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Final Conference „Sexing the City” Completes HERA SINGLE

Sep 13, 2016

The conference „Sexing the City” took place at the Museum Volkenkunde/Research Center for Material Culture in Leiden from September 15-17, 2016. It was the final conference of HERA SINGLE, a three-year, interdisciplinary research project. “Autonomy”, one of the three subprojects, was led by Prof. Christiane Brosius at the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS).

SINGLE analysed the new cultural geographies of gendered urban space in Delhi and Shanghai, focusing on ‘single’ women across the life-course. The context of neo-liberal urbanisation in India and China is enabling the formation of new biographies and spaces for women. Single women are increasingly visible in public, be it through media representations or everyday practices and mobilities.

The conference „Sexing the City” comprised discussion and debate, including keynote presentations from Prof. Raminder Kaur (University of Sussex, UK) and Prof. Jennifer Robinson (University College London, UK), film screenings of “Women” by Walker Lee (Shanghai), depicting the lives and loves of young urbanites in China and an art exhibition featuring the artists Li Xiaofei (Shanghai), Guo Qingling (Shanghai), and Sheba Chhachhi (Delhi). It started with the opening of the art exhibition on September 15, followed by a workshop and three panels on September 16. Each of the three panels was dedicated to one of the subprojects within SINGLE, "Autonomy", "Respectability" and "Precarity", which explored different aspects of the experiences of single women in Delhi and Shanghai. The panel "Autonomy" was chaired by Prof. Christiane Brosius; Prof. Barbara Mittler gave a speech in the panel "Respectability". The screening of Walker Lee’s film and the final debate took place on September 17.

SINGLE, a three-year, interdisciplinary research project was funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA). Project partners were the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS), the University of Amsterdam, and Birkbeck College (University of London), as well as Fei Contemporary Art Foundation (Shanghai),Goethe Institute (New Delhi) and The National Museum of World Cultures / The Research Center for Material Culture (Amsterdam and Leiden).

The SINGLE project counted itself as one of the 18 projects selected from over 500 proposals for the 2012 round of the HERA Joint Research Programme held under the theme ‘Cultural Encounters’. The HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Joint Research Programme is a partnership between 21 Humanities Research Councils and the European Science Foundation (ESF). The Programme supports innovative collaborations between universities and research centres all across Europe.

The subproject “Autonomy” was led by Prof. Christiane Brosius, who holds the chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS).

Find out more about SINGLE and the program.


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