Wonder GenSex

THE GENDER AND SEXUALITY RESEARCH GROUP (GenSex) is an inter-disciplinary research-led group interested in sexuality and gender studies, launched last year at Edge Hill University. As their flyer says “We meet regularly to hear research papers, engage in debate, and run seminars and workshops on subjects such as: masculinities, feminisms, gender theories, LGBT &/or queer studies, sexuality and subversion, bodily/embodiment narratives and transgendered identities.” I’ve just heard that my proposal for a workshop-type session has been accepted – for the (scarily soon) Tuesday November 11th slot, 6-8 in M42 right here on the Ormskirk Campus. Mine will be one of two topics – the other session is to be confirmed, but I believe it will concern Carol Ann Duffy.

Rather than delve into my marketing bag of tricks (eg ‘Gendered Aspects of Prospectus Covers’) I’m doing something based more on personal interest… the blurb I’ve written goes something like this:

Polysemic Princess: the mutability of Wonder Woman

An exploration of the gendered aspects of superhero comics, focussing on ‘Wonder Woman’, a character created in 1941 by psychologist William Moulton Marston and continuously published thereafter. Roy will give an overview of the various cultural incarnations of the character and of critical analyses including feminist and queer readings, and interpretations of the character’s body as a site of narratives of nationhood and immigration. This will lead to an open discussion of gender and sexuality in superhero genres, considering specifically whether Wonder Woman’s depicted gender gives creators and fans scope for distinctively fluid and playful readings, compared with those possible for male characters.

The session will include a showing of TECHNOLOGY-TRANSFORMATION: WONDERWOMAN by Dara Birnbaum (USA, 1978, 7mins, video).

Do come along if you can.

The rest of the GenSex programme is still being finalised and I’ll post about it when I know more. For more information about GenSex email the group chair Mari Hughes-Edwards on edwardsm@edgehill.ac.uk