Free places available at #popsex16 for undergraduate students

We have a limited number of free tickets to Sex & Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives 2016 available for undergraduate students. This is an exciting opportunity to understand current research on sex, sexualities and popular culture and meet researchers and cultural practitioners in the field. Whether you’re considering a final year project in this area or wondering if a research career might be for you, #popsex16 will be an exciting day offering a friendly atmosphere to explore ideas in. We are allocating undergraduate tickets based on Expressions of Interest. (See below for more details on the conference and the current draft programme.)

What should I include in my Expression of Interest?

Please include your name, what you are studying and where, and what year you are in. Additionally, let us know a little bit about why you are interested in attending the conference and what you hope to get out of it. Please keep Expressions of Interest to max. 300 words.

Where should I sent my Expression of Interest?

Please email expressions of interest to by July 22nd, 2016.

Sex & Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives 2016

The second annual Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives symposium is returning to the Bristol Watershed on September 3rd, 2016. Following an exciting inaugural symposium in 2015, this year’s event will continue our tradition of offering a safe, inclusive space for postgraduate students and creative practitioners to meet peers, share work and learn from each other.

We are delighted to welcome Cheryl Morgan as the keynote speaker for PopSex16. Cheryl is a Hugo award-winning science fiction critic and publisher. She is the owner of Wizard’s Tower Press and the Wizard’s Tower Books ebook store. Previously she edited the Hugo Award winning magazine, Emerald City (Best Fanzine, 2004). She also won a Hugo for Best Fan Writer in 2009. She is a Co-Chair of Out Stories Bristol and lectures regularly on both trans history and science fiction and fantasy literature.

We continue to be interested in how representations of sex and sexualities in popular culture shape feminist – and anti-feminist – issues and discourses. Since our 2015 event, we have seen both the box office success and backlash against films such as Mad Max Fury Road(noted for strong feminist themes and female leads in a traditionally male-dominated franchise) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which upset “Men’s Rights Activists” through its failure to feature a straight, white, male hero). MRAs have also made abortive attempts to organise away from the keyboard. Eddie Redmayne, the cisgender male actor cast as the lead in The Danish Girl, has drawn criticism for his claims that the movie has brought trans issues to the mainstream. Fanfiction has received even more mainstream coverage with speculation that pressure from fans may move Disney to make one of the leads in the latest Star Wars trilogy canonically gay. And of course many aspects of sex and sexualities remain silenced and unrepresented in popular culture. We are pleased to feature, among others, papers which examine these trends and take the (mis/under)representations of sex and sexualities in popular culture as a starting point to theorise the links between popular culture and real-world feminist issues and activism.

Draft Programme

09:30 – 10:00: REGISTRATION

10:00 – 11:00: KEYNOTE

Cheryl Morgan (Wizard’s Tower Press)

11:00 – 11:15: BREAK

PRACTICE SHOWCASE: Judith Rifeser: Thinking feminine subjectivity with and through film: When theory meets practice


  • Maggie Jackson: Getting ‘Out of the Woords’ and Coming ‘Clearn’: Paradoxical Happiness and Self-Actualization in the Music of Taylor Swift
  • Hannah Charnock: Teen magazines and the perils of petting in the long 1960s
  • Ada Cable: Illegible or Invisible: (not) understanding contemporary narratives of asexuality

12:45 – 13:30: LUNCH


  • Katarina Birkedal: The Loki Project: Gender, performance, and the aesthetics of cosplay
  • Petra Baumann: Fanfiction as feminist porn

15:00 – 15:15: BREAK


  • Amy Walker: From the Nuclear Family to Nuclear War: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Fallout 4
  • Fiona Reidy: Sexbox – an assault on British sensibilities or a lens into a nation’s long-standing tension with sexual pleasure?
  • Bronwen Edwards: Sleeping with the Enemy: SOE female agents and German officers in popular fiction

16:45 – 17:00: BREAK

17:00 – 18:00: WORKSHOP


Milena Popova, Bethan Jones and Monika Drzewiecka


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