[Air-L] The Big Gaydar Workshop
s.j.mowlabocus at sussex.ac.uk
Fri Mar 12 02:09:20 PST 2010
Please find details below of workshop that Ben Light and I are
organising. The event is going to be held at the University of Sussex
and is on May 28th. Would be great to have AoIR members at the event!
The Big Gaydar Workshop:
Connections, Tensions and Digital Interventions
28th May 2010, University of Sussex
Call for Papers, Interest & Participation
Gaydar is ten years old.
In the decade it has been operating, the website has survived the
bursting of the dotcom bubble, the rise of competitor services and the
evolution of 2.0 social networking practices. Yet Gaydar continues to
be the number one gay male dating site in Britain and the brand now
extends beyond the web. Gaydar is a radio station, a brand, a sponsor
of international gay events, a charity donor, a marketing tool and
part of a company that also owns two commercial venues, in the heart
of London’s gay district.
Gaydar is …?
As befits a phenomenon of this size, Gaydar encounters contradictions
that reflect the tensions operating in contemporary gay male
subculture. It is both a site for HIV prevention work and a space in
which barebackers can find one another. It funds gay Pride events, yet
is often criticised for ignoring the margins of the LGBT community. It
provides opportunities for queer youth to explore their sexual
identities while also interpolating gay men into a dizzying array of
categories. It allows users to advertise themselves to one another,
and mines that information for financial gain. It is also a digital
environment firmly rooted in the material realities and the corporeal
pleasures of the physical world.
The big Gaydar workshop
Organised in conjunction with the University of Salford, this one-day
multidisciplinary workshop is hosted by the Centre for Material
Digital Culture at the University of Sussex and will take place on
28th May 2010. Departing from the standard conference format, the
organisers are keen to organise the day around a series of round-table
discussions that explore different facets of and interactions with
Gaydar. The topic of these discussions is currently open and at this
stage we welcome proposals and suggestions from interested
individuals, groups and organisations.
Do you work with, or find work through Gaydar? Have you used Gaydar
for political or activist reasons? Do you use Gaydar for professional
or personal motives? Do you have an opinion about Gaydar? We are
interested in hearing from you! Each roundtable discussion will open
with between one and three short positioning papers (5 minutes max).
Following these brief presentations, the discussion will be opened up
to the floor for response and further input. The organisers are keen
to employ a range of techniques to ensure that all those who wish to
speak get a chance to do so, and those preferring other forms of
communication (Twitter, blogging etc) can exploit these technologies.
We strongly encourage collaborative work within and across industries,
disciplines and sectors and seek input from academic and non-academic
experts alike. Interventions and positioning papers can take a variety
of forms and should be aimed at opening up the discussion.
Registration costs £10 (payable in advance) and refreshments will be
provided. Please note that places are strictly limited and will, in
the first instance, be allocated to those offering discussion topics
and positioning papers.
If you have a proposal for a discussion topic, or would like to
discuss the workshop, and your potential involvement in it, please
send an email (including your name, affiliation and any proposal) to
Timetable for application
· Expression of interest by : 2nd April 2010
· Closing date for positioning papers: 30th April 2010
· Workshop date: 28th May 2010
Professor Ben Light
School of Media, Music & Performance
University of Salford
b.light at salford.ac.uk
Dr Sharif Mowlabocus
School of Media, Film and Music
University of Sussex
s.j.mowlabocus at sussex.ac.uk
More information about the Air-L