[Air-L] The Big Gaydar Workshop

Sharif Mowlabocus s.j.mowlabocus at sussex.ac.uk
Fri Mar 12 02:09:20 PST 2010

Dear All

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!

Best wishes
Sharif Mowlabocus

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.

The details
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  
the organisers.

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 mailing list