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The gender network arose from a faculty event on gender held at Brookes in May 2013. The Gender Network held its first meeting on 18 Dec 2013 to hear Federica Frabetti, Senior Lecturer in Media, Communication and Culture, present her paper, Is There a Future to Femme-inism? Toward an Understanding of the Originary Technicity of Gender. The paper described gender to be a technology, a ‘prosthesis’ that we have, as opposed to something natural. As a technology, Frabetti argued that the way gender is read is beyond one’s control. So what are we to make of this vulnerability: what opportunities and what risks come with it? These questions were explored in relation to ‘femme’, identity as the feminine half of a lesbian couple, and the paper described the trajectory of femme-inism since the 1970s and its political meaning.
The Gender Network has one event per semester for the presentation of papers. The Network will also organize meetings to assist individuals in gathering feedback on article submissions, grant proposals or a book prospectus on gender themes. We aim to coordinate research collaboration and publication opportunities as well as provide a register of experts that can be consulted within the University and beyond by external bodies. In addition, we plan to facilitate exchange through hosting reading groups. Our first selection is a book by Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou titled, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political.