BSA Gender Study Group Symposium
Exploring the rise of ‘Single-Sex’ Spaces: ‘New’ inclusions, ‘old’ exclusions?
Monday 4th July 2016, 10am-4pm
BSA Meeting Rooms, Imperial Warf, London.
Recent scholarship has given a lot of attention to single-sex spaces, particularly in terms of their exclusionary features. Trans and feminist scholars and activists have debated the political rights and wrongs of women-only space, and the nature of ‘safe spaces’. This symposium aims to build on and develop these debates to explore wider questions about the affective experience and social atmosphere of single-sex spaces, both women-only and men-only.
There continues to be a demand for single-sex spaces, not only for political activities (such as political organising, consciousness-raising, discussion of gendered experiences such as gender based and sexual violence, pregnancy etc), but also for social and leisure activities (such as choirs, knitting or craft groups, sports activities). This symposium provides space to analyse the enduring appeal of single-sex environments, and to move beyond the conflictual debates and politics which they can generate to examine the more nuanced, embodied experiences of single-sex space, the affective atmospheres they engender and the social purposes they serve.
How do we explain the enduring/revived appeal of single-sex spaces? What activities take place in single-sex spaces? What connections are fostered in such spaces? How do intersecting oppressions and identities play out in single-sex spaces? What are the embodied experiences of spaces which are single-sex, either by design or incidentally? What purposes do they serve? What do they tell us about embodied, gendered experiences of society? We are eager to explore not only spaces that are deliberately single-sex, but also those which incidentallyor organically become single-sex.
We invite contributions from a range of disciplines, examining a range of empirical subjects and theoretical approaches.
Papers might focus on single-sex activities such as:
· social activities such as knitting groups, choirs, walking groups, book clubs, film clubs
· health and care environments
· sports and exercise environments
· prison and probation/offending-related groups, environments and activities.
Theoretical approaches may include:
· ‘Old’ and ‘new’ forms of inclusion and exclusion
· Intersections of class, race, gender, sexuality, disability
· Emotional and embodied (dis)connections and feelings of belonging
· Gender and affective atmospheres