Three-D Issue 23: Women’s Media Studies Network report

millyMilly Williamson
Brunel University

2013/14 was an active year for the Women’s network. We kicked of the year with a well attended panel at the MeCCSA conference in Bournmouth in January 2014, entitled Essex: Formations of Gender, Class and Culture. Anita Biressi and Faye Woods critically engaged with the symbolic and lived significance of Essex, Essex Man and Essex Girl as emblems of (white) working-class politics, culture and consumption. They considered the ways in which popular fascination and anxiety about shifting patterns of class allegiance and working-class social mobility became attached to people from Essex from the 1980s to the current day. They also pointed to the ways in which this politics of class and class-based fascination is cross-hatched with that of gender and sexuality and how this is played out in popular and lived culture.

In April the network co-sponsored (with the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures, Roehampton) a highly successful conference entitled Sex and the City Ten Years On: Landmark Television and its Legacy. Organised by Deborah Jermyn. See previous Three-D for detailed report.

In November we also co-sponsored (with the ESRC and with City’s Gender and Sexualities Research Forum and the femgensex network at Middlesex) two events on ‘Intergenerational Feminisms. The first event was in early November and had a wonderful mix of speakers, such as Lynn Segal and two school girls who had set up a feminist club at their school. The event was packed, with a multi-generational audience and there was a very interesting debate. The organisers hope to post a video of the event shortly, (and we will put this on the network site) as well as the transcription. The Gender and Education Association are also going to showcase a series of blogs from the event. This was followed up in late November with a very successful round table event on Intergenerational Feminist Media Studies which explored the interconnections between different generations in the contemporary media landscape. It looked at the key conflicts and points of contact between women, as well as exploring the different generational climates that feminists must negotiate. It asked: What kind of shared conversations do women have across age groups? How can intergenerational alliances be built while still remaining sensitive to differences of experience? How can we build sustainable models of feminism across generations?

The Women’s network is open to suggestions from any member for future events. We can offer small amounts of funding for most events and are keen to open out network events to as many members as possible. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you would like to become more involved in the network in an organisational capacity, please do contact me – we are always happy to welcome new faces.

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