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Postfeminism and Selling Confidence to Women / Faculty of Education and Arts / Events / The University of Newcastle, Australia

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Postfeminism and Selling Confidence to Women / Faculty of Education and Arts / Events / The University of Newcastle, Australia

Internationally renowned media and gender scholar, Professor Rosalind Gill will deliver a public talk entitled Love your body but hate it too: Postfeminism and Selling Confidence to Women at NeW Space on Thursday 6thDecember at 6pm. The talk is hosted by the University of Newcastle’s Gender Research Network. Register to secure your seat at the talk.

A Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City, University of London, and Professorial Fellow at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Professor Gill is known for herwork that traverses sociology, media and cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies and psychosocial studies.

Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Catharine Coleborne, believes that the talk will be an important opportunity for audiences to engage with a highly topical issue. “This is a chance for everyone to hear from a global thinker and expert about the way the politics of gender in our society is intrinsically part of all of our lives,” Professor Coleborne said.

“Professor Gill has made an important contribution to the way we think about gender equality and the empowerment of women through her critical scholarship, and we have been especially pleased to be able to welcome her to our School as a research mentor and collaborator over the past year”, commented Professor Coleborne. “Working with our gender studies and sociology researchers, Professor Gill brings a rich international dimension to our ways of thinking about way gender shapes experience.”

During the talk Professor Gill will interrogate a number of features of contemporary postfeminist and neoliberal societies through an examination of the growing trend of ‘femvertising’.

“Femvertising refers to a type of mainstream advertising practice that addresses women through discourses of empowerment, body love and self-esteem – examples include many campaigns for Dove, Nike and Always,” Professor Gill said.

Through case studies she will explore some of the complexities and contradictions of this form of address, showing how it is located in a wider cultural tendency that she and fellow culture, media and gender sholar Dr Shani Orgad have called the ‘confidence cult’.

“I will argue that the incitements to feel good, believe in yourself and build self-esteem are part of a distinctive psychological turn in neoliberalism,” she said.

Professor Gill is the author of many books and articles including Gender and the Media (Polity,2007), Aesthetic Labour: Rethinking Beauty Politics in Neoliberalism (Palgrave 2017) and Mediated Intimacy: Sex Advice in Media Culture (with Meg-John Barker and Laura Harvey, Polity, 2018)

For the last decade she has made a significant contribution to debates about the “sexualisation of culture”. She enters this contested and polarised field bringing an emphasis upon difference – particularly the ways in which differently located groups (by age, class, gender, sexuality, vulnerability, etc) are positioned by and in relation to sexualisation.

The talk should be of interest to students of gender and feminist studies, media and communications, and the social sciences as well as to anyone interested in contemporary culture.

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