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Feminist Cultural Studies: Theories and Methodologies



Date:
November 15-17, 2007

Deadline for application:
September 25, 2007

Venue:
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

Teachers:
Dr. Cecilia Åsberg, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and Linköping university, Sweden.
Dr. Lena Martinsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
Dr. Anne Scott Sörensen, University of Southern Denmark,
Dr. Charlotte Krolökke, University of Southern Denmark

Coordinators:
Dr. Anne Scott Sorensen - in collaboration with the Director of the Research School, Prof. Nina Lykke.

Course description:
The aim of the course is to explore the intersections of feminist and cultural studies and expand on feminist cultural studies as a particular approach to cultural phenomena, grounded in a dynamic set of theories, methodologies and topics. During the course, we shall address the interlocutions between feminist and cultural studies. Focus will be put on recent concerns and in particular the crises in and for the critical project of feminist/cultural studies in the wake of all the ‘posts’: post-structuralism, post-socialism, post-colonialism, post-feminism and even post-humanism. The crisis has been met by different attempts at reformulation such as the turn to performance and positioning theory, cyborg theory and material semiotics, queer and transgender theories and politics etc. These theoretical and methodological endeavours will be illustrated from the point-of-view of selected themes and subjects.

Lectures:
1) Introduction to Feminist Cultural Studies: Histories, Theories and Analysis
1) Cecilia Åsberg: Feminist, Cultural and Visual Studies: Approaching the Genetic Imaginary in the Intersection of Science and Popular Media.
2) Charlotte Krolökke: Performing the Spermatic and Fetal Subject: Reproduction in Visual Consumer Culture.
3) Anne Scott Sörensen: Digital Diaries: The Everyday, the Ordinary, and the Self. The Gendered Aesthetics of Digital Culture.
4) Lena Martinsson: Doing Gender, Doing Class and Economy?


The course will include three kinds of sessions:
1) Lecture-discussion-sessions
2) Group sessions
2) Workshops on students’ papers.


The course starts Nov. 15 (morning) and ends Nov. 17 at 16.00.
Arrival Nov. 14 (evening).

The course will be held at Severin Kursuscenter, Skovsvinget 25,
5500 Middelfart (www.severinkursuscenter.dk). There are no meals at Severin Kursuscenter on Nov. 14.

Programme:

9.00-9.15 Welcome

9.15-12.00 (with coffee break 10.30):
Introduction (Cecilia Åsberg, Charlotte Krolökke, Lena Martinsson, Anne Scott Sörensen)
The teachers will each address the following three questions:
- Our different ways into Feminist Cultural Studies
- The first research projects: themes, theories, methodologies etc.
- How has our thinking and research changed and why?

Readings:
Thornham, Sue (2001): Feminist Theory and Cultural Studies: Stories of Unsettled Relations. New York: Edward Arnold.
Blackman, Lisa & Walkerdine, Valerie (2001): Mass Hysteria. Critical Psychology and Media Studies. Hampshire: Palgrave. (Reading for the session by Lena Martinsson)

12.00 Lunch

13.30-16.30 ( coffee break at 15.00):
Cecilia Åsberg: Feminist, Cultural and Visual Studies: Approaching the Genetic Imaginary in the Intersection of Science and Popular Media.

This lecture will provide a limited and partial map of approaches within
Feminist Studies, Science & Technology Studies and Cultural Studies as
Visual Studies that are useful for exploring the genetic imaginary.
During the course of the lecture examples will be drawn from science
journals, popular science media and science fiction film. In the visual
culture of popular genetics the boundaries between fact and fiction,
science proper and popular culture are highly permeable. Such overlaps
can be explored through the notion of “popular/science” and other
analytical concepts emerging from the intersection of Feminist Visual
Studies of Technoscience.

Required Readings (reader):
Constable, Catherine (1999) “Becoming the Monster’s Mother”. In: Kuhn, Annette (ed) Alien Zone II. London: Verso, pp. 173-202.
Creed, Barbara (1993) The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism and Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge, pp. 1-30 (Introduction, Ch. 1, 2).
Haraway, Donna (1997) “Gene: Maps and Portraits of Life Itself”. In: Modest_Witness@Second _Millennium. New York, London: Routledge, pp. 131-172.
Hurley, Kelly (1995) “Reading Like an Alien: Posthuman Identity in Ridley Scott’s Alien and
David Crononberg’s Rabid”. In: Halberstam, Judith & Ira Livingston (eds) Posthuman Bodies. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 203-224.

Instructions for reading and film screening:
Instead of Marsha Kinder’s article, the last on the list of required
reading, I will elaborate on two articles by Nina Lykke (2002): “Feminist Cultural Studies of Technoscience and Other Cyborg Studies: A Cartography”, pp. 133-143 in The Making of European Women¿s Studies, vol 4, and, Nina Lykke (2008) “Feminist Cultural Studies of Technoscience: Portrait of an Implosion” in (eds. Smelik, Anneke & Nina Lykke): Bits of Life. Washington University Press (forthcoming, 2008).
(the two articles will be e-mailed to you).

Regarding film screening, only Alien Resurrection (1997, Jean-Pierre
Jeunet) and GATTACA (1997, Andrew Nichol) are required to view on
beforehand as they will be touched upon in the lecture.


Recommended films:
Alien (1979, Ridley Scott); Aliens (1986, James Cameron); Conceiving Ada (1997, Lynn Hershman Leeson); Species II (1997, Peter Medak); Bladerunner (1982, Ridley Scott); GI Jane (1997, Ridley Scott); Blue Steel (1990, Kathryn Bigelow).

Recommended readings:
Boss, Pete (1986) “Vile Bodies and Bad Medicine”. In: Screen, vol 27, no 1, pp.14-28.
Braidotti, Rosi (1994) “Mothers, Monsters and Machines”. In: Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. New York: Colombia University Pres, pp. 75-95.
Brophy, Philip (1986) “Horrality – the Textuality of Contemporary Horror Films”. In: Screen, vol 27, no 1, pp. 2-14.
Clover, Carol (1992) “Her Body, Himself”. In: Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Princeton: Princeton University Pres, pp 21-64.
Flanagan, Martin (1999) “The Alien Series and Generic Hybridity”. In: Cartmell, Deborah et al (eds) Alien Identities: Exploring Difference in Film and Fiction. London: Pluto Press, pp. 156-171.
Hayles, N. Katherine (1999) How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics. Chicago: Chicago University Press, pp. xi-xiv, pp. 1-24 (Preface and Ch. 1).
Jennings, Ros (1995) “Desire and Design: Ripley Undressed”. In: Wilton, Tamsin (ed) Immortal, Invisible: Lesbians and the Moving Image. London: Routledge, pp. 193-206.
Kavangh, James, H. (1990) “Feminism, Humanism and Science in Alien”. In Kuhn, Annette (ed) Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema. London: Verso, pp. 73-81.
Kristeva, Julia (1982) Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, New York: Colombia University Press.
Linton, Patricia (1999) “Aliens (M)Others, Cyborgs: The Emerging Ideology of Hybridity”. In Cartmell, Deborah et al (eds) Alien Identities: Exploring Difference in Film and Fiction. London: Pluto Press, pp. 172-186.
Newton, Judith (1990) “Feminism and Anxiety in Alien”. In: Kuhn, Annette (ed) Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema. London: Verso, pp. 82-87.
Russo, Mary (1994) The Female Grotesque: Risk, Excess and Modernity. London: Routledge, pp. 65-98.
Sobchack, Vivian (1991) “Child/Alien/Father: Patriarchal Crisis and Generic Exchange”. In: Penley, Constance et al (eds) Close Encounters: Film, Feminism and Science Fiction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 3-33.
Stacey, Jackie (2003) “She Is Not Herself: the Deviant Relations of Alien Resurrection”. In: Screen, vol. 44, no. 3, pp 251-276.


17.00-18.00: Workshops (presentation and discussion of students¿ papers in 4 groups).

19.00: Dinner

Day 2
9.00-12.00 (coffee break 10.30):
Charlotte Kroløkke: Performing the Spermatic and Fetal Subject: Reproduction in Visual Consumer Culture.

This lecture will center the positioning of the spermatic and fetal subject as evidenced in the selling of Danish sperm in the United States and in the use of 3D and 4D ultrasound imagery. The company in question strategically and playfully positions Vikings as the earliest discovers of North America and extends this image to the “high quality” sperm that is able to go where no other sperm has successfully gone before, creating “new-age” Vikings who frequently take their voyages to local kindergartens and challenge their environments with the curiosity and tenacity characteristic of Vikings. In the case of ultrasound images, 3D and 4D ultrasound imagery provide prospective parents with a never-before-seen visit to the fetal world. Here you are presented with a real-time window into the worlds of the unborn which accompanied with the midwife’s narration positions the fetal subject as “one who looks like dad,” “plays the guitar,” “smiles and giggles,” or has a “quiet and contemplative moment.” In the lecture the website of Scandinavian Cryobank and the websites of private midwifery clinics will help illustrate the workings of feminist consumer and visual theory.

Required readings:
Baudrillard, Jean (1998): “The Order of Simulacra”. In: Symbolic Exchange and Death. New York, London: Sage Publications, pp. 50-86.
Davies-Floyd, R. & Dumit, J. (eds) (1998) “Introduction”. In: Cyborg Babies. From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots. New York and London: Routledge Press, pp. 1-20.
Jansson, André (2002) “The Mediatization of Consumption”. In: Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 2 (1), pp. 5-31.
Moore, L. J. (2002) “Extracting Men from Semen. Masculinity in Scientific Representations of Sperm”. In: Social Text 73, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 91-119.
Taylor, Janelle S. (2000) ”Of Sonograms and Baby Prams: Prenatal Diagnosis, Pregnancy and Consumption”. In: Feminist Studies, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 391-418.
Taylor, Janelle S. (2002) “The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram and the Work of the Sonographer”. In: Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography vol. 18. no. 6, pp. 367-379.

Recommended readings:
Morgan, L. (2003) “Embryo Tales”. In: Franklin, S. & Lock, M. (eds) Remaking Life and Death: Towards an Anthropology of the Biosciences. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, pp. 261-292.
Petchesky, R. P. (1987) “Fetal Images: The Power of Visual Culture in the Politics of Reproduction”. In: Feminist Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 263-292.
Taylor, Janelle S. (1992) “The Public Fetus and the Family Car: From Abortion Politics to a Volvo Advertisement”. In: Public Culture, vol 4., no. 2, pp. 67-80.
Thompson, C. (2005) Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Ch. 1, 2, 8).
Treichler, P. A. & Cartwright, L. (1992) “Imaging Technologies, Inscribing Science: Introduction”. In: Camera Obscura, vol. 28, pp. 5-20.


12.00 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Workshops

15.00 Coffee

16.00-19.00
Anne Scott Sörensen: Digital diaries: The Everyday, the Ordinary and the Self. The Gendered Aesthetics of Digital Culture.

In this lecture, I shall introduce to the subject of digital media from a feminist cultural and media studies perspective, often termed cyberfeminism. Within this overall framework, I shall address the question of gender, genre and mediatization, and in particular expand on the reconfiguration of diary writing in the personal (we)blog in terms of the gendered codings of the everyday, the ordinary and the self. In doing so, I shall comment on the recent turn to affect and emotional politics within feminist media and cultural studies, and in particular discuss the potentials of performance theory and methodology in addressing digital aesthetics. In order to have a common framework and a case to refer to, I recommend that you take a closer look at http://www.dooce.com/ (in English) and http://www.spacemermaid1001.dk/ (in Danish).

Required Readings:
Anderson, Linda (2006) “Autobiography and the Feminist Subject”. In: Ellen Rooney (ed): The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory. New York: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 6.
Dijck, José van (2005) “Composing the Self: Of Diaries and Lifelogs”. Fibreculture, iss. 3, 15. p.
Felski, Rita (2000) “The Invention of Everyday Life”. In: Doing Time. NY, New York: New York University Press, pp. 77-96.
Kennedy, Helen (2003) “Technobiography: Researching Lives, Online and Off”. Biography, vol. 26, no.1, pp 120-139.
Langellier, Kristin M. (1999) “Personal Narrative, Performance, Performativity: Two or Three Things I Know for Sure”. In: Text and Performance Quarterly, vol. 19, pp. 125-144.
Lejeune, Philippe (1989) “The Autobiographical Pact”. In: On Autobiography. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 3-29.
Walker, Jill (2005) Mirrors and Shadows: The Digital Asthetisation of Oneself. Paper, represented at Digital Arts and Culture 2005, Dec. 1-3 in Copenhagen. www.jilltxt.net, 14 p.

Recommended Readings:
Herring, Susan & John C. Paolillo (2006): “Gender and Genre Variation in Weblogs”. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10 (4), pp. 439-459.
Karlsson, Lena (2006) “Acts of Reading Diary Weblogs”. In: HUMAN IT, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 1-59.
Anne Scott Sörensen (2007) “Digital Media and Cyberculture: A Nordic and Feminist Approach”. In: Elm Sveningsson, M. & Sundén, J. (eds) Cyberfeminism in Northern Lights. UK, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 265-278.
Sörensen, Anne Scott (2006) “MARIEBERING.DK og Annepanne.dk. Weblog’en som performativ selvfortælling. In: Birgit Eriksson et al (eds.): Smagskulturer og formidlingsformer. Aarhus: Klim, pp. 189-214.
Sörensen, Anne Scott (2006): Om livet i al almindelighed. Den personlige blog mellem det private og det offentlige. http://www.high-tension-aesthetics.com/arbejdspapirer.htm, 15 p.


19.00 Dinner

Day 3
9.00-12.00 (coffee break 10.30)
Lena Martinsson: Doing gender, Doing Class and Economy?

In this lecture, I shall discuss the relation between class and gender in Cultural Studies today. How is class understood in relation to gender at a time when elaborated poststructuralist, postmarxist, postcolonial and queer studies are at the focus of the field? My point of departure will be the theoretical and empirical works of Judith Butler, Nancy Fraser, Chantal Mouffe and Beverly Skeggs, and how they understand the relation between economy, sexuality and gender. Next, I will give examples of constructions of gender and class, taken from studies I have conducted on strategies for gender equality and diversity in the Swedish educational system, and at a European industrial concern. How is class constructed in the endeavour to get “youths from non-academic homes”, as we say in Sweden, to higher education? And what sorts of class constructions are reiterated in the rhetoric to normalise the existence of female leaders at industrial concerns? Finally, how are technology and economy made intelligible through images of gender and sexuality in industrial production? In the lecture, post-marxism as well as queer theory will be of significant importance.


Required readings:
Blackman, Lisa & Walkerdine, Valerie (2001) Mass Hysteria. Critical Psychology and Media Studies. Hampshire: Palgrave, pp.1-38 + 59-69 (see readings/books).
Butler, Judith (1998) “Merely Culture”. In: New Left Review 1/227, Jan-Feb 1998, pp. 33-44.
Fraser, Nancy (1998) “Heterosexism. Misrecognition and Capitalism: a response to Judith Butler.” New Left Review 1/228, Mar-Apr 1998, pp.140-150.
Mouffe, Chantal (1992) “Feminism, Citizenship and Radical Democratic Politics”. In: Butler, J. & Scott, J.W. (eds): Feminists Theorize the Political. NY, New York: Routledge, pp. 369-384.
Young, Iris Marion (1990), “Displacing the Distributive Paradigm”. In: Justice and the Politics of Difference. NJ, Princetown: Princetown University Press pp. 15-33.

Further readings (choose one of the books below):
Halberstam, Judith (2005) In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies and Subcultural Lives. NY, New York: New York University Press.
Martinsson, Lena (2006) Jakten på Konsensus. Intersektionalitet och marknadsekonomisk vardag. Malmö: Liber.
Skeggs, Beverley (1997) Formations of Class and Gender. London: Sage.

12.00 Lunch

13.00-15.00 Workshops

15.00 Coffee

15.15-16.00 Evaluation

16.00 Departure


A reader will be sent out; however, participants must purchase or borrow the books - (incl. the one by Blackman, Lisa, & Walkerdine, Valerie, 2001, Mass Hysteria. Critical Psychology and Media Studies) - and films/videos/DVDs themselves.



Applicants:
25 applicants, 21 participants: Denmark/Poland 2, Estonia 1, Finland 7, Hungary 1, Norway 3, Poland 2, Sweden 4 (1 self-paying), UK 1 (self-paying).

 


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