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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE

 

Co-Directors
Professor Stephan Feuchtwang
s.feuchtwang@lse.ac.uk

Dr Fang-Long Shih
f.shih@lse.ac.uk

Gendering the Recession in Ireland

With Professor Diane Negra (School of English and Drama, University College Dublin)

Series:  Regional Comparison: Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Date: Thursday 12 May 2011, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Seligman Library (Room OLD 6.05), Old Building, London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: Reverend John Scott (LSE and University of Birmingham)

Abstract

The global financial collapse is heightening a range of inequalities, not least among them inequalities of gender and class. Feeling a sense of urgency for critical studies in the humanities to generate theoretical and social accounts that keep pace with the rapid economic and social changes brought on by the recession, my project focuses on elucidating the gendered impacts of the unravelling of seemingly-stable financial rubrics and institutions. Some of this work entails uncovering how the recession is frequently placed as cover for gender recidivism. Yet while in many ways it would appear that the recession is being affectively monopolized by cultural powerholders, there are also contestatory and resistant elements in play at less conspicuous levels.

In this talk I look at the gendering of recession within one specific national context, that of Ireland, where a historically unprecedented period of growth has given way to a vertiginous experience of economic contraction. In the rapid transformation of Ireland from a seeming capitalist utopia to something altogether different, cultural conceptions of masculinity and femininity play a key role and it bears noticing how central discourses of gender are to the current Irish economic crisis on many levels. Popular texts including radio and television advertisements and viral videos speak to a fundamental imperative to stabilize masculinity and to forward a narrative of restoration that includes the reinstatement of "correctly" gendered roles and national "authenticity." In my discussion I argue that the fantasy of male mobility is sustained across a range of media forms and is emerging as one of the key tropes of recessionary Irish media.

About the Speaker

Professor Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture at University College Dublin. She is the author, editor or co-editor of seven books among them Off-White Hollywood: American culture and ethnic female stardom, The Irish in Us: Irishness, performativity and popular culture, Interrogating Postfeminism: gender and the politics of popular culture, Old and New Media After Katrina and most recently In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: forms and functions of female celebrity. Professor Negra serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Console-ing Passions International Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media and Feminism and she is co-editor of the book series Wiley-Blackwell Studies in Film and Television.

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