Lectures & Symposium

Pride This Year!

In 2016 we held 2 lectures and a symposium.  The symposium is a group of themes held in one place on one evening and is hosted by the University of Winchester’s Centre for Gender Studies and Hampshire Pride.  Each  lecture offers an academic view on the LGBT experience. Events are free of charge and all are welcome.  The Lecture and symposium will take place at 18:00 and will be located in different rooms so be sure to look properly at the link below.  Map of Campus.

Please note the third lecture (the one about Medieval Knights takes place at the Winchester Discovery Centre starting at (time TBC).

Lecture – Tuesday 23rd February, 6pm

(University of Winchester – SAB 203 )CRIL

Does a woman need a Vagina? 

Dr Nicola Puckey

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Dr Nicola Puckey

Transgender awareness and acceptance have been steadily increasing. However, with this comes challenges to the definitions of ‘woman/female’ and ‘man/male’ and what it is to identify as one of these (for those who do identify as one or the other). In particular, this paper will focus on recent conflicts in the linguistic construction of ‘woman’ as having a vagina and uterus, and suggests that calls to re-think the category of ‘woman’ moves us away from viewing women as a genetic, biological and social group towards a wholly social group. While this is a more inclusive group and incorporates many more people who identify as women, I will demonstrate that this brings with it more challenges that need to be addressed.

One of the recent controversies in this area was the ‘A Night of a Thousand Vaginas’ event. An event designed to provide fundraising and support for women seeking abortions in Texas was heavily criticised by some transgender advocates and supporters. It was argued that the use of the term ‘vagina’ excluded transwomen and presented that as not being women.

Consequently, it is important that what it is to be a ‘woman’, and the linguistic construction of this group and identity that will be used to create this definition, is considered critically as it is going through a transformation.

The Symposium – Thursday 25th February, 6pm

(University of Winchester -SAB 301 )cfgs

Three short lectures.

Bi-Degradable: The Decomposition of Mental Health in Bisexual Women

csCarol Shepard

Medical and social-scientific studies consistently show bisexual women to have the worst mental health of all LGB sexual minorities. This paper seeks to increase awareness of the very specific social and psychological hardships faced by bisexual women, by outlining some of the reasons for the elevated rates of depression and suicide among bisexual people in the UK and US. This cross-disciplinary paper will address such issues as the cultural appropriation of bisexual role models by the dominant monosexual majority, to historical bisexual erasure in sexual identity politics. It will also consider how the integrity of bisexual identities are undermined by performative bisexuality in the entertainment industry, particularly in popular music. The enhanced prejudice faced by BME bisexual women as well as bisexual women of faith is also discussed, where multiple intersectional identities and specific cultural contexts may further increase isolation and compromise wellness. I further address the cumulative power of micro-aggressions against bisexual people, including the destructive power of flippancy. As a means of redressing the widespread ignorance of bisexual issues, a number of measures are proposed, aimed at restoring the “B” in LGBT. These proposals seek to promote bisexual role models and bisexual mental health.

Queer time and the diseased body


Dr Emily Cock

Queer time and the diseased body in the chronological revolution:

The late seventeenth century witnessed a revolution in chronometry as a series of major mechanical developments greatly increased people’s access to accurate clocks. This in turn produced a drastic shift in how people experienced and conceptualised time. This paper explores medical and related texts of the period to uncover how this shift in temporal understanding was reflected in and upon the ‘body natural’. I read these texts using recent work on temporality within queer theory–in particular Elizabeth Freeman’s work on chromonormativity. In doing so I will explore the extent to which disease, injury, medical treatment or other corporal interventions impacted upon an individual’s sense of lived time.

Re-reading John Boswell, 35 Years on

psProfessor Patricia Skinner

John Boswell published two major works on same-sex relationships in ancient and medieval Europe. 35 years on, the first of these has been republished in a ’35th Anniversary Edition’ with new preface. What is the enduring value of Boswell’s work? And why, in the early 1990s, was he so reluctant to reveal some of the sources of his information?



Lecture – Monday 29th February, 7:30pm

Winchester Discovery Centre

My Knights in Shining Armour

  • Karl Alvesta321578_10150275544330849_144842_nd

‘Searching for my knights in shining armour; Queering the Middle Ages in scholarship and medievalism.’

In his talk, Karl will explore the modern Queering of the Middle Ages in scholarship and popular medievalism. The talk will focus on how the normalisation of LGBT identities in western society in last decades of the twentieth century has led to a search for evidence for LGBT lives throughout history. It will simultaneously explore how the LGBT liberation and claiming of the past have triggered a medievalist invention of the gay Middle Ages, best represented in popular culture by one of Game of Throne’s knight’s in shining armour Loras Tyrell.




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