Call for Papers for a 1-day postgraduate symposium hosted by the Digital Cultures Research Centre
Popular culture, as can be seen through the GamerGate controversy for one example, has a profound impact on feminist issues and discourses. Representations of sex and sexualities influence public opinion and individual attitudes and perceptions. Discussions – in both media and academia – are continuing to take place about the impact of Fifty Shades, sexism and misogyny in computer game and comic book fandom, the sexualisation of girls and the sexual desires of both young and adult women. Moral panics abound surrounding Fifty Shades and the “irrational” behaviour of One Direction fans, while LGBTQIA+ identities and sexualities are often represented tokenistically at best. Creative practitioners can easily come under fire for poor representations of sex and sexualities, as evidenced most recently by the reception of Joss Whedon’s treatment of Black Widow in The Avengers: Age of Ultron; equally they can be celebrated for their efforts, as was the case with BioWare’s inclusion of a consent negotiation scene in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
This one-day symposium will open up debates and explore the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture and will afford a platform for postgraduate students (MA/MSc onwards) and creative practitioners exploring these areas to meet peers, share work and learn from each other. We aim to create a space safe for experimentation – both with new ideas and with presentation formats. We therefore encourage a range of submissions, including workshops, discussions, pecha kucha, as well as the traditional 20-minute paper format.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- Representations of women’s desire and sexualities in popular culture
- Non-cis- and heteronormative sexualities in popular culture, especially beyond “gay and lesbian”
- Representations of sex work
- Infertility and sexual dysfunction
- Sexual intersections: race, disability, religion, class and socioeconomic status, gender
- Sex and sexualities in gaming
- Sexual pleasure in popular culture
- Invisibility: (a)sexualities unrepresented
- Sex, sexualities and social media
- Sex and sexualities in fan and transformative works
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by September 27th, 2015.
Abstract deadline: September 27th, 2015
Conference date and location: November 7th, 2015, Digital Cultures Research Centre, The Watershed, Bristol
Eligibility: Postgraduate students (MA/MSc onwards) and creative practitioners