Why Gender Matters: A Sydney Ideas forum

23 February 2012

A leading international thinker in the field of gender and cultural studies, Professor Sara Ahmed, will feature in a Sydney Ideas panel this week that will explore the topic 'Why Gender Matters'.

Gender studies is a dynamic interdisciplinary field that examines how gender, sexuality and race structure social and cultural relations. To coincide with Professor Sara Ahmed's visit to Sydney as part of Mardi Gras's Queer Thinking event, four scholars working in gender studies will join her to discuss why gender matters and what gender studies has made possible for scholars and thinkers.

The event is chaired by renowned gender studies scholar Professor Elspeth Probyn and features the work of upcoming and internationally recognised University of Sydney scholars and alumni working on projects that showcase the scope and breadth of the field.

The panel

Sara Ahmed is an Australian and British academic who is currently Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. She works at the intersection of feminist, queer and critical race studies. Her recent books include: Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects and Others (2006); The Promise of Happiness (2010) and On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, which is forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2012.

Elspeth Probyn (chair) is the Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney and is a renowned international scholar working across the fields of media, material cultural studies, affect and emotion. Her current research focuses on bio-cultural sustainability.

Gilbert Caluya is a Research Fellow of the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia. He was awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to investigate how intimacy is used to manage Muslim populations in Australia. His research explores the connections between racism, intimacy and security.

Annalise Pippard is a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney currently researching queer archives and Susan Sontag. She received the 2011 University Medal for Gender Studies Honours with her thesis 'At the Ladies Baths'.

Jennifer Germon lectures in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her recently published book Gender: A Genealogy of an Idea (2009) offers a conceptual history of gender intertwined with a history of intersex in the modern era.

Sara Ahmed's visit to the University of Sydney is supported by the School of Philosophical and Historical Enquiry (SOPHI) Strategic Development Fund.

The event is part of two days of discussion and activity on the part of SOPHI's 'Sexuality and Space' working group. A one-day conference, 'Researching Intimacy, Sexuality and Space', will be held on 24 February at the University of Sydney.

This Sydney Ideas lecture is co-presented with the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, at the University of Sydney.

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Contact: Kath Kenny

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