What does gender mean in an age defined by post-feminist ideologies, and in cultures that have been ‘sexualised’? Women may have been gaining economic, social and cultural entitlements in recent years, but post-Fordist economies continue to exploit gender inequalities. And whilst a variety of ‘new femininities’ have promised freedoms and opportunities, they have also articulated further responsibilities associated with being a woman in the twenty-first century. Similarly, the increasing visibility of so-called ‘softer’ masculinities and the continuing appeal of the metrosexual man seem to signal transformations in the idea of what it means to be a man. Yet such opportunities for softness and flexibility are unevenly available in economic conditions designed to install an equality of inequality. If men are becoming softer and women more post-feminist, how are we to understand the position of queer identities? Is homosexuality ‘disappearing’ in the drive towards homonormativity? Is there a place for gender dissent in lesbian and gay cultures, or do challenges to binary constructions of gender and domestic nuclearity no longer have any meaning in an era of gay marriage?
UEL Docklands Campus
The second event in the Music, Politics, Agency series, this symposium explores debates around gender, sexuality and sound. Contributions will be situated in contexts that range from the recording studio to hip-hop, classical music and the New York dance floor.
CCSR committee member Tim Lawrence read from and spoke about his new biography of Arthur Russell, Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-92, on 3 June at the Glasgow Film Theatre. Organised by the Modern Institute, the event began with a screening of Wild Combination and was followed by music from invited DJs. Tim also presented a keynote paper (on Arthur Russell and queer musicianship) at the Sounds Queer conference, King’s College London, on 4 June.