The emergence of discourses constructing the ‘new man’ and his wayward sibling, the ‘new lad’, are now firmly entrenched as subjects to be critiqued in media and cultural studies-informed teaching and research. Continuing to question how these discourses inform the performance of modern masculinities is thus central to a progressive gender politics.
This symposium will explore the extent to which heterosexual men have responded positively to the changing gender relations that inform contemporary social relations. Is it possible, for example, to identify a new form of heterosexual masculinity which is sufficiently self-reflexive not to be fearful of difference? Or are ‘straight’ men still anxious to construct and police boundaries between themselves and the queer or feminized other? And to what extent are men’s attitudes to gender and sexuality still shaped by questions of class, ethnicity and spatial proximity?
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A one-day conference presented by: Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University, Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds
Can music change anything, or does its potency lie merely in its exemplary status as an organised human activity? What are the effects of power relations on music and to what extent is music itself a site at which power relations can be reinforced, challenged or subverted? What are the economic, affective, corporeal or ideological mechanisms through which these processes occur? Has the age of recorded music as a potent social force now passed, a relic of the twentieth century; or with the music industry in crisis, is music culture in fact the first post-capitalist sector of the cultural economy, only now emerging from the long shadow of the culture industry? What historical or contemporary examples can we draw on to address some or all of these questions?
Continue reading Music, Politics and Agency