A message from Rosie Walters and Dan Godshaw, GRG conveners 2015/16

Dear all

We'd like to invite you to the first Gender Reading Group session of the academic year on:

Wednesday 21st October at 1-2pm, G2, 10 Priory Road.

We will meet roughly every month to discuss research on gender, sexuality, feminism, and men's studies, hoping to spark further reflection and exchange on salient research and political agendas relating to gender. The group is participant-led and open to all at the university - undergraduate, postgraduate and staff. We encourage those from all faculties to come along to create inter-disciplinary debates.

To kick us off, the reading for the first week will be: Weidhase, N. (2015) ''Beyoncé feminism' and the contestation of the black feminist body', Celebrity Studies, 6:1, pp.128-131.

This short reading explores the debate on the extent to which Beyoncé can be considered feminist. We wanted this initial material to be accessible, fun and controversial, and we hope that it sparks an interesting conversation.  It also taps into important debates about what it means to be a feminist, whether the feminist movement is inclusive, and the influence of popular culture and celebrity.  There are also two short video clips to watch, which give different perspectives on this issue.  The first is from a debate featuring bell hooks, in which she calls Beyoncé a ‘terrorist’ for the impact her performances will have on girls and young women.  The debate is two hours long, but the most relevant sections for us are 37:16-41:30 and 45.43- 49.33. The second is an 11 minute long TED talk from Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist, arguing that a woman who proclaims to be a feminist should be taken at her word .

The first meeting will also have an organisational component - to work out timeslots, format, and material for future meetings, so please do come along, give your input and help shape the series. 

The group is now co-convened by Rosie Walters (rosie.walters@bristol.ac.uk) and Dan Godshaw (dan.godshaw@bristol.ac.uk) so please send any queries to us.

You may also want to put the date for the next meeting in your diaries - Wednesday 25th Nov, 1-2pm at the same venue. We will collectively decide on the reading material for that during the first session.  If you are unable to attend the Wednesday lunchtime slot then please let us know as we are open to changing the format for sessions in 2016.

We really hope to see you there!

Dan and Rosie

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