Podcast #7: Old Shouty Tits is Back: Unruly Femininity in the Public Eye

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Kiki onstage. Image courtesy of Joust Photography, taken at the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, 2017

In this episode of Here’s Looking at You I chat with burlesque emcee, singer, teacher and former contestant in BBC’s The Voice, Kiki Deville. Kiki is a charismatic and hugely talented performer who is renowned for her big voice, big personality and big boobs and this has led her to be considered an unruly woman.

Inspired by Anne Helen Peterson’s recent book ‘Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of The Unruly Woman,’ we got together to talk about Kiki’s experience of The Voice and subsequent attempts by the popular media at bullying and body shaming her, about being ‘fair game,’ picking your arguments, the pleasures and pitfalls of celebrity culture, appropriate online behaviour, and grief.

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Here’s Looking at You Podcast #6: Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You down.

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Following its success at the Emmy Awards, where it won best TV drama, best actress and best supporting actress, it is probably time to release my podcast about the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.

In this podcast I talk with poet, teacher, writer, musician and community activist Josie Moon, about the Margaret Atwood source novel and its recent, television incarnation.
A strikingly prescient pair of texts, both prompt us to discuss all manner of contentious topics, from women’s reproductive rights, to the process of othering, to hierarchies, freedom of speech and star activism.

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As you’ll hear, as is always the case when Josie and I get together, this conversation is quick fire and there are no holds barred. Josie is a very political creature and it’s one of the many Continue reading

Charlize Theron: Fighting like a Girl

ABI was recently interviewed by PhD candidate Becky Jones* for Phoenix Talks – her podcast in association with the Leicester’s independent cinema, the Phoenix.

Becky invited me to talk about the noir spy thriller Atomic Blonde which recently ran at the cinema. The film, based on the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City and set on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, is a visceral experience and features a blistering performance by Charlize Theron as MI6 agent protagonist Lorraine Broughton.

The film is notable for its director, David Leitch, who is a renowned stunt man but what I really  wanted to talk about was what our expectations around how action-packed this film would be were regarding Theron’s performance. I also wanted to talk about the discourse around Theron in relation to the film, her star persona and reputation as a skilled actress who really throws herself into her roles, about her as an ‘aging’ star, about Lorraine as an empowered character and Theron as a producer and the history of  ‘action women’ roles in Hollywood.

Here is a link to the podcast:

*Becky Jones’ PhD is on cyborgs and gender in film. Continue reading

Here’s Looking at You Podcast #5 Why Burlesque Needs Rubyyy Jones

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Image of Rubyyy courtesy of Matthew Kitchen. Shot at The Cat’s Pyjamas ‘Thanks For The Mammaries’ tenth anniversary, farewell show. Copyright

A little later than anticipated, but well worth the wait, here is podcast #5 ‘Why Burlesque Needs Rubyyy Jones.’

In this podcast I chat with the award-winning queerlesque star about how she defines herself, as a performer and persona, where the three yyy’s comes from, her roots and role models, her early performances, how her style came about and her experience as a promoter.

We also discuss burlesque audiences and their role in the form, the sense of responsibility she feels as a performer, promoter and activist, the current social context and where she hopes burlesque will go in the future.

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Whilst we will return to the notion of the carnivalesque in the next podcast, it is also useful term to apply to Rubyyy.  When I talk about the notion of the carnivalesque and the unruly woman in the podcast, Continue reading

Here’s Looking At You Podcast #4 Wondering about Wonder Woman

 

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A film depiction of  Wonder Woman acting as a role model for young girls.

Welcome to the fourth Here’s Looking at You podcast.  In this podcast I talk about Wonder Woman with Dr Rayna Denison, senior lecturer in Film at University of East Anglia and editor of the Eisner award-nominated Super Heroes on World Screens  and Melanie Adams, pin-up artist at Madams Pin-Ups and Wonder Woman expert.

We discuss Wonder Woman’s various iterations over the years, her feminist roots, the politics of her costuming, how she’s marketed in different national contexts and what we liked and disliked about the recently released origin story, directed by Patty Jenkins.

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Now the world is ready for you… ?

First we discussed Wonder Woman as a recuring, and changing, cultural figure and how she reflects and reacts to the times.   While there are many  Continue reading

Here’s Looking At You Podcast #3 – ‘I Am Woman, Hear Me Phwoar!’ Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival Panel Discussion Event (Part Two)

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(L-R) Sadie Sinner, Heidi Bang-Tidy, Rubyyy Jones, Dr. Ellen Wright, Dr. Jacki Willson, Dr. Claire Nally.

Welcome to the second and final half of the #DMUEngage panel discussion event ‘I am Woman, Hear Me Phwoar!’ which took place on the Sunday of the 2017 Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival.

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Here performers, promoters and activists Sadie Sinner, Rubyyy Jones Continue reading

Here’s Looking at You Podcast #2 – I am Woman, Hear Me Phwoar! Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival Panel Discussion Event (Part One)

I Am Woman Hear me Phwoar!

(L-R) Sadie Sinner, Heidi Bang-Tidy, Rubyyy Jones, Dr. Ellen Wright, Dr. Jacki Willson, Dr. Claire Nally.

Welcome to  the first half of the #DMUEngage panel discussion event ‘I am Woman, Hear Me Phwoar!’ which took place on the Sunday of the 2017 Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival.

Here performers, promoters and activists Sadie Sinner, Rubyyy Jones and Heidi Bang Tidy and scholars of burlesque Dr Jacki Willson and Dr Claire Nally joined me and a room full of interested members of the public to discuss the politics of female performance.

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Here’s Looking at You Podcast #1 – An interview with Heidi Bang Tidy and Lady Wildflower

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image courtesy of James Lynch.

In this podcast, I talk to Heidi Bang Tidy and Lady Wildflower, co-producers of the award-winning Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. We discuss the politics of burlesque, the history of the festival and this year’s round table discussion I Am Woman, Hear Me Phwoar featuring Myself, Dr Claire Nally and Dr Jacki Willson (and others tbc) on the Sunday of this year’s festival.  I also discuss my broader research and engagement project in more detail.

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Feminist Media Histories: Bunny Yeager podcast!

14449826_588230834694600_8832240371205123592_nI’m featured in the first ever Feminist Media Histories podcast! Sharing air time with the wonderful Hilary Hallett and Lois Banner, all talking about our contributions to the current issue of FMH on Histories of Celebrity with Feminist Media Histories editor Shelley Stamp.

In the interview i discuss my work on Bunny Yeager and 1960s celebrity culture, which features in the current issue (for more details, see previous posts). So give it a listen and if you’re feeling fruity, give it a share too. The podcast also includes the special issue’s guest editor Hilary A. Hallett talking about gender and histories of celebrity, and an interview with Lois Banner, whose article concentrates on the feminism of the Great Garbo.

 

IHR History Spot Podcast: Spectacular Bodies

The latest History SPOT Podcast from the Institute of Historical Research, features Dr. Ellen Wright giving her paper Spectacular Bodies: The Swimsuit, Censorship and Hollywood. The paper was given at the IHR as part of the Sport and Leisure History series on the 3rd of June. It forms part of an ongoing research project for Dr. Wright into Hollywood, the swimsuit, pin-up imagery and advertising.

The talk explores the mutually beneficial relationship between the American swimsuit and film industries during the first three decades of the twentieth century.  Ideas here formed the basis for my article ‘Spectacular Bodies: The Swimsuit, Sexuality and Hollywood’ in Sport in History v.35 #3, 2015.

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