Mentoring Master’s Dissertations

Join us for three separate sessions on how to write a Master’s dissertation that focuses on gender research. Hear tips and advice from the PGRNS committee who are currently completing their PhDs across different disciplines in Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have!

Session 1: Initial thoughts + literature reviews – Wednesday 9th June, 1pm

Session 2: Data collection + analysis – Exact date TBC

Session 3: Conclusions, formatting + editing – Exact date TBC

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/p6b87EPukfM5SWQ7A

Gendering 2020(+1) Conference Programme

GENDERING 2020(+1) CONFERENCE 

Thursday 4th February 2021 

9:45am – 4:15pm 

9:45 – 10am: Opening remarks. 

10 – 11am: Session 1 – Women’s Writing Across Space and Time 

Ross Cameron: “I expected something different – perhaps a wild mountain land inhabited by a half-savage people”: Rewriting Southeastern Europe in Anglo-American women’s travel writing, 1900-1914”. 

Paul Thompson: “Judging the book by the cover: The semiotics of gender in lesbian pulp artwork 1950-1965”. 

11 – 12pm: Session 2 – Thinking Beyond Binaries 

Luan Cassal: “Where is this road going? Notes on discourses of progress in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGAEurope) annual reviews”. 

Maxwell Davies: “G[end]er Creative Parenting”. 

Ashley Thornton: “Gendered pronouns usage by Chinese EL2 speakers: Investigating epicene forms”. 

12pm: End of morning session. 

1:45 – 2pm: Afternoon session remarks. 

2 – 3pm: Session 3 – Masculinities in Crisis 

Marianna Golinucci: “Like a Fearless Punk Ballad” or, redefining masculinity from a Welsh mining town. The Manic Street Preachers: a case study”. 

Rebecca Jones: “#SoyBoy: Masculinity, Meat and Insult in Twenty-First Century Discourse”. 

Clare Binning: “The Undateables: Inceldom, Entitlement and the State Mandated GF”. 

3 – 4pm: Session 4 – The Gendered Body in the Visual Arts 

Clare McKeown: “Sexual imagery and sexual violence: representational tensions in feminist campaigns”. 

Rachel Thain-Gray: “Who is the ‘woman’ in the ‘women’s’ museum?” 

Camila Cavalcante: “Strategies in feminist photography and the fight for abortion rights: Olivia Harris, Emma Campbell, and Laia Abril”. 

4 – 4:15pm: Closing remarks. 

August Bulletin

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How is it August already? We hope that wherever you are – whether that’s enjoying some much needed annual leave, boosting up that word count, reading existing literature, or even just taking baby steps to put thoughts to paper – you’re doing okay and staying safe. 

Join Us! 

You might have heard that we are looking for extra muscle for the upcoming 2020-21 year! As we move into our 5th year we are looking for new Committee Members! If you think you’d be interested in gaining some leadership experience, organising a conference, and facilitating a platform for gender researchers to connect then drop us a line. There is more information on our blog here. The closing date for applications is 15th August 2020. 

Gendering 2020 Update

We are keeping track of guidelines and restrictions so we can make our postponed 4th annual conference Gendering 2020 as safe as possible. We were hoping to have more information regarding hosting conferences at The University of Glasgow and we are waiting to see if we can go ahead in Autumn 2020. Conferences occurring in-person provide long-lasting connections and supportive environments that we strive to support. We very much want to host an in-person conference opposed to a virtual event for participants to get a ‘true’ conference experience so we are still holding out for this option. 

We have been delighted with the interest we have received and have loved reading through the abstracts. We will do our best to update applicants at the beginning of September as soon as we know more. 

Until then, we continue to accept abstracts for the conference on a rolling basis.
Find our Call For Papers with more information on Gendering 2020 here 

What We’ve Been Up To Lately at PGRNS
Have you checked out our August Newsletter? Each month we give you a freshly squeezed rundown of upcoming gender-related events, jobs, workshops and more.

Ross Cameron shared a lovely blog with us, ‘Gendering Anglo-American Travel to the Balkans’ which discusses women’s travel writing in the Balkans at the turn of the twentieth century. 

Keep in touch with us! 

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Blog 

Take care, 

Emilia Belknap, Huzan Bharucha, Sophie Duncan-Shepherd, Anna McEwan, Laura Shaw and Anna-Viktoria Vittinghoff
PGRNS Organising Committee

April Newsletter – ft. Conference Update

April 2020 Newsletter

april newsletter 2020

Hello, from self-isolation!  It has been a chaotic and confusing time for all of us here in the Postgraduate Gender Research Network. We have been determined to try and navigate the past few weeks with hope and positivity yet, understandably, it has been difficult. For some, working from home (WFH) comes naturally – although this type of WFH  is certainly a different species to the WFH some might know and love. It can be arduous and stressful to try to stay ‘productive’ during these times and we are coming to realise that ‘productivity,’ like WFH is morphing into something else. 

Usually, our newsletter includes events, conferences, and jobs that are timely and pertinent to gender researchers to Scotland and the UK. This month, however, we tried to look for different types of events/resources/encouragement that you can do remotely and have entitled this section Gender Online. We still have job opportunities, call for contributions and much more below.

We hope that these resources will be useful to you during this time.  However, as discussed above, we encourage you to do what ‘feels right’ this month and be gentle with yourself.

 

Gendering 2020 Announcement

In March, we announced the date and focus of Gendering 2020, our conference. We have more information about the conference on our blog. We have released our Call for Papers and we have also issued a current statement on COVID19 and how this could affect the conference along with alternative plans. 

At the most recent PGRNS organising committee meeting we have made the decision to move the conference to a later date in Autumn 2020. We made this decision based on the understanding it is no longer responsible or safe to have a conference this upcoming June. This was not a light-hearted decision to make. We put a lot of effort into organising this and received so much interest and support from our PGRNS community. We hope we can count on your energy and the same enthusiasm for a later date. 

We are looking into the idea of having a virtual workshop or brainstorming session this Summer and we would really value your feedback on how PGRNS can help support your academic growth. Please check out our Twitter for more information on this and consider Tweeting us any ideas/thoughts you might have. 

For now, as stated below, we have decided to keep the Call for Papers open as we are hoping to still host the conference eventually and are committed to providing a space for postgraduate gender researchers to get conference experiences in Scotland.


Now, on to the April Newsletter! 

Upcoming Conferences

Gendering 2020: Postgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland (PGRNS) Conference 

 

  • Date: TBD

 

  • Where: The University of Glasgow 
  • Abstracts Due: On a rolling basis – These are very special circumstances and productivity is being redefined. If any of you are struggling to get down ideas for your research project we hope you see this as an opportunity to facilitate progression in your research as opposed to a barrier. 
  • More Information

Gender Roles and their Impact in Academia

 

  • 13-14 October 2020

 

  • Where: EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
  • Abstracts Due: 15 June 2020
  • Registration Deadline: 26 August 2020
  • More Information

GENDER ONLINE
** Online Resources, Materials, Exhibitions  **

Gender Equal Media Scotland: Gender in the Media Free Online Course (Relaunched)In January this year, we launched our completely free online course on ‘Gender Representation in the Media’. Run in collaboration with Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde, the course was a resounding success with participants from over 100 countries! In light of recent circumstances, we’ve brought forward the start date of the next run of the course. It will now begin on Monday 6 April 2020. More information – and a link to sign up – is available in the link given above!

Glasgow Women’s Library – Decoding Inequalities Online ExhibitionThe objects in this exhibition have been chosen from the museum and archive collections of Glasgow Women’s Library. They were selected by staff and volunteers to reflect the nature of inequality and how it is experienced. The objects have been ‘decoded’ and analysed, addressing the inequalities that each object articulates and the context in which it was produced.

#MHAWS: Mirya Holman’s Aggressive Winning Scholars Newsletter: Surviving and thriving in academia – This is punchy, and as the title suggests: aggressive, newsletter about surviving in academia written by Professor Mirya Holman. Sent to your personal or work inbox!

A compiled list of informative, crowdsourced list of alternative research methods to avoid face-to-face contact by Deborah Lupton (@DALupton)

Black Feminist Theory Course Syllabus – Open Access / Provided by Professor Imani Perry

Queercare COVID19 – Are you immunocompromised, asthmatic, or otherwise at additional risk from COVID19? Fill in the form here to receive help.

Online Events by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) at the University of Edinburgh are still being held remotely while the offices are closed.

Haringey Anti-Raids – a website with resources and strategies for support migrants during the COVID-19 Pandemic

CultureCounts Impact Survey –  on impacts to all of the creative community in Scotland. All concerns raised will be shared with the Scottish Government

We are Panel Tate Exchange  (on SoundCloud) Panel – Co/Producing Feminist Knowledge: A Critical Exchange. An exploration into how activists, artists and academics come together to co-produce feminist knowledge and protest. Featuring: Akwugo Emejulu, Ifeanyi Awachi, Ruth Ewan, and Adele Patrick.

Presentation: (How) Do Voters Discriminate Against Women Candidates: Experimental and Qualitative Evidence from MalawiSmall presentation by Amanda Clayton and Diana Z O’Brien

COVID 19 Answers – Global Health Reading List by Sophia Harman 

Call for Contributions/Papers/More

Job Opportunities 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Contributions/Papers/More

Postgraduate Research Network of Scotland (Call for Blog Posts)

 

  • Deadline: rolling

 

  • Blog posts sought on any subject of Gender Research by Postgraduate Researchers
  • More information 

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies

 

  • Deadline: 1 April 2020

 

Culture as Decolonial Resistance and Power

 

  • Deadline: 13 April 2020

 

  • When: 9-10 June 2020
  • Where: The University of St. Andrews
  • Limited bursaries available
  • More Information

‘Filthy Minds:’ Sex, Stigma, and (In)sanity

 

  • Deadline: 23 April 2020

 

Women and Gender in the Bible and the Biblical World

 

  • Deadline: 30 April 2020

 

The Female Detective on TV

 

  • Deadline: 30 May for abstracts, 1 December for papers

 

  To Get Involved and Stay in Touch with PGRNS

 

 

  • Email us at PGRNScot@gmail.com to join the mailing list or Facebook group, tell us about an event or CFP, suggest a project, organise a pub night etc.

 

  • Join our Facebook group: Post-graduate Gender Research Network of Scotland – is a semi-private group so you can find us but you can’t see what’s going on until you’re a member.
  • Subscribe to our Blog and let us know if you would like to write a post for us!

 

 

 

 

 

Best wishes and please take care,

Emilia Belknap, Huzan Bharucha, Sophie Duncan-Shepherd, Anna McEwan, Laura Shaw and Anna-Viktoria Vittinghoff

PGRNS Organising Committee

 

Call for Papers: Gendering 2020

PGRNS NEW LOGO

Gendering 2020 

February 2021

Call for Papers

Postgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland

As the title theme suggests, Gendering 2020 will explore gender in the new decade and new directions in gender scholarship from a variety of disciplines, methodologies and approaches. To us, Gendering 2020 aims to highlight ‘new’ perspectives and approaches to gender – however, our definition of ‘new’ does not only mean contemporary. 

Gendering 2020 is about gender research for all, by all. 

We invite abstracts from postgraduate students researching gender in all fields but especially queer theory, LGBT+ studies, transgender theory, transgender studies, linguistics and translation studies, disability studies, studies of masculinities and more. Further suggested areas may include, but are by no means limited to: 

Gender and Law                                       Gender, Science and Medicine 

Gender and Sociology                              Gender, Film and Media Studies

Gender and Business                     Gender, Language and Literature

Gender and Art                                 Gender, History and Philosophy

Gender and Politics                                   Gender and Music

Please submit abstracts (c. 500 words) for 15-minute paper presentations and a brief biography (c. 100 words) to pgrnscot@gmail.com by 11th January 2021. Please direct any enquiries regarding the conference to this address. Applicants will be notified of the outcome on 18th January 2021. The date of the conference is to be confirmed but will take place in early February.

Funding Provided by the University of Edinburgh SPS Graduate School and the University of Glasgow Centre for Gender History.

UPDATE** Intersections Conference Programme

INTERSECTIONS

 

;

Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach

PGRNS Annual Conference

5th June 2019

2.12 Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh

 

10:00 – 10:20     Teas and Coffees

10:20 – 10:30     Welcome: PGRNS committee

10.30 – 11.50     Session 1: Gender and Violence

Chair: Leah McCabe, University of Edinburgh

Casey L. Bevens, University of Edinburgh, ‘Men’s Sexual Aggression Against Women: Development of an Online Intrusive Behavior Paradigm’

Clare McKeown, University of Stirling, ‘Representing men’s violence against women’

Julia Zauner, Glasgow Caledonian University, ‘The continuum of symbolic violence: When Sexting Education neglects Image-Based Abuse, Dismisses Perpetrators’ Responsibility, and Violates Rights to Sexual Intimacy’.

 

11.50 – 12.00       Comfort Break

 

12.00 – 13.20       Session 2: Art, Literature, Culture, Media and Gender

Chair: Anna-Viktoria Vittinghoff, University of Edinburgh

Rebecca Elton, University of Leeds, ‘Mother of Dragons: Motherhood and the Subversion of Patriarchy in A Song of Ice and Fire (1997-)’

Helena Roots, University of Napier, ‘Watchfulness, Widows, and Womanhood: Gendered Trauma and Performative Grief in the Writing of Lorna Moon and Willa Muir’

Lauren Kilbane, University of Aberdeen, ‘O woe is me!’: Female Remembrance and Mourning in Early Modern England

 

13.20-14.00       Lunch

 

14.00-14.30       Keynote: Dr Radhika Govinda, Sociology, University                              of Edinburgh ‘Interrogating Intersectionality and Feminist   Knowledge Production

 

14.30-14.40       Comfort Break

 

14.40 – 15.40       Session 3: History and Gender                      

Chair: Beth Wallace, University of Aberdeen

Anna McEwan, University of Glasgow, ‘The life of Irma Thälmann and the myth of Ernst Thälmann: a case study into the effect of concentration camp detainment on Communist women’s access to power in the GDR’

Mairi Hamilton, University of Glasgow, ‘Lived Experience of Abusive Behaviour in the Nineteenth-Century Scottish Household’

 

15.40 – 15.50       Comfort Break

 

15.50 -17.10       Session 4: Gender, Law, Marketing and Consumerism

Chair: Rebecca Smyth, University of Edinburgh

Alice Krzanich, University of Edinburgh, ‘Looking at the Law: Female Domestic Servants in Scotland c 1790 – c 1850’

Zhouda Zhan, University of Edinburgh, ‘How to improve gender equality through global trade governance mechanism:what has been done and what could be better?’

Sophie Duncan Shepherd, University of Strathclyde, ‘Trans-cending Vulnerability: Exploring the experiences of gender non-conforming consumers’

 

17.10       Closing and to Spoons!

INTERSECTIONS: Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach 2019 Conference Programme

 

;

INTERSECTIONS

Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach

PGRNS Annual Conference

5th June 2019

2.12 Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh


 

10:00 – 10:20         Teas and Coffees

 


 

10:20 – 10:30          Welcome: PGRNS committee

 


 

10.30 – 11.50          Session 1: Gender and Violence

Chair: Leah McCabe, University of Edinburgh

Casey L. Bevens, University of Edinburgh, ‘Men’s Sexual Aggression Against Women: Development of an Online Intrusive Behavior Paradigm’

Clare McKeown, University of Stirling, ‘Representing men’s violence against women’

Julia Zauner, Glasgow Caledonian University, ‘The continuum of symbolic violence: When Sexting Education neglects Image-Based Abuse, Dismisses Perpetrators’ Responsibility, and Violates Rights to Sexual Intimacy’.


 

11.50 – 12.00           Comfort Break

 


 

12.00 – 13.20           Session 2: Art, Literature, Culture, Media and Gender

Chair: Anna-Viktoria Vittinghoff, University of Edinburgh

Rebecca Elton, University of Leeds, ‘Mother of Dragons: Motherhood and the Subversion of Patriarchy in A Song of Ice and Fire (1997-)’

Helena Roots, University of Napier, ‘Watchfulness, Widows, and Womanhood: Gendered Trauma and Performative Grief in the Writing of Lorna Moon and Willa Muir’

Lauren Kilbane, University of Aberdeen, ‘O woe is me!’: Female Remembrance and Mourning in Early Modern England


 

13.20-14.00            Lunch*

 


 

14.00-14.30           Keynote: Dr Radhika Govinda, Sociology, University of Edinburgh                                                  


 

14.30-14.40            Comfort Break

 


 

14.40 – 16.00           Session 3: Gender, Law, Marketing and Consumerism

Chair: Rebecca Smyth, University of Edinburgh

Alice Krzanich, University of Edinburgh, ‘Looking at the Law: Female Domestic Servants in Scotland c 1790 – c 1850’

Zhouda Zhan, University of Edinburgh, ‘How to improve gender equality through global trade governance mechanism: what has been done and what could be better?’

Sophie Duncan Shepherd, University of Strathclyde, ‘Trans-cending Vulnerability: Exploring the experiences of gender non-conforming consumers’

 


 

16.00 – 16.10           Comfort Break

 


 

16.10 -17.10            Session 4: History and Gender

Chair: Beth Wallace, University of Aberdeen

Anna McEwan, University of Glasgow, ‘The life of Irma Thälmann and the myth of Ernst Thälmann: a case study into the effect of concentration camp detainment on Communist women’s access to power in the GDR’

Mairi Hamilton, University of Glasgow, ‘Lived Experience of Abusive Behaviour in the Nineteenth-Century Scottish Household’


 

17.10                      Closing and to Spoons!

 


*Lunch is not provided

‘INTERSECTIONS: Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach’ Paper Presenter Abstracts

pgnrs-logo

We are currently organising our third annual conference, INTERSECTIONS: Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach, which will showcase postgraduate students’ research on gender at Scottish institutions (with one presenter from an English institution!). This year’s conference is hosted at the University of Edinburgh (home to three of the committee members) and the conference theme is very timely as 2019 marks thirty-years since Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term ‘intersectionality’. 

We are very excited to hear about all of our presenters’ research and thought we would share the fantastic and interesting abstracts with our followers! We will also share the conference programme closer to the event.


INTERSECTIONS: Investigating Gender Through an Interdisciplinary Approach

3rd PGRNS Annual Conference

5th June 2019

Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh


Casey L. Bevens, University of Edinburgh ‘Men’s Sexual Aggression Against Women: Development of an Online Intrusive Behavior Paradigm’

Sexual Aggression, a term used here inclusively to indicate a continuum of manifestations of unwanted sexual attention and behaviors, covering all acts of unwanted sexual contact from sexual harassment up to and including rape, is an ongoing global problem that disproportionately effects women and girls (Garcia-Moreno et al, 2006; Smith et al., 2017). The present work focuses on male sexual aggression perpetrated by men against women. Sexual aggression is a complex phenomenon, with no unifying theoretical model dominating the field of study (Gannon, Collie, Ward, & Thakker, 2008; Ward & Hudson, 1998). Models that exist tend to fall into several categories, including taxonomies (e.g. Groth et al., 1977; Knight & Prentkey, 1990; Seghorn & Cohen, 1980), micro/rehabilitation theories (e.g. Pithers, 1990; Ward & Hudson, 1998; Polaschek & Hudson, 2004), single factor theories (e.g. psychodynamic, feminist, evolutionary, social-cognitive), and multi-factor theories (e.g. Hall & Hirschman, 1991; Malamuth, 1996; Marshall & Barbaree; 1990; Marshall & Marshall, 2000; Ward & Beech, 2005; Ward & Polaschek, 2006). Due in part to this conceptual complexity and in part to the need for major ethical consideration in creating approaches, attempts at measurement of this construct to date tend to be extremely-somewhat removed from ecological validity. These have largely included self-reports (ASAI- Malamuth, 1989; LSH- Pryor, 1987; ASBI- Mosher & Anderson, 1986; SES- Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987), although some behavioral (e.g. Interpersonal touching paradigm- Pryor, 1987; Rape behavior analogue- Rudman & Mescher, 2012) and physiological (Penile circumference- Abel, Becker, Blanchard, & Djenderedjian, 1978; Earls & Proulx, 1986) measures exist as well. As all of these existing measures have minor and/or major problems, I have developed a behavioral measure, termed the Intrusive Behavior Paradigm (based in part on Diehl, Rees, & Bohner, 2012; Siebler, Sabelus, & Bohner, 2008), which uses Facebook and Facebook messenger as an ecologically valid alternative. This has proven to correlate well with existing measures. Implications will be discussed.

Presenter Biography

Casey L. Bevens is a third year PhD student in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, working under the supervision of Dr. Steve Loughnan. She comes originally from the U.S., and completed her undergraduate degree at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and her master’s degree at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her primary area of research is dehumanization and objectification. Her work to date has explored both self-objectification and objectification of others, and she is particularly interested in real-world consequences that disproportionately affect women, including sexual aggression as well as other less overt aggression and violence. Casey enjoys doing psychology research that is ecologically valid, and as a result has been drawn to looking into effects related to online contexts and environments both in her PhD work and side projects. Casey also enjoys her present teaching roles and is a former committee member of PGRNS


Sophie Duncan Shepherd, University of Strathclyde, ‘Trans-cending Vulnerability: Exploring the experiences of gender non-conforming consumers’.

This study focuses on transgender issues within the context of the marketplace. Several global brands, including Magnum and H&M, have included transgender and gender non-conforming people in their advertising. On the one hand, these campaigns may be seen as supporting the destigmatisation of transgender people but, on the other hand, increased visibility brings with it increased risk and evidence suggests that the socio-political environment in which transgender consumers must interact with the marketplace is becoming ever more hostile (McKeage, Crosby and Rittenburg, 2017). As a result, transgender consumers are prone to consumer vulnerability.

Although a strict gender binary is deeply embedded in UK society, little research has been conducted to discover how trans and non-binary people are affected. In marketing and consumer research, gender has been investigated as a variable in consumer behaviour, reflecting the discipline’s roots in behaviourism (Hearn and Hein, 2015). This study builds on this perspective by exploring transgender consumer experiences through the lens of Consumer Culture Theory.

The Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) paradigm, which grew out of a dissatisfaction with existing conceptualisations of consumption as a process of acquiring, using and disposing of a product or service. Within CCT, there is space for feminist perspectives, taking a critical view of gender as a fluid cultural and social category (Arsel, Eräranta and Moisander, 2015). This interpretive study, which is still at an early stage, looks to critically investigate gender nonconformity and vulnerability, taking insight from feminist, queer and intersectional approaches. Using netnography to investigate consumption online and conducting interviews with trans and non-binary consumers will provide rich, in-depth data. It will be important for this study to include a range of perspectives, as trans and non-binary identities are not homogenous. Significant findings would include instances of empowerment and adaption in an adverse marketplace, however predicting results is difficult as this study is based on lived experiences.

References

Arsel, Z., Eräranta, K. and Moisander, J. (2015) ‘Introduction: theorising gender and gendering theory in marketing and consumer research’, Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15–16), pp. 1553–1558. doi: 10.1080/0267257X.2015.1078396.

Baker, S. M., Gentry, J. W. and Rittenburg, T. L. (2005) ‘Building Understanding of the Domain of Consumer Vulnerability’, Journal of Macromarketing, 25(2), pp. 128–139. doi: 10.1177/0276146705280622.

Hearn, J. and Hein, W. (2015) ‘Reframing gender and feminist knowledge construction in marketing and consumer research: missing feminisms and the case of men and masculinities’, Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15–16), pp. 1626–1651. doi: 10.1080/0267257X.2015.1068835.

McKeage, K., Crosby, E. and Rittenburg, T. (2017) ‘Living in a Gender-Binary World: Implications for a Revised Model of Consumer Vulnerability’, Journal of Macromarketing, p. 027614671772396. doi: 10.1177/0276146717723963.

Presenter Biography

I am a first year PhD researcher in the Department of Marketing at the University of Strathclyde.  My areas of research interest are consumer culture theory, consumer vulnerability and stigma, and gender and LGBT lived experiences in the marketplace. My thesis will look at experiences of trans and non-binary consumers, their feelings of vulnerability and empowerment, and the impacts of different conceptualisations of gender. I am a longstanding supporter of the LGBT community and have written about how my experiences have encouraged me to pursue gender research in my field.

Prior to undertaking doctoral research, I worked in higher education fundraising for ten years at the University of St Andrews, the University of Aberdeen Development Trust and the University of Dundee. During this time, I was part of a team working towards a £100m campaign target, and alongside a senior colleague was responsible for raising over £1m in 2013. Working with students was my favourite aspect of my fundraising career, and now I’m enjoying being on the other side!


Rebecca Elton, University of Leeds, ‘Mother of Dragons: Motherhood and the Subversion of Patriarchy in A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-)’

Whilst contemporary feminists often emphasise the need to value motherhood as a female and feminine experience, influential theorists from Beauvoir to Butler have in some capacity described motherhood as a gendered institution diminishing possibilities of enfranchisement for women. Essentialist perspectives dominant in Western society posit women as naturally suited to childcare given their centrality in reproduction. These perspectives restrict women’s opportunities and emphasise unattainable standards of maternal conduct. Equally, the maternal body is seen as ‘abject’, unnerving for its innate creative capacity and liminality, existing at ‘the threshold of existence’, thus seeming ‘both sacred and soiled, holy and hellish’ (Braidotti, 2011: 227).

Meanwhile, ‘mother of dragons’ is now a ubiquitous phrase in popular culture, and Daenerys Targaryen a central figure in popular culture through the success of A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-) and its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones (2011-2019). Whilst critics of the series frequently address concerns of gender within the series, Daenerys’s relationship with motherhood is little explored. That a mother should be such a central and powerful figure in a fantasy series is subversive in itself, given the frequent absence of mothers in fantasy, as well as the powerlessness associated with motherhood in Western society. Yet how might Daenerys further subvert expectations of motherhood?

This presentation will examine portrayals of motherhood in A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-) by George R.R. Martin, with a focus on popular culture icon, Daenerys Targaryen. It will use gender and feminist theory to explore Daenerys’s maternal experience, arguing that motherhood can be interpreted within Martin’s series as a force to potentially destroy patriarchy rather than uphold its values. The presentation explores Daenerys’s status as ‘mother of dragons’ as representative of the abjection of motherhood, but equally of the potential power latent in mothers to destroy patriarchy.

References 

Braidotti, Rosi, 2011. Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press.

Presenter Biography

Rebecca Elton is a PhD student in modern languages at the University of Leeds. Her research examines masculinities in post World War Two French and British children’s literature in light of events that have challenged masculinity over the past century. These stretch from wartime trauma and second wave feminism, to contemporary men’s mental health campaigns, sexual abuse scandals and configurations of ‘toxic masculinity’. Her MA research examined female and feminine power in A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-) and the French historical fiction series that influenced it, Les Rois maudits (1955-77), with a focus on the themes of motherhood, sexuality and violence. Her research interests include comparative cultural studies, 20th and 21st century Anglophone and Francophone literature, popular culture, genre and gender.


Mairi Hamilton, University of Glasgow, ‘Lived Experience of Abusive Behaviour in the Nineteenth-Century Scottish Household’

A number of significant studies have historicised sexual violence in specific social and cultural contexts. Violence against women in the past has been considered as a feature of marital conflict, a judicial matter, a discursive motif, and a cause for reform. Where there is scope for further research that takes an alternative perspective from existing historiography concerns the lived experience of abused women. The historical record captures the speech and action of women who suffered habitual abuse at home. Examining this evidence may lead to a better understanding of sexual violence from the ‘victim’s’ perspective, advancing beyond a societal or cultural level. Traces of women’s visceral reactions to long-term patterns of abusive behaviour are opportunities to try to explicate the reality of the material and psychic impact of abuse on individuals in historical context. A gendered analytical approach recognises how the toll of abuse on women’s bodies, livelihoods and outlook shapes their social identities and their sense of self as women.

Examples of the various forms of abusive behaviour women faced are recorded in narrative accounts in historical cases of judicial separation on grounds of cruelty. The records of the Edinburgh Commissary Court describe in immense detail the abuse Scottish women experienced within the household and its impact during the early nineteenth century. This paper will present extracts from these court records that illustrate the sensory dimension of certain acts of abuse perpetrated against women and the emotional, corporeal responses they elicited.

Presenter Biography

Mairi Hamilton is currently a second-year PhD student in the Centre for Gender History at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis examines narratives of women’s experiences of abuse within domestic settings in nineteenth-century Scotland. This research project is funded by the AHRC through the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) and is supervised by Professor Lynn Abrams and Professor Alex Shepard. She has a MSc in Gender History and a MA with First Class Honours in History from the University of Glasgow. Mairi is the current convenor of the Hufton Postgraduate Reading Group at Glasgow, which brings together postgraduate students to discuss gender in history on a monthly basis, and is a member of the Steering Committee of Women’s History Scotland. Her research interests include the history of everyday gender relations and sexual violence, exploring issues concerning subjectivity, the self and the body from a feminist perspective.


Lauren Kilbane, University of Aberdeen, ‘‘O woe is me!’: Female Remembrance and Mourning in Early Modern England’.

In the twenty-first century, when considering previous research surrounding the theme of gender and mourning, one typically encounters several conflicting arguments. Previous scholars have argued that attitudes towards gender roles in Early Modern England were static and women remained subject exclusively to patriarchal law. However, recent developments in manuscript culture and drama studies have unearthed a somewhat different view.

This paper examines the relationship between gender roles and attitudes to death and mourning in Early Modern England. By examining the relationship gender, religion and death played in the Early Modern era, I highlight the ways and methods in which women used their role in society to their own advantage. Juxtaposing previous critical study on the subject with 21st-century interpretations of Early Modern gender roles, I offer an insight into the extent of Early Modern women’s flexibility within their societal position. Gender, in this instance, was not a limiting factor in these women’s lives; rather, it allowed them to manipulate the society around them to their own advantage.

In examining previous research surrounding gender and religion in the Early modern era, this paper challenges the stereotypes that women were submissive to patriarchal influences, and were viewed as meek and without influence in Renaissance society. It instead allowed for the development of their own cultural space, an exploration of their own creativity, and an opportunity to become agents of remembrance and mourning in their own right. In doing so, Early Modern women not only had a voice, but they were not afraid to use it in order to explore their own sense of self. (262 words)

Presenter Biography

Lauren Kilbane is a first year English Literature PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. She obtained both her Undergraduate and Masters degrees at the same university, before deciding to remain within the English department for her doctoral research. As a recipient of the Ledingham Trust PhD studentship in English, Lauren has been able to develop her continuing research interest in the interactions between gender, drama and the religio-political transformations of the Renaissance era.

In particular, she is focussing on the gender roles that women play in Early Modern drama when confronted with death, and how changes to attitudes in mourning influence the performative roles they play. Whilst her research is still in its early phases, Lauren is keen to explore the extent to which societal attitudes to grief throughout the transition of the English Reformation were open to more change than previously theorised. At the moment, she is very interested in epitaphs, and the history of early modern emotions.

Lauren currently lives in Aberdeen with her many cacti and an ever-growing book collection, and is contemplating adopting a cat or dog to complete the set. (186 words)


Alice Krzanich, University of Edinburgh ‘Looking at the Law: Female Domestic Servants in Scotland c 1790 – c 1850’                                                                                   

This paper explores the author’s work to date on an untapped topic in Scotland’s legal history: historical master-servant law as it applied to female domestic servants in the period c 1790 – c 1850 in Scotland. During this period, many women worked as servants in the households of other people. The law regulated this work, providing the terms on which a person could enter service; the obligations he or she owed to their master and/or mistress; and the terms on which they could leave service. The author hopes to explore the way this law treated female servants (in both substantive legal doctrine and in its application), using gender as a tool of analysis. This research is therefore an exercise in women’s legal history, a highly interdisciplinary field that draws upon social history, the study of law and gender, and women’s history to understand the relationship between women and the law from a historical perspective.

As the author is a first-year PhD student, this paper will summarise some of the key matters informing her research so far. These include the research questions driving her analysis of the law, as well as the proposed resources and methodology she will use to conduct the study. The paper will also address the context of this research and how it fits within the broader research field. Tentative commentary on the significance and originality of this research will also be given. Throughout, the author will be motivated by the view that as many women (and men) in Scotland’s past have been servants, it is only fitting that the law regulating service is given due weight and analysis.

Presenter Biography

Alice Krzanich is a first-year PhD student in Law at the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis is provisionally titled: “Female domestic servants in early industrial Scotland: legal principles of the master-servant relationship as they applied to women in the period c 1790 – c 1850”. Alice’s research is situated within the developing field of women’s legal history and reflects her interests in law and gender; law and economics; and the history of law. She has an interdisciplinary supervisory team consisting of Professor Laura Macgregor (Law), Dr Chloë Kennedy (Law) and Professor Louise Jackson (History). Alice holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Auckland, NZ, alongside a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History from the same institution. She worked for a number of years in law before returning to university in 2017 to complete a Master of Law (First Class) at the University of Cambridge.


Anna McEwan, University of Glasgow, The life of Irma Thälmann and the myth of Ernst Thälmann: a case study into the effect of concentration camp detainment on Communist women’s access to power in the GDR’.

My presentation is based on my Gender History Master’s thesis which considered how concentration camp detainment affected communist women’s access to political power in the East German Democratic Republic (GDR) between 1945 and 1974. In my thesis I argued that gendered family relationships were a significant contributor to former female political prisoners’ accessing political power in the GDR. Using uninvestigated archival and published material, I reveal the way in which Irma Thälmann’s political career was symbolic of the lack of power former female political prisoners held in the GDR. Thälmann did not commemorate her own experiences as a resistance fighter, particularly her time incarcerated. Instead she devoted her life to her father, the fallen leader of the German Communist Party (KPD), Ernst Thälmann’s, memory. I argue her actions were deliberate as the male political prisoner’s narrative was defined by the GDR as the struggle that led to its creation. I claim that Thälmann understood the GDR’s gendered social order and accordingly negotiated her power. As the child of the fallen leader, Thälmann held a position in the GDR’s youth organisations alongside receiving a sizeable pension as a persecuted person of the Nazi regime with special fighter status. The Socialist Unity Party (SED) placed upmost importance in educating the youth in the Ernst Thälmann myth as it was central in the founding story of their republic. I argue as Thälmann could not rely on her own detainment experiences to secure her place in the political elite, she relied on her father’s, which played a major role in the SED’s indoctrination of the youth.

Presenter Biography

Anna McEwan is an AHRC/SGSAH funded PhD student at the University of Glasgow. Anna graduated from the University of Dundee in MA History with German in 2017 and graduated from the University of Glasgow in MSc Gender History in November 2018. Anna’s undergraduate dissertation considered gender politics in the German Communist party during the Weimar Republic focussing on two leading Communist women; Clara Zetkin and Ruth Fischer. Her research interests include women in Communist regimes generally, women and detainment and women’s roles in the political and social care system in the East German Democratic Republic. Anna’s Masters dissertation investigated the effect of detainment on the politics of Communist women in the GDR; the study focussed on female concentration camp detainment commemoration in the GDR, detainment’s effect on mother-daughter relationships and detainment’s connection to women’s access to political power in the Communist regime. Anna has undertaken several academic endeavours including co-founding the postgraduate journal, ‘Engendering the Past’ and working as Social Media Officer for the Leverhulme funded ‘Translating Feminism’ project. Most recently, Anna presented her Masters research at the University of Oxford as part of the ‘Thanks for Typing’ conference. Currently, Anna is preparing her PhD which focusses on the relationship between gendered citizenship and social care provision in the GDR between 1970 and 1990.


Clare McKeown, University of Stirling, ‘Representing men’s violence against women’.

In 1992, the original Zero Tolerance (ZT) Prevalence campaign to address men’s violence against women and girls (MVAW) launched in Scotland. The ground-breaking feminist public communications campaign used thoughtful representations of women’s bodies to facilitate political activism.

Prevalence represented MVAW – e.g. sexual abuse, rape, and domestic abuse – in nuanced ways that represented the reality that MVAW may not be explicitly physical or immediately visible on the body. Furthermore, the domestic “middle-class” staging of the images, as well as the choice of models, reveals an intersectional lens which challenged popular misconceptions that only certain “types” of women experienced male violence.

The campaign featured arresting images of women by feminist photographer Franki Raffles that deliberately did not show their bodies being actively brutalised or sexualised. The images do not reinforce norms of feminine objectification by rendering the subjects as objects of either lust or pity; nor do they resort to over-simplifying visual tropes, such as black eyes and raised fists. It was the interaction with the accompanying dissonant text that gave the images their impact (e.g. a picture of an elderly woman reading to a child with the text: “From 3 to 93, women are raped”).

Building on the original campaign’s success, Zero Tolerance became a Scottish charity and continues campaigning against MVAW to this day. The spirit of the original ZT campaign would infuse later campaigns such as (No) Excuses (1994/1995), Justice (1997), Respect (2001), and Violence Unseen (2018). Violence Unseen, in particular, addresses intersectional concerns about erasure: it depicts other kinds of often “unseen” violence (including FGM and online abuse) and often “unseen” women (such as trans women and disabled women).

This paper will argue that ZT provides a powerful illustration of how radical organisations and artists can responsibly represent the complexities of men’s violence against women.

Presenter Biography

I am a 2nd year SGSAH / AHRC-funded PhD researcher working across the Universities of Stirling and Strathclyde. My PhD is on the role that Western beauty norms have in the conception and delivery of Scottish anti-men’s violence against women (MVAW) campaigns.

I am primarily based in the Communication, Media and Culture department at the University of Stirling, but my work is informed by a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives from the humanities and social sciences. As a feminist academic, I believe research is an important tool in building a more just world.

After completing my MA in English Literature from Arcadia University in the USA and my MSc in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, I worked and volunteered in the Scottish charitable sector for nine years. I currently volunteer as a board member for a local domestic abuse support service.

My research interests include:

  • Feminist theory and gender studies
  • Men’s violence against women (MVAW)
  • Media studies and public relations
  • Visual and narrative representations of women generally and MVAW specifically
  • Discourses around and perceptions of “beauty”
  • Public education, awareness, and fundraising campaigns

Helena Roots, Edinburgh Napier University, ‘Watchfulness, Widows, and Womanhood: Gendered Trauma and Performative Grief in the Writing of Lorna Moon and Willa Muir’

My paper will examine the intersections between gendered domestic trauma, and watchful communities in interwar Scottish women’s writing, particularly in terms of performative grief and idealised widowhood. This paper will predominantly focus on Lorna Moon’s collection of short stories Doorways in Drumorty and Willa Muir’s two published novels Mrs. Ritchie and Imagined Corners, alongside archival items such as unpublished letters and diary entries. Their work will be considered within the specific context of watchful communities, and performative female trauma.

My work argues that the ever-present threat of being watched leads to complicit behaviour wherein women in particular perform in a certain way to ensure that they adhere to community determined regulations and therefore avoid negative scrutiny. There is also friction between what is believed to be consensual, mutual and supportive watchfulness and harmful surveillance. Furthermore, as a direct result of subversive public behaviour women are at risk of displacement from their communities and subject to either ridicule or complete rejection. This is seen in varying degrees in the work of Moon and Muir; in Moon’s ‘The Corp, for example, performative grief is explicitly satirised as a competitive act which impacts the performer’s future role in society. Moon also presents a powerful portrait of life for a physically handicapped woman in rural Scotland, with the protagonist’s PTSD and seclusion from society centred. Muir’s Mrs. Ritchie exposes the ‘sham’ of performative grief and widowhood, but Imagined Corners subverts the role of the widow to instead highlight post-wifehood opportunities. This paper will therefore explore the multi-faceted representations of gendered trauma and grief, and how these are both directly related to intrusive and watchful communities.

Presenter Biography

Helena Roots is studying part-time for her PhD at Edinburgh Napier University where she is researching early twentieth-century Scottish women’s writing and rural modernity in the writing of Willa Muir, Lorna Moon and Nan Shepherd. She also currently leads tutorials on two Undergraduate English Literature modules at Edinburgh Napier.


Julia Zauner, Glasgow Caledonian University,‘The continuum of symbolic violence: When Sexting Education neglects Image-Based Abuse, Dismisses Perpetrators’ Responsibility, and Violates Rights to Sexual Intimacy’.

This feminist case study critically analyses the discourses of three UK educational campaigns regarding sexting ‘dangers’ and adolescents when explicit images are shared without the consent of the person depicted. I will argue that current campaigns (re)produce symbolic violence through victim-blaming on three levels. Firstly, the seriousness of image-based abuse is vastly neglected through the penalisation of sexual expression of particularly young women. Focusing on sexting as a ‘key mistake’ young people can make fails to address that image-based abuse is still a form of abuse and diminishes the harm done to survivors. Secondly, the dominance of heteronormative depictions of female survivors and male perpetrators obfuscates abuse as an experience across all social groups. This neglects the importance of paying attention to class, race, and other gender/sexual identities. Thirdly, survivors are consistently held accountable for their own victimisation while perpetrators are excused for violating their partners trust and integrity. Survivors are responsible for adequately risk-assessing a situation before engaging in sexting and are penalised if they fail to do so. Yet, the perpetrator’s unawareness of consequences acts as an excuse. I will finish by discussing that by neutralising and denying responsibility, educational work dismisses 1) that image-based abuse is still as a form of gender-based violence and therefore, breaches the survivor’s rights to dignity and bodily/sexual autonomy, and 2) young people’s rights to explore sexuality – through digital means or not – in a safe environment.

Presenter Biography

Julia is a Phd researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University working on gender-based violence in the digital age (e.g. image-based abuse, digital harassment, virtual sexual aggression etc.) where she is also involved in the Justice Violence and Gender research group. She has previously researched on sexting education, sexism in videogames and comic books, and cyberbullying among young people. Julia is currently a board member of the Empower Project Scotland – an intersectional feminist membership organisation supporting communities to end tech abuse.


Zhouda (Darwin) Zhan, University of Edinburgh, ‘How to improve gender equality through global trade governance mechanism: what has been done and what could be better?’

It is well known that since the first industry revolution era, women’s role in social production is getting more and more important. In current 21st century, the development of industries even bring women’s role to a higher level in general, because more and more job positions welcome the women’s effort, and some of the positions fit women better than men, objectively. Ideally, the situation for women’s participation does gradually improve year by year. However, the general tendency cannot represent that the women’s work-relevant problems have expired. There are still many tough issues existed. In a globalisation era, global governance mechanisms can make effect through imposing pressures on the sovereignty states to undertake their international obligations, which will be an innovative and practical way to promote gender equality. This paper (presentation) will support this opinion by organising three parts logically. Part I is to introduce what the global governance mechanism is firstly, and assess its advantages and disadvantages in light of the ‘legal effect’, which it imposes on sovereignty states. After finding that the influence is conveyed by the pressure that can forces the Member States to undertake the international obligations, Part II will pick up some typical examples, such as the MERCOSUR system, the ECA agreement, the WTO system and so on, to assess the current achievements and shortcomings they have at present, respectively. The periodic finding will be that the gender relevant considerations have already (and will) played more and more important role in trade governance, therefore, Part III is to discuss how to response to the current calls under the current social background by presenting proposals.

Presenter Biography

Zhouda Zhan, also known as Darwin Zhan, is a current LLM Candidate in International Economic Law Programme, Edinburgh Law School. He holds a LLB degree and a BOE second degree granted by Beijing Normal University, Law School and Business School, respectively. During his undergraduate years in China, He once acted as the associate editor of a national-wide textbook, International Trade in Service, 3rd Edition (ISBN:9787303210831), and he also published a paper on social governance in one journal. After arriving Edinburgh, his academic interests focuses more on the global trade governance mechanism, especially the WTO law and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the trade and investment relevant issues in energy sector. His poster on the topic of Legal Protection on China State-owned Enterprise’s Oversea Investment was published in the 2018’s UK-China Doctoral Academic Forum, ‘A Dialogue to the Future’. He also does some research on the nexus areas between trade law and other subjects, including but not limited to, the trade-security nexus, energy trade issues, as well as trade and gender issues.

 

PRISM Conference 2018

Gender is like a Prism: What you see depends on how you turn the glass

The PGRNS Committee hosted its second annual gender conference entitled ‘PRISM’ at the Glasgow School of Art last week. A total of 10 presenters ranging across Masters and PhD researchers presented their diverse research on all things gender ranging from auto ethnographies on being a “female coach” in men’s football to document analysis on Scotland’s domestic abuse policies. The variety of speakers and their captivating topics kept the conference going throughout the day as attendees eagerly engaged with speakers after their respective panels. These interdisciplinary conferences never disappoint in demonstrating just how much gender, and often its associated inequality, is part of our day-to-day lives and is worth investigating. Be it politics, our hobbies, our entertainment or history repeating itself, gender is present throughout all of it. For a full list of the speakers and their papers please visit: https://pgrnscotland.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/prism-programme/

The conference opened with our first panel in which the three speakers addressed the construction of gender in politics, literature and film. The speakers discussed notions and representations of femininity and masculinity as presented through their chosen mediums. A particular highlight was the quote: “You cannae trust folk that dinnae wank”, which speaker Alice Carr shared with the group from one of the novels she is analysing on the construction of femininity in Scottish novels. This panel quite clearly illustrated how the construction of gender, its inequalities and representation matter in politics, film and literature. Often these nuances go unquestioned and harmful gendered roles are reproduced.

 

 

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“Are you the new cheerleader?”

The second panel kicked off with Chelsea Raymond sharing her experience as a “female coach” to an all-men’s football team in Scotland. Her talk outlined the struggles to break the mould of gendered roles in sports and revealed how deep-seeded discrimination against women in sports can be. The paper by Konstantinos-Kosman Gaitis addressed further discrimination through the gender gap in trafficking victims. Exploring the social construction of the “ideal trafficking victim”, Konstantinos argued for a revision of immigration laws and policies. The theme of the “ideal candidate” was picked up again by Huzan Bharucha who described the gender disparity in the literary canon where women are often acknowledged last minute, if at all.

There was no dreaded lunch-time slump as the third panel got underway with Georgia Williams and her paper on thematic parallels between transphobia, gender-based queerphobia and anti-feminist discourse. Georgia’s use of video clips to illustrate her arguments was particularly striking and further illuminated the significance of her research. Nick Novelli’s paper entitled “It’s not okay to be gay…or straight” presented an argument for the reconceptualization of sexual fluidity.

 

The fourth and final panel was led by Leah McCabe who shared her timely research on intersectionality and domestic abuse in Scottish policy discourse. Often hailed as progressive and groundbreaking, Leah made the argument that in terms of intersectionality, Scottish policies might not hold up under scrutiny. The final speaker of the day was Jessica Albrecht who presented an overview of the life and writings of Frances Swiney. An interesting and overlooked character in feminist history, Jessica argued for a closer examination of Frances Swiney and her contributions to feminism.

 

The speakers were all met with eager questions from the audience which gave them the opportunity to elaborate on their thinking and research processes. One of the main goals of the PGRNS conferences is to foster a creative and supportive environment for early year academics can comfortably present their ideas and research. As such it was fantastic to see support from the audience which resulted in poignant questions for the speakers and recommendations as well as lengthy chats one-on-one after the presentations. We would therefore like to thank all of the participants and audience members for upholding our standards and visions of providing a supportive environment. The day ended at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) where the highlights of the conference were discussed among the participants and the hosts.

We would like to thank all of our participants and attendees for their insightful and engaging contributions to this conference. We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Karen Watt and her supervisor Dr Frances Robertson for securing the brilliant space in the Glasgow School of Art for us. Further, we are incredibly grateful to SGSAH and the Fran Trust for providing the funds to make the day possible. In line with this, given the traumatic events which took place at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building mere hours after our conference, we at PGRNS would like to extend our condolences to the school, its students and staff and to the great city of Glasgow.