Previous Events

“Gendered Spaces” Symposium

We are delighted to announce that our Postgraduate Symposium on “Gendered Spaces” took place on Thursday 19th May 2016 at the University of Reading. Please see programme and conference description below:


Registration: 9.00-9.45 (HumSSG 86)
Time Speaker Title Chair
9.45-10.00 Organisers Welcome & Introduction
10.00-10.30 Yanos Soubieski Gender Identity as a Space of Struggle Sophie Payne
10.30-11.00 Ana Tomcic Who can enter the 4th dimension? Gender, Class and Transcendental Eroticism in H.D. and Freud
11.00-11.30 Eleri Lloyd Examining gender and space from the point of view of architecture as a creative act
Break: 11.30 – 12.00 (HumSS G74)

Flash papers

(5 minutes)

Kirsty Bolton “That theire husbands shuld neuer see them in theyr child bed”: the fairy covenant and male exclusion from the childbirth room Tabitha Stanmore
Jorge Alberto Torres Between heaven and hell: Analysis of the stability in same-sex adoption policy in Colombia
Stephen Heptinstall During Snow & Sickness: Experiencing the Shared Space of the Farmhouse
Mariana Howell Literary representations of motherhood and madness
Netta Chachamu Equality and Diversity training at UK universities
Steven Roberts The World’s First Widescreen Queen: Staging Elizabeth II in CinemaScope Newsreels
Fiona Cameron Outside In – The New Domestic
Lunch: 1.00-2.00 (HumSS G74)
2.00-2.30 Kay Westoby The Body as Gendered Space: Menstruation, Contraception and Intrusion Maria Tomlinson
2.30-3.00 Jennie Lewis Boxing’s Manhood Formula: Hegemonic Masculinity and its influences on Early 20th Century Male Heterosexuality and Homosexuality
3.00-3.30 Lucy Elkerton What could mosaics tell us about gender discourses in Roman Iberia?
Break: 3.30-4.00 (HumSS G74)
4.00-4.30 Vicky Jassey Sounds of Change: “La Linea Africana” and Batà Performance as Gender Advocacy in Cuba Charlotte Scull
4.30-5.00 Ayan Salaad Writing Women into Somalian Narratives of the Sea
5.00-5.30 Adam Vaughan Identity Performance in LGBTQ+ Documentary
Closing discussion: 5.30-6.00
Post-Conference Dinner & Drinks (location tbc)


Call for Papers:

“Gendered Spaces”

The Gender and Sexuality Cluster of the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership is hosting an interdisciplinary one-day postgraduate symposium on the theme of “Gendered Spaces” on the Thursday, 19th May, at the University of Reading. The symposium is open to all postgraduates (MA and PhD) and early career researchers (including postdocs) from SWW DTP-affiliated universities (Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Aberystwyth, Bath, Bath Spa, Southampton and Reading). The aim of the day is to bring together researchers from different disciplines and using different academic approaches to find a common language to talk about issues of gender, sex, sexuality and the body.

What do we mean by “Gendered Spaces”? We would like the interpretation of the theme to be as broad as possible, but we have included a few examples below:

o Physical spaces (e.g. buildings and institutions, the home, private v public spaces) and gendered transformations of spaces

o Theoretical spaces (e.g. applying gendered theory or gendered perspectives , postcolonial and racial critiques)

o Virtual spaces (e.g. online communities, blogging)

o Cognitive and linguistic spaces (e.g. gender and psychology, the media)

o Embodied space/the body as space (e.g. body as theatre, gender performativity)

o Phenomenological spaces (lived experience of spaces)

Networking Day, 6th November 2015

The very first official Gender and Sexuality Cluster event took place on 6th November at Reading University. This event was organised by Sophie Payne and Maria Tomlinson who would like to thank the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership for funding this valuable networking opportunity.

sophie's presentation cropd
Sophie’s presentation of feminist protest

Sophie kicked off the day’s activities by setting out the aims and programme of the event. Sophie also added that she, alongside co-founder Maria, hoped that the cluster would provide a safe environment for PhD students in which they could discuss their research ideas. She commented that gender and sexuality was a theme common to many of the SWWDTP doctoral students’ projects and therefore the cluster provided a fantastic opportunity for interdisciplinary, yet focussed, discussion.

Indeed, the variety of PhD work on show paid testament to the interdisciplinarity of the research undertaken by members of the cluster. Each PhD student spoke for around 5 minutes about his or her research and the ways in which it incorporated aspects of gender and/or sexuality. The following researchers and projects were presented on the day:

maria's presentation edt
Maria’s presentation on Women’s Writing in French

Maria Tomlinson: Silenced Bodies: The Unspeakable in Francophone Women’s Writing

Sophie Payne: Representations of Contemporary Feminist Protest in Germany and the UK

Ana Tomcic: Uncanny Subjects – Social Violence, Psychoanalytic Justification and Modernist Subversion

Anna Field: ‘Intimate Crime’ in early modern England and Wales, 1660-1760

Tabitha Stanmore: Masculine Magic: The perception and evolution of male magical practitioners in medieval and early modern England

Vicky Jassey: Bataleras on the Frontline: Gender Narratives in Cuban Batá Performance

james' presentation edt
James presenting ancient lead figures found in Sparta

Lola Breaux: Aesthetics of absence in the films by Otto Preminger

James Lloyd: Music and Ritual in Ancient Sparta: the lead votive figurines of the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia

Charlie Crouch: The Courtenay Heiresses: Aristocratic Prestige, Female Agency and Royal Control in Thirteenth Century France


After each presentation there was a Q and A during which cluster members had the opportunity to dig deeper into issues pertaining to gender and sexuality that were mentioned in the presentation. For example, Maria’s paper inspired an exchange about the taboo nature of the menopause across the ages, such as in pre-modern, Shakespearian, and recent times. Vicky’s paper led to an interesting discussion on whether the fact that some women have slowly been allowed to play the Bataleras drum, which is traditionally taboo to them, reflected changing attitudes in Cuba towards women. Lola’s work on the films of Preminger sparked a conversation about whether the lack of gender stereotyping in his films was actually a subversive and a deliberate choice. Many lively debates also occurred over tea and coffee such as on attitudes towards women in academia, the changing meaning over time of the word ‘feminism’, children’s attitudes to gender, and how schools should treat transgender children.

vicky's presentation ed
Q and A session with Vicky

The day was brought to a close with a discussion on future activities for the cluster. We agreed that we would like to organise a conference for May 2016. The theme ‘Gendered Space’, as suggested by member Ayan Salaad, was unanimously selected for the upcoming conference. There was also mention of the possibility of setting up a reading group and holding a methodology day during which members would outline the methodologies they employ in their research. The majority of the conversation was focussed on the ways in which the cluster could engage with the public. Ideas included a film club, giving talks in museums, and working with schools.

Maria and Sophie would like to thank all who attended and funded this event. Those present could envisage an exciting future for the cluster and looked forward to continuing many of the conversations that started during the day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s