Posts from February 2020

How gays almost became French: Republican homophobia, queer banalisation, and the limits of sexual nationalism seminar, Thursday 13 February 2020

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Thursday 13th February 2020, 5.30-7.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

How gays almost became French: Republican homophobia, queer banalisation, and the limits of sexual nationalism
Sébastien Chauvin (University of Lausanne)

Sébastien Chauvin is an associate professor at the Social Sciences Institute (ISS) of the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), where he is also the co-director of the Centre for Gender Studies (CEG). He previously taught at the University of Amsterdam, Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne University and the University of Chicago. His many publications include (with Arnaud Lerch) Sociology of Homosexuality, and, in English, contributions to Public Culture and Work, Employment and Society.

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.

Fundubbing: From Traditions to Convergence Culture seminar, Feb 13th 2020

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Thursday 13 February 2020, 5.00-6.00 pm
Room 501, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Fundubbing: From Traditions to Convergence Culture
Dr Rocio Banos Pinero (UCL)

Organised by our colleagues in Modern Languages, the aim of this presentation is to delve into the phenomenon of fundubbing by investigating its origins and situating it in its current context. Fundubbing is here understood as the practice of replacing the original dialogue track of an audiovisual text with another track containing a mostly new script created with humoristic purposes. Although this practice is often associated with online media and current technical developments, this paper will show fundubbing as an old innovation, used in the past to entertain audiences, but also as a form of subversion and a political act. The goal is thus to provide an overview of this cultural phenomenon, from its origins in the 1930s and 1940s, often involving the dubbing of relinquished audiovisual texts (e.g. silent movies or audiovisual material produced within cultures afar), to the current times, where virtually any user with basic technical knowledge can manipulate audiovisual content (adding subtitles or an audio track, for instance) and upload it online to be shared with the rest of the world. By doing so, this paper reflects on how dubbing has been used as a site of experimentation and innovation, as well as an ideological tool, across time and space, from traditions to convergence culture.

Chaired by Lindsay Bywood

Photography Beyond the Image symposium, April 25th 2020

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Saturday 25 April 2020, 9.45am – 4.45pm
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Photography Beyond the Image

Recent years have seen photographic studies move beyond the analysis of the visual product. From a focus on photographs as the privileged points of access for studying photography, thus supporting a predominant understanding of the medium as a representational tool, the field is today embracing a more holistic approach. This has brought photography into a much needed interdisciplinary and intermedial analytical environment, and alerted us to the social, cultural and commercial entanglements that shape and are shaped by photographic practices. This one-day symposium hosted by the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture seeks to examine these intellectual trends by reflecting on their postulates, methodologies and future directions.

Professor Geoffrey Batchen (Oxford)
Dr Geoffrey Belknap (National Science and Media Museum)
Professor Patrizia Di Bello (Birkbeck)
Professor Elizabeth Edwards (Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute and De Montfort University)
Professor Steve Edwards (Birkbeck)
Professor Michelle Henning (University of Liverpool)
Dr Nicoletta Leonardi (Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan)
Dr Gil Pasternak (De Montfort University)
Dr Annebella Pollen (University of Brighton)
Convened by Dr Sara Dominici (IMCC, University of Westminster)

Full programme available here.

The event is free and open to all, but spaces are limited and booking essential. Tickets here.

Homes and Homelessness in NYC Poetry seminar, February 5th 2020

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Wednesday 5th February, 5.00-7.00 pm
UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

‘A fragile system, easy to subvert’: Homes and Homelessness in NYC Poetry
Rona Cran (University of Birmingham) 

This talk emerges from research into how poets dwell creatively in new York, into how they dwell politically, and into what is means to dwell queerly, to offer alternative modes of being/dwelling/thinking in New York, alternative models of private space, and, beyond that, alternative models of the history of New York. Laurent Berlant and Elizabeth Freeman, in Michael Warner’s Fear of a Queer Planet, reveal the ways in which AIDS activist art collective Gran Fury ‘transform[ed] the passive public space of New York into a zone of political pedagogy’. Following them, this talk will explore the presentation of housing, homes and homelessness in the poetry of four queer New York poets – Langston Hughes, James Schuyler, Audre Lorde and Eileen Myles – in order to think about the ways in which they transform the city’s private spaces into similar zones of political pedagogy, reframing the idea of home and of what it means to be rooted, un-rooted and sometimes uprooted.

Rona Cran is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature and Co-Director of the American and Canadian Studies Centre at the University of Birmingham. Her first book was entitled Collage in Twentieth-Century Art, Literature, and Culture: Joseph Cornell, William Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan (Ashgate, 2014), exploring the influence of Europe’s artist-émigrés on New York City culture from 1912 onwards. She is currently writing her second monograph, Multiple Voices: New York City Poetry, 1950-1995, which combines close reading, creative writing and archival research to explore the relationship between poetry and the urban, political and social changes that the city underwent during this time, arguing that socially-situated poetry offers particular sites of resistance.

All welcome, but guests from outside Westminster should RSVP Frankie Hines: OR Baptiste Danel: