This is a gender studies project I'm working on which aims to investigate the construction of masculinities in young men living in Essex. It develops the body of work generated by recent feminist debates regarding the importance of connecting questions of social class and gender identity to questions of worth by shifting the focus of the critique on to modern masculinities. What kind of masculinity, the project asks, is valued in contemporary political discourse and what capitals are accrued by the men best able to perform it?
The originality of the project stems from its insistence on reading the formation of gender and class through the filter of neoliberal ideology and in its focus on the discursive construction of Essex, a county that, despite its regular appearance in media representations as a signifier of poor taste, has received little academic scrutiny in terms of its function as a site of cultural incubation. The project addresses this lack of scrutiny by promoting the relevance of its methodology (field work) within a wider debate concerning how scholars might make best sense of lived experience.
The project is funded by the University of East London and supported by Metal Culture.
This is the first in a series of nights dedicated to thinking critically about questions of space, place and identity in relation to a particular site of cultural and economic regeneration, Southend-on-Sea. I'll be speaking, alongside Tony Sampson and Giles Tofield.
Whether you're a local or someone unfamiliar with this area of south-east Essex, we'd like to invite you to the event . Our aim is to provoke debate outside of the formal - and often exclusionary - confines of academia.
If you want to make sense of your place in the modern world and contribute to creating a critical space in Southend, do join us on the evening of Thursday, 17 April at our venue, the Railway Hotel.
Migration and cultural tourism - the theme of the next club critical theory event, 04 December.
Election special: where is the common ground?
Our next club critical theory event, 03 May.
Speaker: Jeremy Gilbert
Club Critical Theory event
Media power and politics
Speakers: Des Freedman and Tracey Jensen. Discussant: Andrew Calcutt
Club Critical Theory @ Conway Hall
Strange, Mad Celebration
An event I'm curating to commerorate the work and life of David Bowie
Venue: The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
Essex Futures Conference
Venue: Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Food Cultures: A Plan for Southend
Venue: Focal Point Gallery
Writers and journalists, Tim Burrows amd Joanne O'Connor discuss the cultural futures of UK coastal towns with academics, Dr Tim Gale and Dr Daniel Burdsey