23rd April – Does Gender Exist?

Public Lecture Series 2019: Jemima Repo (University of Newcastle) – Does Gender Exist?

What is gender? Despite being a widely used term, it can mean several things. It can refer to the social construction of sex, a social role, a system of power, an identity, or be used as a ‘politically correct’ synonym for sex. The meaning of sex is just as undecided in feminist philosophy as it is in common parlance. In this talk, I provide an analysis of the contingency of the concept of gender through an engagement with the genealogical method of Michel Foucault. Tracing the origins of the idea of gender to 1950s psychiatry, I argue that gender is a historically specific apparatus of power, one that cannot be taken self-evidently as emancipatory. The talk therefore troubles some of our deepest beliefs about gender ontology.

Jemima Repo is a feminist political theorist at Newcastle University, and author of the award-winning The Biopolitics of Gender.

Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Time: 7pm to 8.30pm / Cost: £5 (£3 concession)