Academic journal article Outskirts

Introduction

Academic journal article Outskirts

Introduction

Article excerpt

In an era when gender is popularly thought to have decreasing relevance, The Gender Games: Stories in/for the Contemporary World (November 2012) serendipitously (or unfortunately) intersected with a turbulent moment in Australian politics, society and culture in relation to gender. This special issue comprises a number of the papers given at the cross-institutional and inter-disciplinary research symposium convened by Deakin, Melbourne and Monash universities, held at Deakin Prime on 26-27 November in 2012.

The symposium took place less than two months after then-Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, delivered her instantly famous 'misogyny speech' responding in part to months of gender-based personal attacks against her and strongly critiquing what she saw as the consistently sexist attitudes of the Opposition Leader at the time, Tony Abbott (now Prime Minister of Australia). Just as this speech of 9 October 2012 attracted global attention, intense media and public interest at a more local level had pervaded the state of Victoria over the preceding few weeks. With early morning surveillance camera images of a woman walking past a bridal shop talking to an unknown man in a blue hoodie becoming seared onto the collective imagination, what was soon discovered to be the rape and murder of 29 year-old Melbourne resident Jill Meagher on 22 October once again brought the issue of sexual and other violence towards women into the public spotlight.

In this climate, researchers gathered from twelve Australian tertiary institutions from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, which included Media Studies, Theatre and Performance, Health, Sociology, Visual Art, Law, Anthropology, History, Film and Television Studies, Journalism, Criminology, Literary Studies and Gender Studies. …

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