Technologies of Gender

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Technology has been held responsible for producing and reproducing gender norms and practices (Cockburn 1983, 1985; Wajcman 1991), but it has also been hailed as the saviour of minorities, especially women, by providing the tools for their liberation from oppression (Haraway 1997; Plant 1998). The reality is somewhere in the middle, ‘between technophobia and technophilia’ (Wajcman 2007, p. 287). We are interested in theorising this middle ground, examining the mutually-defining relationship between gender and technology by exploring the gendered dimensions of technology’s access and use, and the framing of debates around gender identities and technology. Taking up Ursula K. Le Guin’s broad definition of technology as ‘how a society copes with physical reality’ (2004), we will consider the various ways in which technology works as a mediator between the body and embodied experiences of identity. From the household appliance revolution to Haraway’s feminist cyborg to sexual reassignment surgery, how is gender shaped, performed, and transformed by various technologies and technological metaphors?

As a first step in this process, on 5th June 2019 the Intersectionalities: politics – identities – cultures research group and the MA in Global Media Management will co-host a one-day symposium on ‘Technologies of Gender’. Through a series of expert lectures, workshops and discussions, this event will explore the ways in which technology shapes (and is shaped by) our constructions of gender identity. We hope that this event will lead to future collaborations between participants, not least by fostering an interdisciplinary understanding of the gendered dimensions of technology, and the ways in which gender plays a core role in shaping how technology is manufactured, produced, used and consumed.


Bonner, Frances et al. (eds.) (1992). Imagining Women: Cultural Representations and Gender.

Carter, Cynthia; Steiner, Linda; McLaughlin, Lisa (eds.) (2014). The Routledge Companion to Media & Gender. London: Routledge.

Cockburn, C. (1985). Machinery of Dominance: Women, Men and Technical Know-How. Pluto Press.

Gill, Rosalind (2007). Gender and the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Haraway, D. J. (1997). Modest−Witness@Second−Millennium.FemaleMan−Meets−OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. London: Routledge.

Le Guin, U. K. (2004) A Rant About ‘Technology’ [online]. Available from: (Accessed 10 December 2018).

Mulvey, Laura (1975). ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’. In Caughie, John et al. (1992). The Sexual Subject: A Screen Reader in Sexuality. London: Routledge, pp. 22-34.

Plant, S. (1998). Zeros + Ones: Digital Women + the New Technoculture. Fourth Estate.

Wajcman, J. (1991). Feminism Confronts Technology. John Wiley & Sons.

Wajcman, J. (2007). ‘From Women and Technology to Gendered Technoscience’. Information, Communication & Society, 10(3), 287–298.

Webster, Juliet; Michailidou, Martha (2018). ‘Building Gender Perspectives in the Analysis of Virtual Work.’ In International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 14(1), pp. 3-18. Cockburn, C. (1983). Brothers: Male Dominance and Technological Change. Pluto Press.

ABOUT IPIC (Intersectionalities: politics – identities – cultures)

Intersectionalities: Politics – identities – cultures is a research group that is concerned with issues of equality and diversity, power, technologies of resistance and control. We research the links between culture, politics and identity from a variety of disciplines and from an intersectional perspective. We start from the belief that diversity brings us together rather than dividing us. We look for new ways of speaking and working to enable voices to be heard.

ABOUT MA Global Media Management

News, entertainment, and communication media are being transformed through the global development of the Internet, social networks, and mobile media. Through the MA Global Media Management (GMM) students develop a critical understanding of the technological, cultural and political implications of these changes, and the hands-on and practical skills to engage with and shape them. Supported by the teaching, research and professional expertise of internationally renowned academics and sector-leading professionals, students apply academic debates and industry perspectives to the investigation of media organisations, consumers and audiences, and digital innovation.

‘Technologies of Gender’ Programme
10.30-11.30 GMM Student-led activity Paola Peyret Boek

‘Representation of Women in Television Series and their Friendship: Big Lies as a Case Study’ (10 mins)

Bingqing Qian

‘Social Media and Gender Discrimination in China’

Weike Zhong

‘Women, Sex and the City’

Tom Carey (respondent)

Yuqin ‘Rachel’ Xiong (photography/video)

Yaqiong Li (social media/respondent)

11.30-12.30 Two speakers

+ Q&A


Namvula Rennie

Quiet Revolutions’ (30 mins)

Dr. Tom Tlalim (20 mins)

‘Tonotopia: Listening Through a Digital Ear’

10 mins Q&A

12.30- 1.30 Lunch University catering
1.30 – 3.00 Three speakers

+ Q&A

Dr Christine ‘Xine’ Yao (30 mins)

‘All Look The Same: Techno-Orientalist Queer Reproduction at the Turn of the Century’

Eda Sancakdar Onikinci (20 mins)
‘Photographic Bodies and Sensitive Surfaces’

Dr August Jordan Davis (20 mins)

‘Woman as Media: Channelling and Challenging in Feminist Visual Cultures’

20 mins Q&A

3.00-3.30 Coffee break University catering
3.30-5.00 Three speakers

+ Q&A

Professor Marika Taylor (30 mins)

‘Gendered issues in theoretical science’

Isabel Lopez (20 mins)

‘Gender and the Internet of Things’

Prof. Elselijn Kingma (20 mins)

‘Breeders or Incubators? The Handmaid and Metaphysics of Pregnancy’

20 mins Q&A

5.00-late Drinks and informal dinner The Willow Tree

For the full programme, abstract and bios, please click here.