Beyond the Sheets: Sexualities in the Age of Digital Reproduction

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Keynote speaker: Michéle Roberts

Today I attended Beyond the Sheets: Sexualities in the Age of Digital Reproduction an inaugural conference held at Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre at Goldsmiths University of London.

I sat in on the first panel titled: Potency & Impotence chaired by Laura Blomvall with papers by Eleanor Parry ‘Mutilated Existence:Poetry as a Means of interrogating Notions of Femininity and Female Sexuality in Mass Culture’; Johanna Linsley ‘Impotence: An Exercise in Endurance’ and Dr R Justin Hunt ‘Writing Sex: Archival Negotiations and the Erotics of Research’.

The second panel titled: This is How We Do It: Writing about Sex chaired by Jerry Barnett comprised readings from: Andrea Mason ‘Purient Abject Voyerism: Does She Squirt?’; Sonia Overall ‘Sex in Eden: Writing, Reading and Inhabiting Fictional Worlds’ and Richard Scott ‘Sex in Poetry’.

The third panel ‘Writing the Erotic’ chaired by Sarah Harman-Taylor began with Dr Josie Pearse ‘Being Angel Strand: The Experience of Being a Black Lace Author’; followed by Richard English ‘Writing Romance: Love and Sex’ with Dr Eirini Kartsaki ‘Not Knowing What to Do with Myself: Promiscuity, Excess and the insatiable Desire’ completing the panel.

Michéle Roberts gave the Keynote and a closing discussion rounded off the conference. It was the finalé performance of The Butch Monologues featuring The Drakes that captivated the audience. ‘The Butch Monologues uses interviews with butch-identified women living in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and the Caribbean, and re-positions the negative, socially threatening concept of female masculinity into a place of pride’.

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The Drakes performing The Butch Monologues. Image: Women Of the World Festival, Southbank Centre.

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