Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hypermasculinity, Twitter and #MAGA

Professor Angela Smith has recently given a paper at the 'Approaches to Discourse' conference at Georgetown University (Washington DC). She spoke on the concept of hypermasculinity, which was first theorised in the early 1980s. At that time masculinity was often perceived as being under threat from the great advances in gender equality made following the arrival of Second Wave Feminism.  Angela argued that in the last five years we have seen a rise in the performance of hypermasculinity on the national stage, often aligned with right wing politics and a heightened sense of national identity in face of a perceived over-reaching of liberalism.  Angela's paper explored how some politicians use social media to promote their messages, side-stepping the otherwise regulating voice of the mainstream media. She looked at tweets from the personal account of Donald Trump to offer an explanation for at least part of the appeal of the ‘Make America Great Again’ hashtag, and argued that resurgent hypermasculinity can be used to explore such data.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

North East students and the Great War

Dr Sarah Hellawell will be speaking on the theme of 'Students in the North East of England and the Aftermath of the Great War' at an event held by the North East Labour History Society. She will explore the impact of the First World War on student life in the North-East, shedding light on the student-led initiatives to foster a greater sense of internationalism during the interwar years. This research is part of the ‘British Ex-Service Students and the Rebuilding of Europe Project, 1918-1922′ led by academics at Northumbria, UCL and Sunderland Universities in connection with the National Union of Students and the North-East branch of the Workers’ Educational Association. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s WWI Engagement Centre at the University of Hertfordshire.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Gender in 'crisis', everyday sexism and the Twittersphere

A new volume of essays entitled Crisis and the Media features a chapter by Professor Angela Smith. In it, she explores how rejections of claims for equality are represented in the technology of the twenty-first century, but at the same time embody the language of a pre-feminist world and can thus be seen to at once empower and restrict feminist discourse. In this way, the crisis in gender relations is one that emerges in the 1990s in Westernised contexts and continues to develop into the twenty-first century, contributing to the emergence of a Fourth Wave of feminist action. As such, 'crisis' is employed to explore how various small events, seemingly insignificant in isolation, have been raised to public notice through social media to enhance the emergence of Fourth Wave Feminism in the last ten years.

Smith, A. 2018. 'Gender in "crisis", everyday sexism and the Twittersphere.' In Patrona, M. (ed) Crisis and the Media. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp.231-260. 


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