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[Commlist] CfP: Consuming Gender Symposium

Fri Jun 28 14:40:10 GMT 2019

*Consuming Gender: Intersections in Identity and Consumption in the Global South*

Call for Participation

Symposium Date: Wednesday 30 October 2019

Venue: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Convener: Prof Mehita Iqani, Wits

Deadline for abstracts: 3 August 2019 (email to (mehita.iqani /at/

With the support of the Governing Intimacies research project, based in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, this symposium will bring togethernew research that explores the multiple intersections and links between consumption and gender in the global south.

Broadly, the symposium seeks to offer a space for work that explores how gender shapes consumption habits, broadly defined, and how consumer culture, broadly defined, produces gendered selves.

/How do gendered subjects consume, and how in turn are they consumed?/

We invite proposals for presentations from researchers and postgraduate students from around South Africa, Africa and the Global South, exploring any of the following themes, questions and subjects:

_Feminine/Masculine/Non-Binary? Consumer Identities and Self-writing_

  * What new forms of self-representation and self-branding in service
    of the performance of gender are emerging in media culture?
  * Yes sex sells, but how? What narratives of sexiness work for or
    against feminine, masculine or queer empowerment?
  * What new global values (the cosmopolitan, Afropolitan?) shape
    identity in the gendered marketplace?
  * What new gendered ideas about self, success, aspiration or agency
    are produced by individuals in their own narratives of their lives,
    or for them by powerful institutions?
  * What new narratives or old patterns are shaping our understandings
    of the links between wealth and gender?
  * What kinds of intimate gendered relations are made visible
    through forms of public consumption?

_The Materialities of Shopping: Gender, Place and Culture_

  * How is gender made material through different consumption practices?
  * How do body politics and neoliberal power intersect in consumer
  * What commodities are gendered and traded, from push up bras to
    botox, from sex toys to sex?
  * How do beauty industries exploit and invent ideas about gender?
  * How do luxury objects, spaces, brands and cultures market with (or
    against) gender?
  * How do domestic versus public forms of gendered consumption differ?
  * How do different expressions of gender shape public spaces,
    especially those organized around market exchange?

_Working it: Gendered Labour and Circuits of Care_

  * What new forms of self-care, self-management or work on the self are
    emerging in relation to gendered consumption?
  * What new forms of gendered entrepreneurship, using all forms of
    capital available, are emerging in economically precarious times?
  * What sorts of relationships are produced through gendered consumption?
  * How do women/men/non-binary subjects spend, hustle and hack their
    way through the consumer marketplace?
  * How does gender fit into the kinds of work done in relation to
    post-consumer waste (from recycling to re-using)?
  * What new forms of gendered work are appearing as
    men/women/non-binary people seek new pathways to wealth and success?

We welcome presentations from current, new research that explores any of the above themes, or is related to them. Please send your paper title and a 350-word abstract in the body of your email (tomehita.iqani /at/ <mailto:(mehita.iqani /at/> by *Sunday 3 August 2019*.

/A small number of travel bursaries for scholars based in South Africa will be available. Please indicate your interest in applying for these when you submit your proposal./


Accepted papers will be notified by the end of August. Please direct any queries to Mehita Iqani ((mehita.iqani /at/ <mailto:(mehita.iqani /at/>).

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