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Centre for Gender and Women's Studies workshop: Young People: Gendered Publics
Date: 29 May 2012 Time: 2.00 - 5.00pm
Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 6
A workshop exploring debates around young people, gender, sex and sexualisation, publics, bodies, aesthetics, time and futures.
2.00-3.00 'Little Publics: Young people and aesthetic citizenship'
Anna Hickey-Moody (Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney)
Chair: Debra Ferreday (Gender and Women's Studies andSociology, Lancaster)
Celia Roberts (Gender and Women's Studies and Sociology, Lancaster)
'No future? Young people, pre-emptive politics and austerity'
Beckie Coleman (Gender and Women's Studies and Sociology, Lancaster)
4.10-4.20 Response: Debra Ferreday
There will be lunch, provided by CGWS, before the workshop from 12.30 - please let us know if you would like to come: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts and bios
Little Publics: Young people and aesthetic citizenship
Anna Hickey-Moody, Gender and Cultural Studies, Sydney
The capacity of art to effect a movement from political invisibility to visibility, to create new stories and publics, is a critical cultural function that existing scholarship on youth arts and discussions of popular and public pedagogy fail to acknowledge. Through examining alternative publics, the 'little publics' created through youth art, this paper offers a theory of aesthetic citizenship that is specific to the lives and choices of young people. I show how Deleuze and Guattari's work can be employed to enrich understandings of youth arts as forms of popular, public and cultural pedagogy that make little publics: civic spaces in which youth voices are heard through performance. I explore a case study of an out of school public art project as an example 'black panic' discourses being changed through placing marginalized migrant youth at the centre of an aesthetic community that has global visibility and consider the political work undertaken through youth arts practices and school arts curriculum in making little publics.
Anna is a lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She has developed a philosophically informed cultural studies approach to youth arts as a subcultural form of humanities education. She is interested in how core theoretical projects of humanities and ideas of ethics both inform, and can be erased, by recent theoretical turns to affect. Her work explores the implications of these theoretical developments for cultural studies of education. Anna also researches and publishes on masculinity. She is interested in the politics and aesthetics of masculinity read as embodied critique of institutionalized patterns of hegemony. She teaches and supervises in the areas of youth culture, masculinity, the cultural politics of schooling and aesthetics.
Early puberty, 'sexualisation' and feminism
Early onset puberty is increasingly prevalent amongst girls globally according to many scientists and clinicians. In the medical and scientific literature early sexual development is described as a problem for girls and as a frightening prospect for parents. News media and popular environmentalist accounts amplify these figurations, raising powerful concerns about the sexual predation of early developing girls by men and boys and the loss of childhood innocence. In this paper I frame one feminist approach to early puberty, arguing that feminist theorists should both take scientific work around population changes in sexual development seriously and use our critical skills to unpick and challenge the discourses constituting early development as a matter of concern. I suggest that contemporary academic and policy debates on the 'sexualisation' of girls have important resonance for critical explorations of early puberty. These debates currently pay little attention to the physiological aspects of sexual development and could be enriched by so doing. As in the case of 'sexualisation', issues of class, racialisation and agency are central to understanding and challenging normative concerns about girls' early sexual development.
Celia is Co-Director of the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, LU and is currently writing a book on early onset puberty.
No future? Young people, pre-emptive politics and austerity
The question of the future has been of interest to philosophers, theorists, artists, scientists, designers, policy makers, activists and civil rights leaders for many years. Indeed Sociology, with its roots in charting and inspiring social change, may itself be understood as a discipline that is fundamentally organized around the future; this is certainly the way in which social movements and theoretical projects that intersect with Sociology - like feminism, anti-racism and queer theory - are often characterized. In this paper, I suggest that the significance of the future intensifies in what is called a new 'age of austerity', and, in particular, that the future is seen as especially significant for young people. For example, an Ipsos/Mori poll in December 2011 resulted in 56% of those questioned saying they believed it was unlikely that today's youth would have a better life than their parents, and from radically different political positions, commentators express unease about the diminishing prospects of young people. This socio-cultural context has led the Observer newspaper to describe Britain in terms of 'a new pessimism'. Drawing on theories of pre-emption and anticipation that suggest that the future is brought into the present so that the present becomes organized around future concerns (Massumi 2005, Adam, Murphy and Clarke 2009), I argue that ideas about the future can be understood as performative; as bringing to life the futures that are imagined. I examine the ways in which the future is collapsed into the Child or the young and, in light of recent feminist and queer theories of hope and optimism, speculate on some of the potential consequences of this 'new pessimism' for young women especially.
Beckie is a lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and Sociology at Lancaster. She has recently finished a book called Transforming Images: Screens, Affect, Futures which examines how the future functions within a logic of transformation to indicate the potential of a materially better time and explores the role that images play in organizing what futures are considered appealing, and to whom. She is extending these interests in futures through an ESRC Seminar Series.
Debra is a lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. Her research interests include feminist cultural theory, new media, networked learning, and social aspects of digital cultures. Her first book, Online Belongings, was published by Peter Lang in 2009. She is currently working on a second book entitled Rethinking Femininity, to be published by Berg in 2013.
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: Sociology
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