Theory, Practice, Research
This conference, co-hosted by the Onscenity Research and the School of Arts and the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University, will take place on April 20-22 at Brunel Univesrsity, London, UK.
Keynote and plenary speakers are:
Kath Albury, Senior Lecturer, Journalism and Media Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
Feona Attwood, Professor of Sex, Communication and Culture, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Martin Barker, Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia, UK
Meg Barker, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Open University, UK
Judith Halberstam, Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, US
Katrien Jacobs, Associate Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sharif Mowlabocus, Lecturer in Media Studies, University of Sussex, UK
Susanna Paasonen, Professor of Media Studies, University of Turku, Finland
Fiona Patten, Australian Sex Party
Julian Petley, Professor of Screen Studies, Brunel University, UK
Clarissa Smith, Reader in Sexual Cultures, University of Sunderland, UK
The themes of the conference are:
Sex and technology
Technologies – from print, photography, film and video to today’s online and mobile media, as well as toy, doll, machine and robot manufacture, pharmaceuticals, and surgical procedures are central to the ways in which sex is understood and experienced in contemporary societies. Increasingly technologies are integrated into everyday sex lives. What do they mean for the way we understand what sex is? What do they tell us about the shifting relations between bodies and technologies of all kinds?
The regulation of sex
Sexuality and the ways in which it is represented are the focus of government policy and subject to various forms of regulation. In democratic societies, sexuality is generally thought to be the domain of the private and personal, yet vast amounts of institutional effort and resources are invested in what has come to be called moral regulation. What are the limits of the legally possible today, both in terms of sexual behaviour and representation, and what are the various means employed to encourage us to behave ‘properly’ in the sexual domain?
Sex work has become a potent site for the discussion of labour, commerce and sexual ethics. How can we develop our understanding of commercial sex, conceptualize emerging types of sexual labour, and explore the place of sex work in contemporary society? What light can this shed on cultural production, industry, commerce, and notions of commodification and labour? How should we research the ethics and politics of sexual labour? How are sex work, leisure and pleasure related? How can we understand sex work as forms of bodily and affective labour?
Researching everyday sex
Research into sexuality is often caught in a politics of anxiety, constructed as something that needs to be carefully managed. But sexuality is also understood as intrinsic to our sense of identity, an indicator of mental and emotional health, a form of intimate communication and individual fulfillment, and a site of pleasure and play. How can we best study the diverse sexual identities, practices, representations, and values that make up everyday sexual life, examine the politics and ethics of researching everyday sexualities, and explore the lived realities of sex in the quotidian?