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Academic Discusses Female Transgression at Criminology Conference

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Academic Discusses Female Transgression at Criminology Conference

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A sport sociologist at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham is set to talk about her latest research project into the controversies surrounding female bodybuilders during a guest lecture at the University of Essex on Wednesday 20th November. Dr Tanya Bunsell, lecturer in Sport Sociology at St Mary’s, has been invited to deliver a guest talk at the University of Essex as part of its Centre for Criminology event called ‘Female Transgression: lap dancing and female bodybuilding’. Following a five year research project, Dr Bunsell recently published a book Strong and Hard Women: An ethnography of female bodybuilding (London Routledge, 2013). Submerging herself into the world of female bodybuilders, Dr Bunsell’s research provides a unique perspective on this under researched area of sporting, gendered and embodied life. Featuring interviews with 26 female bodybuilders, the book explores the ways in which muscular women negotiate, accommodate and resist pressures to engage in more orthodox, feminine activities and appearances. Part of the lecture will be delivered by Dr Rachel Colosi at the University of Lincoln, who will present the research from her book Dirty Dancing? An ethnography of lap-dancing (London Routledge, 2010). Both disciplines are regarded as transgressive, evoking strong public reaction and often seen to contradict as well as confirm gender stereotypes. Dr Bunsell commented, “This promises to be a fascinating joint event which explores two controversial forms of gendered bodywork from insider accounts. Both studies are unprecedented in the UK, and both offer rich and authentic information into the motivations and ‘life-world’ of participants. I hope that the lecture will challenge people’s perceptions of lap-dancers and female bodybuilders and critically raise issues surrounding gender, deviance and the body in contemporary society.” The lecture, which is open to the public as well as scholars, will take place on Wednesday 20th November from 5pm at the University of Essex. For information please email c4crime@essex.ac.uk
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