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Introducing the genderED Steering Group – Ben Fletcher-Watson

This post is part of a series of short profiles of genderED Steering Group members, on the occasion of the launch of our new website.

Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson is the Administrative Manager at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. At IASH, he supports the work of visiting scholars and helps to present regular events across the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and beyond. Recent events have included celebrations of the Edinburgh Seven, symposia and film screenings for International Women’s Day, and a roundtable on combating gender-based violence. Ben also co-edited IASH’s latest publication, Dangerous Women, a collection of essays emerging from the 2016-17 Dangerous Women Project, forthcoming from Unbound.

The study of gender and sexualities lies at the heart of much research carried out at IASH, challenging orthodoxies about what and who matters. Their fellows contribute to rethinking the subjects, sites, and significance of research in all disciplines, from archaeology to the veterinary humanities. Ben hopes that genderED continues to challenge and provoke, to shake up teaching and research, and to celebrate the superb work going on in all our Schools and Colleges.

Ben’s recommendations for students curious about the study of gender and sexualities:

  • In terms of gender and media, I recommend a viral thread about emotional labour from Metafilter from 2016, now handily available as a 70-page PDF: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxpbnRlZ3JhbHdvbWVufGd4OjMwMTBhNGU5MTAxNTE1Mjg – simultaneously intimate in scale and massive in scope, this thread overturned all my assumptions about the gendered nature of care and support.
  • In queer cinema, I recently loved both Call Me By Your Name (2017) and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019).
  • My research looks at Scottish theatre for babies and toddlers, and there are some fantastic Early Years productions that challenge heteronormative, cisgender and patriarchal norms, such as Catherine Wheels’White and the work of The Polar Bears (Ivor MacAskill and Fiona Manson).