Posts from October 2010

The IMCC welcomes Dr Young-Paik Chun

Written by on Monday, posted in News (1 comment)

The Institute takes great pleasure in welcoming Dr Young-Paik Chun as Visiting Research Fellow 2010-11. Dr Chun is Reader in the Department of Art History and Theory at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea. She has published numerous articles on modern and contemporary British, European, and Korean art and visual culture, is the author of Cezanne’s Apples: Thinkers attracted by Cezanne (Seoul: Hangilart, 2008), editor of Twenty-Two Artists Talk through Generations: Self-Portrait of Korean Contemporary Art since the 1970s (2010), and has translated and co-translated books by Thomas Crow, Hal Foster, Griselda Pollock, Madan Sarup, and Kaja Silverman.

Her time as a Visiting Research Fellow is sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea. While in England, she will be conducting research on a project entitled ‘“Good Eye” Looking at the Other: Readership in Korea and British Contemporary Art in Each Other’s Terrain’ concerning cross-cultural and inter-cultural non-communicability and mis-recognition, focusing in particular on the case of British cultural perceptions of Korean art.

Changing Subjects: Male Sexualities and Masculinities in Asia

Written by on Monday, posted in News (No comments yet)

Our colleagues in the Contemporary China Centre at Westminster present a workshop on:

Changing Subjects: Male Sexualities and Masculinities in Asia
Friday 5 November 2010
Westminster Forum, University of Westminster, 5th floor, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW

The diverse new male sexual and masculine identities of Asia’s burgeoning economies suggest radical re-formations of the male subject in recent years. The figure of the cool, sleek and fashionable ‘metrosexual’ man, for instance, in his various national incarnations, adorns magazine covers and billboards across Asia’s megacities. At the same time, the figure of the gay male has emerged in countries across Asia, diffracted in various forms, through social and activist group efforts, gay dating websites, and commercial and cultural venues and events that celebrate queerness. Metrosexual, straight or gay, these figures inflect the assumptions, processes and practices of Asia’s modernities with a range of gendered characteristics that derive from transnational circulations of meaning, often associated with self-interested desires and consumer practices.

Male sexualities and masculinities in Asia, however, may not be what they appear to be from media images, particularly to the ‘Western’ eye. Ethnographic research shows that men who identify with attributes of transnational, gay, metrosexual and other identities also simultaneously identify with locally and culturally embedded notions of gender that interrupt the neat outlines of discursive renderings. Investigation of men’s subjectivities through what they say and do shows that what their performances mean to them can be very different from what the observer thinks. This workshop, then, seeks not only to contribute to understandings of how notions and practices of sexualities and masculinities mutually interact to produce and regulate the sexual, gendered male subjects/subjectivities emerging in contemporary Asia, but also to think beyond them to consider their relational effects on wider configurations of sexuality, gender and power within and across Asian countries and cultures.

10:00–10:10     Welcome—Dr Derek Hird (University of Westminster)
10:10–11:25     Dr Will Schroeder (University of Manchester)
‘For Fun: Affect and Belonging in Contemporary Gay Beijing’
        Discussant: TBA        
11:25–11:40     Tea and Coffee Break
11:40–12:55     Dr Paul Boyce (Institute of Education, University of London)
‘The Object of Attention: Same-sex sexualities in small town India and the contemporary sexual subject’
        Discussant: Dr Akshay Khanna (University of Sussex)            
12:55–13:55     Lunch Break

13:55–15:10     Dr Jonathan Mackintosh (Birkbeck, University of London)
                ‘Historicising the “Feminisation of Masculinity” in Japan’
        Discussant: TBA
15:10–15:25     Tea and Coffee Break   
15:25–16:40     Dr Derek Hird (University of Westminster)
‘Contesting white-collar norms: Gay metrosexuals and homosocial yingchou in contemporary China’
        Discussant” Professor Henrike Donner (University of Goettingen)
16:40–16:45    Break
16:45–17:30     Summing up and closing discussion—Professor Harriet Evans (University of Westminster)

All welcome. This workshop is free. For enquiries or to reserve a place, please contact

Dr Derek Hird

Contemporary China Centre, Department of Modern and Applied Languages
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Science Fiction and Mass Observation

Written by on Sunday, posted in Event (No comments yet)
Tagged as , , ,

Wednesday 27th October, 1.15-2.30pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, W1T 3UW

Nick Hubble (Brunel University)
‘Naomi Mitchison: From Intermodernism to Science Fiction (via Mass-Observation)’

From her 1920s novels, influenced by Lawrence but aimed at the audience of Wells, to her subsequent deployment of modernist techniques for political ends, Naomi Mitchison may be considered a key intermodern writer. Her relentless pursuit of the ‘just society’, free from gender-based and sexual repression, made her a controversial figure even in that controversial decade. And her close literary associates of that decade – including Auden, Aldous Huxley, Olaf Stapledon, Stevie Smith, Wyndham Lewis and Walter Greenwood – suggest different ways of thinking about literary networks and cultural history in general. She was also a friend and supporter of Tom Harrison and Mass-Observation, for whom she kept a wartime diary. Nick Hubble’s paper analyses this intermodern work and investigates how it relates to Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962), a forerunner of the 1970s feminist utopian science fiction of writers such as Ursula Le Guin, Marge Piercy and Joanna Russ.

Rescheduled from last semester. Further details here.

Guest Lecture: Mao Zedong and China in the World

Written by on Saturday, posted in Event (No comments yet)
Tagged as ,

Wednesday 17 November 2010, 4-6pm
The Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Professor Rebecca Karl (New York University)
Mao Zedong and China in the World’

Rebecca E. Karl is author of Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, and of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (both Duke University Press). Her most recent book, The Magic of Concepts: Philosophy and ‘the Economic’ in Twentieth Century China, is forthcoming.

Co-organised by The Contemporary China Centre and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture

The Whitechapel Salon: ‘Matter Matters’ with Adrian Forty on Thursday October 28th

Written by on Thursday, posted in Event, News (No comments yet)
Tagged as ,

With the Whitechapel Gallery, the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster is hosting at the gallery the third in this year’s ‘Matter Matters’ Salon.

Date: Thursday 28 October, 7pm
Price: £8.00

Includes free glass of wine.

Adrian Forty (Professor of Architectural History at the Bartlett) and Katie Lloyd-Thomas (editor of Material Matters) discuss why building matters, in the third instalment of the Salon series exploring the matter of ‘matter’. Hosted by David Cunningham.

Book your ticket at:

Update: Ballardian Architecture online

Written by on Friday, posted in News (No comments yet)
Tagged as , ,

Videos from the Royal Academy event Ballardian Architecture in May, including David Cunningham’s talk on Pop art, Brutalism and Ballard’s prose of space, have now been posted online.

You can watch the videos here.