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CGWS launch event and Gendered Fields Symposium
Date: 12 - 13 June 2008 Time: 4:00 onwards and 9:30-4:00
Venue: IAS bulding
Report on Gendered Fields International Symposium 12&13 June 08
What is the future of gender research in your field? How is 'gender' conceived and mobilised in various fields? What is the role of 'gender' in the design and pursuit of political objectives, and how does this impact on research practices? Is all 'gender' research, feminist research? How do 'specialist' knowledges shape the development of gender and women's studies? This one-day symposium - the first of a series - gathered scholars from various fields to discuss new directions in gender and women's studies and the future of feminist imaginations. The aim of the symposium was to explore how 'gender' is conceptualised in different research areas and how it travels across different disciplines, and to consider the challenges posed to gender and women's studies by various 'specialist' and 'disciplinary' discourses and conventions. The programme and abstracts are available via the link below.
The event doubled as a re-launch for the restructured Centre for Gender and Women's Studies. The launch event, on Thursday afternoon and evening, began with a keynote address by Mary Evans on 'Universal Femininity/Absent Women: Studying Gender in the Twenty-First Century'. Mary's paper addressed coercive realism, coercive femininity, and the links between them. In short, she explored the ways in which men and women are located within a much narrower template that defines what it means to be human framed within a new emotional and moral language around life outside of work, namely around consuming practices. Fashion, for example, is a site of coercive femininity that is deeply inflected by class [and I would add, by race]. In short, Mary argued that femininity is endlessly (re)constructed for the market and that performing femininity has an important role to play in structuring capitalism.
The keynote was followed by a reception dinner and book launch of all GWS publications between January 2007 and June 2008. Reviving an established annual tradition in the former Institute for Women's Studies, the book launch included over twenty publications - an amazing testimony to the extent of GWS research activity at Lancaster University.
Friday 13 June was the day for the actual symposium, where five guest speakers from the UK, Canada and the US, contributed to the day's discussion: Mary Evans, Nancy Lindisfarne, Spike Peterson, Myra Hird, and Lucy Suchman. Themes covered include:
The symposium sought to offer grounds for revisiting the potential and limits of 'gender' and the future of feminist imaginations. Overall, this was a successful event, with passionate engagement from all participants, and leaving many of us asking for more - so watch this space!
Gendered Fields event web site
Who can attend: Anyone
Associated staff: Anne-Marie Fortier
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