Semester 2 2021/2022

Every Wednesday @ 2

Free, public, online

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Masculinities on the Side: Homosexism, Hegemonic Masculinities and Sexualities

Dr Angelos Bollas, Dublin City University, Ireland

Wednesday 19 January 2022 (DCU week 4) @ 2

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Abstract:  Following the work of Hellman, this talk examines homosexism (the stigmatization of non-penetrative sexual activities of men who have sex with men as nonsexual practices) in relation to hegemony, masculinity, and sexuality theories. In doing so, it discusses the function of sides, men who have sex with men but do not engage in penetrative sexual practices, in relation to the maintenance of established, normative, and damaging notions of masculinities. The central question this talk addresses is what the significance of the stigmatization of sides. In addressing this question, the potential of sides to facilitate and inhibit normative hegemonic structures is considered, while more in-depth research is deemed necessary. The aim of this talk is to extend the discussion on homosexism, acknowledge non-penetrative sexual practices as legitimate forms of sexual expression, and encourage further scholarly research that focuses on the potential of sides to challenge and subvert established normative understandings of genders and sexualities, as well as the power structures that are involved in the construction of such understandings.

Biography:  Angelos Bollas is a doctoral researcher at Dublin City University investigating representations of HIV/AIDS suffering in post-Trump culture. He is interested on matters related to masculinity and sexuality studies. 

Beyond Erasure/erasure: A Case-Study in LGBTQIA+ Dance Music Analysis [cancelled]

Dr Karishmeh Felfeli-Crawford, University College Cork, Ireland

Wednesday 26 January 2022 (DCU week 3) @ 2 

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Abstract:  This presentation introduces you to the politics of analysing and writing about dance music in academia, especially when the culture-bearers are living British (or “Western”) LGBTQIA+ artists and the analyst is a non-Western music scholar (such as myself). I achieve this by recontextualising theoretical frameworks found in the work of Aaron A. Fox (2004), Audra Simpson (2014), Michael Tenzer (2006; 2011) and Jonathan P. J. Stock (2021), which I consider through case-study analysis of British synthpop band Erasure. Comprising of synthesizer pioneer Vince Clarke (b.1960) and openly-gay, HIV+ singer Andy Bell (b. 1964), Erasure have been at the forefront of equality, visibility and representation in (Western) popular music and culture since their 1980s heyday. Within musicology and ethnomusicology, however, their vast musical output has received hardly any attention. My presentation addresses this problem via bespoke music analyses that elucidate vocality, form, function and tonality in Andy and Vince's many songs, including 1980s anthems "A Little Respect" and "Sometimes" to 2020's original album The Neon (Mute Records). Amplifying my positionality further (a millennial minority scholar analysing dance music that was not known to me growing up in a conservative 1990s India), I provide an accessible reading of Erasure that can be understood by the culture-bearers themselves, plus fans, fellow musicians, and scholars outside music academia. Acknowledging the provisionality of my analysis, I draw some conclusions about why Erasure’s music matters (to me), by connecting my analytical findings to broader groups and cultures within which Andy and Vince are known, including and especially ageing LGBTQIA+, HIV+/AIDS and healing, and as pioneers of what we now describe to be electronic dance music (EDM).

Biography: Karishmeh Felfeli-Crawford has recently completed a PhD at University College Cork, on the  analysis of popular music, notably the 1980s synthpop duo Erasure (Vince Clarke and Andy Bell), under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Stock and Dr Alexander Khalil, and with input from the band.  Karishmeh is a former examiner for the Royal Irish Academy of Music, a former presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a first-class honours graduate of University College Dublin's Masters in Musicology. An Indian born and educated scholar of Western music (including Mozart, on which she has published in JSMI 2019), Karishmeh is also project associate at the University of Huddersfield’s cutting-edge IRiMaS, and co-secretary of the Society for Ethnomusicology (US and Canada) SIG “Music Analysis”. Karishmeh’s recent publications include an article on decolonising music analysis via fusion band Indian Ocean’s song Kandisa in Ethnomusicology Forum (July 2021) edited by Shzr Ee Tan.

Violence, Gender, Masculinities and Abuse: Research Reflections 

Dr Melissa Corbally, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland &
Ms Aisling Callan, Dublin City University, Ireland 
Ms Sarah Jennings, Psychotherapist, Ireland

Wednesday 2 February 2022 (DCU week 2) @ 2 

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Aisling Callan is a PhD candidate at Dublin City University. Her interest in LGBTQ issues motivates her to facilitate the unfolding of stories of intimate partner violence as told by gay and bisexual men. She is currently the lead on a qualitative narrative study exploring how men experience abuse in same-sex relationships. Her interests also include violence, gender, and sexual minority-based research with a particular focus on shedding light on marginalised populations that have gone unheard in academic and broader social discourses.


Dr Corbally is senior lecturer in Trinity College Dublin. Dr Melissa Corbally's teaching interests in nurse education include patient assessment, narrative competence, recognition of deteriorating patients and clinical judgement and decision-making.   She has taught on violence, abuse and health has her research interests include domestic violence/abuse, narrative methods and nursing assessment. 


Sarah Jennings is a practicing psychotherapist who has recently completed her MSc in Psychotherapy at Dublin City University.  Her research thesis was entitled An Exploration of the Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence among Gay Men in Ireland .  She examined the lived experience of violence within gay relationships using interpretive phenomenological analysis.  She will be presenting findings relating to her research highlighting how private and public discourse influence identification and help seeking.  

“Jupiter Space”: Curating Zoe Sofia’s Paradigms of Exterminism, Excrementalism and Extraterrestrialism

Ms Estelle Benazet, Université Côte d’Azur, France & Ms Cindy Coutant, Université de Lille, France

Wednesday 9 February 2022 (DCU week 5) @ 2 

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Abstract: This session consists in the presentation and discussion of Jupiter Space, an exhibition (academic articles, advertising images, anonymous testimonies, drawings, internet memes, film extracts and newspaper cuts) which took place in the contemporary art space of Les Limbes, St Etienne, France (October 15/November 20 2021). The exhibition provided a curatorial reading of Zoë Sofia's academic article “Exterminating Foetuses: Abortion, Disarmament, and the Sexo-Semiotics of Extraterrestrialism” (Diacritics, “Nuclear Criticism”
special issue, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer, 1984). We, as curators, were both artists in residence and our work which originally consisted in translating Sofia’s article into French took us into
curating her works, translating it otherwise. Radical and humorous, cruelly actual, Zoë Sofia's article analyses the masculinist technical inventiveness through its most eloquent child, the movie “2001, A Space Odyssey” (S. Kubrick & C. Clarke), and more widely so through the culture of mainstream science fiction. Zoë Sofia borrows the expression “Jupiter Space” from A Space Odyssey and sees it as a masculinist mental space produced by the ideology of progress. Our curatorial space staged visually her analysis.
In the exhibition space, a conceptual matrix — illustrated in 1984 by Zoë Sofia as an appendix to her article —, was reproduced, captioned with the paradigms through which this mental space operates: "Exterminism"; "Excrementalism"; "Extraterrestrialism". The exhibition highlighted Zoë Sofia’s Sexo-semiotics inasmuch as on three walls the visitor was confronted to three of her main concepts: 1) “the cannibaleyes” of science which are inherited from enlightenment 2) a “logospermatechnos”, a language made up of objects, technologies and shapes and 3)“collapsed future”, a grammatical tense where the present tense cannot be as future as a time concept collapses. We, as artists, wanted to build upon her deconstruction of masculinist language and aimed to provide a re-construction. Hence a fourth wall, entitled “xenophilia” allowed for a point of view of the alien. In so doing, “Jupiter Space” became an intertextual hypertext. Our presentation will revolve around curating, science fiction, gender theory and collapsology.

Biographies:  Estelle Benazet Heugenhauser is a writer. Her works bring together theory and fiction; and are published as books (Bêcher son visage, 2020, Autre saison, 2021, ed. La Chambre verte; Le Régime parfait, Rotolux Press, 2022), in magazines (A.O.C; La Déferlante), read in exhibitions as public performances (Villa Belleville, Centre Pompidou), or in creative radiophonic programs (Radio Marais, DUUU radio). She works as production manager at Le Fresnoy Studio National des arts contemporains.
Cindy Coutant is a visual artist, performer and film maker who has performed and exhibited in Europe, Canada and Asia. Her installations, films and augmented readings are close to science fiction and belong to the genre of anticipation. Her works explore different issues: love at the time of technological espionage, affective economics, the grammar of anxiety, cyberotics or alternative narratives of the creation of the world.
They are co-editors of l4bouche, a new publishing company which develops a practice between art and research to investigate brutal realities born from late capitalism. 

Leonora Carrington’s Comic Eroticism

Dr Karla Segura Pantoja, CY Cergy-Paris Université, France 

Wednesday 16 February 2022 (DCU week 6) @ 2 

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Abstract: In 1959 André Breton organised an international surrealist show entitled EROS (Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalisme 1959-1960). The catalogue of this exhibition included contributions by André Breton, Hans Bellmer, Robert Lebel, Toyen, Man Ray and Leonora Carrington, to name but a few. Leonora Carrington’s contribution was a letter of instructions for an intricate installation where she elaborates on the concept of ‘comic eroticism’. In this talk we will firstly explore the synthesis of Surrealism’s conceptions of eroticism postulated in this exhibition. Then we shall examine the nature of Leonora Carrington’s letter, paying close attention to the use of black humour in regard of eroticism. Assessing the Surrealists' radical and erotic spatial and installation practice, we will seek to re-assert Leonora Carrington’s subversion against the surrealist idea of the muse and generally towards the traditional role of women.

Biography:  Dr Karla Segura Pantoja is a research associate at the LT2D research team at the CY Cergy Paris Université. She defended her thesis on the surrealists exile in Mexico in December 2018, for which she studied archival material in France, Mexico, Germany and the USA. She is member of the editorial board of the French Journal Cahiers Benjamin Péret since January 2017. She contributed to two digital library projects by the Bibliothèque Littéraire Jacques Doucet in Paris concerning the Archives of Modernity and Art Books of the  20th century. In 2018, she was granted a research stay at the Musée national Picasso de Paris. She has also collaborated with the Fundación Leonora Carrington in the constitution of its digital archives. Her lectures and writings deal with modern art and literature, with a special interest in Surrealism. She has undertaken artistic projects as the director of performances and playwriting. She has recently worked on Latin-American Surrealism for the Tate Modern and is currently translating and studying Leonora Carrington’s collected plays for their French edition. 

Everyday Bordering and the Struggle for Reproductive Justice in Ireland: Research Reflections

Sarah Bodelson, Malmö University, Sweden

 Wednesday 23 February 2022 (DCU week 7) @ 2

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This presentation explores state, regional and imagined national borders as sites of violence, struggle and knowledge production in the reproductive rights and justice movement in Ireland. In the lead up to and following upon the repeal of the 8th amendment in Ireland, contestations regarding the ‘success’ of the referendum and the limitations of the new Act have been prominent (e.g. Calkin, de Londras & Heathcote 2020). These contestations have been elaborated on for example in relation the failure of the referendum and legislation to “reconfigure Irish identity” as white, Catholic and settled (Rivetti 2019:181). Building on these deliberations of racial, gendered, sexed, classed and colonial boundary-making and hierarchisation in the movement, I focus attention on the implications of the state (e.g. Direct Provision) and transnational (EU) migration regime (see Yuval-Davis et al. 2020; Luibhéid 2013) on political mobilising and organising. I suggest that bordering and borders are key concepts to understand how the ‘modern’ neoliberal (and supposedly) democratic nation-state simultaneously grants and denies persons of their rights along hierarchies of gender, class, political categories, sexuality and race (e.g. Anthias 2021). This presentation lingers on the possibilities and challenges of employing the concepts of borders (Martinsson & Mulinari 2018; Mohanty 2003) and racial capitalism (Vergès 2020; Bhattacharyya 2018) to understand contestations and emerging translocal solidarities and political frameworks in the struggle for reproductive rights and justice in Ireland. 

Hi-Nrg – The Forgotten Queer Soundtrack of the 1980s

Mr David Carroll, Dublin City University, Ireland

Wednesday 2 March 2022 (DCU week 8) @ 2

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Abstract: It is only in recent decades that appraisal of pop music has gained footing in academic musicology studies. Intersections of pop and sexuality have been well documented, but this paper argues that comprehensive analysis of the genesis and impact of the 1980’s genre of pop music, Hi-Nrg, remains unrecorded.  

Emerging in underground queer clubs of the United States and Europe in the early 1980s, Hi-Nrg has always been particularly associated with gay culture. Born of the earlier musical style of Disco from which it emerged as sub-genre, this paper argues that its stand-alone characteristics and underacknowledged role as the soundtrack to queer lives in the 1980s warrants express categorisation. Typified by heavily synthesized instrumentation and vocals, frequently coupled with sexually suggestive and/or homo-erotic lyrics, the paper unearths the trajectory of the genre and its impact among queer audiences, a cohort often starved of cultural representation at the time. 

Attention is drawn to the instrumental role of ‘safe spaces’ utilised by sexual minority communities, most commonly in the form of bars and nightclubs, in the gestation of the genre. From these original D-I-Y roots, the paper will explore its rise and subsequent assimilation into one of the defining, omnipresent and yet short-lived pop sounds of the late 1980’s. Questions are also posed as to the genre’s eventual decline. A combination of encroaching music industry conservatism in the light of the emerging HIV/AIDS pandemic, of the genre itself being overshadowed by newly emerging dance music genres, and of the implications of its assimilation into the mainstream, are all presented as converging factors. 

 This webinar unearths the hidden history of Hi-Nrg, adding overdue testament to its reputation as a genre which like no other ‘embodied gay life on the dance floor’ (Jones and Jussi, 1999, p.145).

Biography:  Mr David Carroll is currently in the third year of his PhD in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) at Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. He is an Irish Research Council (IRC) Scholar. His research project, ‘Songs to Save Your Life: The Queer Messaging of 1980s Pop Music’ presents the argument that, despite ongoing societal and legislative prohibitors faced by many western queer populations, coupled in addition with the emergence of HIV/AIDS, the decade’s pop music was inherently queer in content. David has worked in a range of LGBTI organisations, including holding the role as CEO of BeLonG To, Ireland’s national queer youth organisation. His research interests also stem from this experience. David Carroll has lectured, and lectures on Queer studies, Music studies and Gender and Sexuality in general, on the MA in Sexuality Studies, the MA in Refugee Integration, as well as at undergraduate levels in SALIS. A member of EROSS (Expressions, Research Orientations: Sexuality Studies) he has been guest lecturer in several universities in Ireland, and has given papers at various sexuality conferences in areas of medical humanities and sexuality. 

Cihuateteos: The Urban Experience as a Mexican Woman 

Dr Orly Cortes, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Xochimilco, Mexico

Wednesday 9 March 2022 (DCU week 9) @ 7 *** please note time change

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Abstract: The act of flânerie is denied every day to women who inhabit Mexico City and its peripheries. This violence is mirrored in the artistic and  literary works that represent the Mexican Capital: where the longing for invisibility is a constant in novels written by female authors in the XXI century, and a demand for the right to live and navigate the city is present in the performance pieces by mexican artists. In this webinar, I will expose the orthogonal concept I propose to study the Mexican female urban experience: Cihuateteo Wandering.
The concept of flâneuse implies a European vision. Historically, the study of female artists and writers has not included many names in the canon. I believe it is necessary to revise the canon, and study the works of women in the 21st century. Furthermore, the texts and art pieces created by women reveal the harsh reality a female body has to encounter in Mexico City: they build a cartography of violence against women, that is often denied by Mexican authorities.
The term Cihuateteo Wandering is derived from the Aztec Goddess Cihuacóatl: who took care of women that died giving birth and warriors who died during a battle. She is accompanied by her doublings, the Cihuateteos. She wanders the city inciting fear, and walks around the lake in which the nation was mythologically founded. It is also said that her wailing was a premonition of the Spanish invasion. During colonial times, she became known as La Llorona, and across the centuries, giving rise to a  rise to a palimpsestic Virgin of Guadalupe . 
There is a constant in various novels written in recent decades, where female urban walks are represented: the unfolding or invisibility of the protagonist touring the city. city tours. By this I mean, first, the adoption of another personality through clothing or disguise, or else, the change of name; second, the transfer of her consciousness either to an object or to the city itself; and third, the emergence of a doppelgänger, which appropriates the physical body of the protagonist.
In performance arts, Mexican women have been claiming the urban space through different interventions for decades . They make visible that which the patriarchy keeps ignoring. Such is the case of art pieces by Mónica Mayer, Lorena Orozco, Lía García, and Sonia Madrigal, who’s ongoing project, Death Rises From the East (2014),  we’ll address during the webinar. She visibilizes the violence against women in marginalized parts of the State of Mexico. 
I suggest, when possible, the reading of Guadalupe Nettel’s The Guest (2006), Fuego 20 (2018) by Ana García Bergua, Los deseos y su sombra (2000) by Ana Clavel, and Empty Houses (2019) by Brenda navarro. Sadly, only Nettel’s and Navarro’s novels are translated to English.

Biography:  Dr Orly Cortés obtained a PhD in Comparative Literature at UNAM. Her undergraduate thesis turned toward linguistics, studying neologisms in Spanish. In addition to the above, in her graduate research, she focused on the study and comparison of Literature with various visual arts. In these years, she approached literary analysis from feminist theory, phenomenology and semiotics. She has dabbled in urban study with a gender perspective and has several published academic articles. She is currently a postdoctoral student at the UAM-Xochimilco, in the Feminist Studies Programme.  Dr. Orly Cortés is the creator and administrator of the Facebook page "Feminista Interseccional CdMX" with more than 115,000 people following her publications, which aim to spread news, feminist issues and questions.