From the romance of fairy-tales to the sexual appeal of popular culture, the characterisation of girlhood in the Western media landscape presents a passive and commodified image of femininity in a hegemonic fashion. The development of new media technologies and the rise of consumer culture have increased anxieties surrounding the social identity and the corporeality of girls. How do girls interpret and negotiate these mainstream narratives? Is there room for alternatives? What can we learn from how girlhood has been defined in other times and cultures?
Join Elodie Silberstein (Monash University) in conversation with Michelle Smith (Deakin University), Sofia Rios (Monash University) and Freya Bennett (founder of Tigress Magazine) as they problematise the idea of girlhood across borders and across time.
The Arab Spring took the world by surprise five years ago this December — at this MFU talk we will hear from scholars and activists working on the Middle East about their take on what is going on now, how people in the region make sense of the wars in their countries, and how we can make sense of them in the context of what is going on in the rest of the world. From Iraq and Syria to Palestine and Israel, it seems like the region’s conflicts are becoming ever more complex and intractable, and the recent Paris attacks have again prompted discussions of greater international intervention, bombing campaigns, radicalisation, and the grand narratives of Islam versus the West. So how can we make sense of these wars, and what is going on?
Our speakers for the evening will be Faisal Al-Asaad (Melb. Uni.), Firas Massouh (Melb. Uni.) and Jasmine Westendorf (LaTrobe).