28th Nov

4.30 – 5.30: Research in Progress Presentations

Anna Arrowsmith – “Rethinking Misogyny: Men’s Perceptions of Female Power in Dating”

Update Thurs 29th: Please see our Twitter Feed for live tweets summarising Anna’s interesting paper.

Current debates around female power are restricted to female subjectivities, especially theoretical differences between second and third wave/post feminisms. My argument states we can no longer subsume male micro accounts of female power under (true) theories of macro inequalities, dismissing them as mere mistaken perceptions.  If men’s reality includes such perceptions, then their un/willingness to relinquish ‘more’ power needs to be understood if equality between the sexes is to be increased. How do we know if offensive male behaviour isn’t, for example, defensive behaviour in reaction to female power as perceived by men, if Gender Studies continues to focus largely on the female side of perception?

Research update: Carina Westling on the subject of knowledge and engagement in performance art and digital media.

Update Thurs 29th: Carina asked how working practices and devices in interactive theatre can be transferred to digital media.  For Carina, digital media gets less of a ‘wow factor’ from audiences than live theatre – why is that? How can we improve digital?

Within digital media, you need statistics and numbers in order to be taken seriously.  So Carina is working with a group of researchers on quantifying participation/experience.

The level of unpredictability in live theatre is identified as something lacking in digital media.  But digital media is based on algorithms, so rules.  Therefore digi needs to incorporate non-rule-based play, or rule-dissolving experiences.  Carina is very interested in the idea of benevolent viruses.

Questions addressed Punch Drunk live theatre’s self-aware relationship with digital forms such as video games; and the idea, from psychology, of ambiguity tolerance.

Research update: Frank Verano on his recent visit to New York where he interviewed film directors D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles.

Update Thurs 29th: Frank outlined his research interests in the direct cinema movement, which took advantage of new technologies such as lightweight cameras and sync-sound to capture life in more ‘real’ settings.  He is particularly interested in how these technologies affect the way that direct cinema treats the relationship between space and place and the body.

Albert Maysles described how getting close to a subject does not necessarily mean being geographically close.  For example, in What’s Happening! (1964), Maysles could not get access to film inside the Ed Sullivan studios, so to capture the moment, he went to a nearby residential street, into a family home, and watched the broadcast being watched.

D.A. Pennebaker recalled lots of specific detail about the films he had made, and his relationships with Godard, and with Jefferson Airplane and Bob Dylan.  In particular he spoke about why particular sites in the USA were chosen to feature in his films.

In the Albert Maysles collection in the archive at Columbia, Frank looked through 9 boxes of the 85 boxes of unsorted material.  The many interesting documents (including one with Neil Young’s telephone number!) gave Frank a greater appreciation of the context surrounding Maysles’ film productions, particularly the legal context.

5.40 – 7.15: (Early) End-of-Term Pub Quiz

Round 1. General Knowledge
Round 2. Films
Round 3. Pop groups
Round 4. Food and Drink

£1 entry, teams of 4, the winning team gets the dosh.

Update Thurs 29th: Congratulations to the Digital Dildos, who won the quiz with an impressive 72 out of 90.  Here are the teams working hard to solve the cryptic band name round:


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