised around the ever intriguing question of how we are made by the social world but then impose our own meaning on it.