GenSex: Gender and Sexuality Research Group

17th May 2010, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Edge Hill University

GenSex – Edge Hill University’s Gender and Sexuality Research Group – is holding its final session of the academic year on Monday 17th May 2010, from 4pm-6pm, in room M42 in the Main Building at the Ormskirk Campus.

The Gender and Sexuality Research Group is an inter-disciplinary group which promotes research into gender and sexuality studies.

Speaker One: Trishima M. Kahn, Keele University

‘Holler back, Girl! Cyberfeminist Practice & Emergent Culture: Online Feminism in Urban India’

In this paper, I explore the emerging practice of cyberfeminist organising in urban India. In India, until recently, feminists have hitherto organised their activism mostly via the NGO model. The Blank Noise project, an online public arts project that seeks to confront street sexual harassment, is perhaps India’;s first online feminist activist group. Based on participant (web)observation, blog analyses, and interviews with the members and coordinators of the Blank Noise Project, I present a introductory narrative of what such online organising, or cyberfeminist practice as I call it, looks like.

By analysing the genesis of the group, its campaigns and discourses on tackling gender violence, I am interested in a discursive analysis of how women can appropriate the Internet for activism. I do so by documenting how the Blank Noise Project uses the spaces afforded to them by the Internet to communicate positions, connect people, challenge hegemonic discourses on women in public spaces, and organise both online and offline protest.

Feminist activism in India has been theorised as a site for debate and discourse in the plural, with a panoply of voices that speak and are heard. Hence, I add to this by making the case for (re)imagining Indian feminist activism as a site composed not only of multiple speech acts, texts, and practices, but as one that is composed of multiple temporal spaces as well.

Trishima M. Kahn is a Research Associate at Keele University where she works on sexual harassment in public spaces. Her doctoral thesis looked at the performative aspects of cyberfeminist organising in urban India. Her work on gender and violence has been published in ‘Current Sociology’, in edited book chapters, and is forthcoming in a special edition of ‘Contributions to Indian Sociology’.

Speaker Two: Daniele Pantano, Department of English and History, Edge Hill University

A reading of this contemporary poet’s work, followed by discussion of his writings focuses on gender, power, and sexuality.

Daniele Pantano is a poet, translator, critic and editor. He was appointed at Edge Hill University in January 2008, having previously taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in creative writing, translation theory, film, cultural studies, comparative literature, and contemporary American and British literature at the University of South Florida and, as the Visiting Poet-in-Residence, at Florida Southern College.

Contact Details

Would you like to give a paper to GenSex or lead us in a workshop or seminar? Interdisciplinary research-based debates, presentations and art installations are always welcome. Topics can include… masculinities, feminisms, gender theories, queer studies, sexuality and subversion, bodily narratives and transgendered identities… just contact Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards by emailing