shyam lal college

CONFERENCE THEME

The theme of the conference is "Gender and Popular Culture: Contextual Representation and Embodiment". Gender and popular culture are connected in multiple ways. Popular culture is a comprehensive and highly mediated phenomenon that consists of an extensive range of cultural texts and practices from films to newspaper and television, from designing computer games to creating cartoon series. Gender as a social and religious construct is continually produced, consumed and represented in popular culture and it is these processes of consumption, production and representation that interact to create what we commonly identify as gender identities (Meyer and Milestone et al., 2012).

Media spaces/texts are central to the popular culture as they construct narratives of fanciful youthful experiences. Representations of gender in mass media/new media create exclusive ideas of masculinity and femininity that are internalized and imbibed as behavioral attributes by society. The stereotypes associated with the masculine and the feminine further affect the developing understanding of the adolescent mind about his/her environment. Men and women are expected to perform, believe in, and adhere to precise gender roles and stereotypes that have been established by society. Males are expected to be strong, self-reliant and athletic whereas females are expected to be gentle, submissive and attractive nurturers. Social conformity to such gender attributes is boosted by media representations. Gender differences in dress and behavior are overtly pronounced in Ads featuring children such as the Surf Excel (daag achae hai) commercial that features little boys as dirty, naughty and rowdy while the little girls are projected as delicate creatures in beauty soap commercials like masoom Pears. It is as if girls cannot play mud puddle or boys are not masoom enough to promote beauty soaps. Our daily experience is continually mediated through such omnipresent symbolic media practices including film songs such as baby doll and paani wala dance that portray women as agents of titillation. Talking about T.V serials women have commonly been portrayed as Devi or as vamps and currently it is trendy to (re)present women as either naagins or dayans in family dramas. Video games and cartoons hardly have any female character as superhero. Then there are Whatsapp jokes on gender stereotypes spammed in bulk and pornography that legitimizes overtly violent and degrading sexual acts among others. There are other facets of the popular culture that are part of lived experiences such as wedding spectacles, religious rituals, glamorized festive extravaganzas and gendered world of sports. All these cultural constituents create/promote gender identities that are mediated through discourses of power and inequality.

On the other hand there are counter popular culture narratives that contend that the categories of sex and gender are not fixed but fluid and should not be restricted to conventional gender identity binaries. With this approach in mind, this conference plans to provide a platform for exchange of ideas among academics, social scientists, gender activists, researchers and practitioners about the role that popular culture plays in creating or dismantling gendered identities in the contemporary world.

CONFERENCE TRACKS

We welcome original research papers as per the following tracks. However, this list is indicative and not restrictive.

1 Gendered patterns/identities in society and literature
2 Notions of femininity and masculinity as constructed in popular culture
3 Representation of gender in mass media (films/Ads/serials/cartoon)
4 Gender stereotypes in cross-cultural contexts
5 Consumer as producer of gender binaries in new media culture (blogs/social networking/youtube/whatsapp…)
6 Popular cultural practices (weddings/rituals/festivities) as discourses of power and inequality
7 Counter popular narratives and changing gender perceptions
8 Popular narratives and the Queer discourse
9 Gender discourse and practices in the Corporate world
10 Gendered consumption in popular culture

Original research papers, to be submitted, should not exceed 5000 words in length and be in 12 point size font, Times New Roman with 1.5 line spacing. The papers would be shortlisted after rigorous reviewing process.