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The University of Southampton
Intersectionality: Politics - Identities - Cultures Research Group

About us

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intersectionalities: politics – identities – cultures is a research group that is concerned with issues of equality and diversity, power, technologies of resistance and control. Based within an art school environment and coming from a range of disciplines we research the links between culture, politics and identity from an intersectional perspective. Drawing on the strengths of our constituent members we focus our investigations in particular areas of gender and sexuality, fashion, media, politics, representation, inclusive service design and different types of activisms.  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. As individuals and as a collaborative collective we are interested in intersectional analyses of society, politics, people and culture. We look at the ways in which these discussions and debates are presented in various formats including curation, installation, activism and writing.

Much cultural analysis and discourse is concerned with establishing or negotiating boundaries that pinpoint difference. Such a perspective enhances a separateness that widens divisions between peoples, places, ideas, ideologies and objects. This group aims to reconsider these previous positions as not set or distinct, but as fluid and interchangeable, or as Mary Douglas (1984) suggests as ‘leaky margins’, open to be traversed and mediated, repositioned and re-interpreted. We acknowledge that there are multiple definitions and understandings of the concepts and terms ‘politics’, ‘identity’ and ‘culture’ and do not intend to create our own new definitions of these terms. Instead we explore, understand and apply the fluidity and multiplicities of uses of these terms both individually and at the point of their intersections.

The multidisciplinarity found within Winchester School of Art, and the broader Faculty of Arts and Humanities, allows us to consider the complexities and subtleties of the human condition in time and place. Our members explore how technology is shaped by political decisions and how these in turn impact upon our identities in dialectical ways. Resistance to traditional hierarchies is at the core of the group’s research interests. We examine how the dressed body is a site of presentation of multiple identities, both historically and in the contemporary world. The ways in which museum and gallery exhibitions and festivals can be utilised as sites of discussion and engagement with the concerns of contemporary audiences is a key concern of our work.

Current projects investigate:

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Staff, students and affiliated members of the group

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Our research, scholarship and practice

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