Charts, privilege, merit: “What the debate around Triple J’s Hottest 100 misses about privilege”

Some reflections on gender in music charts over at the Gender and Authority Blog!

Gender & Authority

It was Australia Day on the 26th (a date that provokes and will continue to provoke necessary outrage as it commemorates the first landing of the British colonisers, leading many to label it Invasion Day and many more to call the date of the holiday to be changed). Apart from BBQs and beer, a major tradition for music lovers is the Triple J Hottest 100, an annual chart voted for by the general public. Like many cultural spaces, this one is dominated by white (straight, middle class, cis) male artists, as Erin Riley has recently pointed out on Twitter and discussed in this article. She notes:

“The Hottest 100 has been won by more men who went to the same private boy’s high school than it has been won by women. But don’t tell Twitter”

A common defence of the unrepresentative nature of the chart is that…

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Places of the Fantastic – Critic’s corner

My marvellous colleague Dr Matthew Reza on Dino Buzzati’s Fantastic Fiction for Reading Italy!



Marvellous Mountains and Calamitous Cities: Personal Landscapes in Dino Buzzati’s Fantastic Fiction

by Matthew Reza (University of Oxford)

Much has been made of the lifelong love that Dino Buzzati held for mountains, and in particular for the Dolomites which rise above Belluno, the town in the Veneto where he was born in 1906.[1] Buzzati lived and worked for the most part in Milan, but frequently returned to his beloved Dolomites, and a distinct use of the mountain in contrast to the cityscape – and the echoes of technology and modernity that an urban environment might suggest – is evident throughout his both literary and artistic corpuses. Indeed, Buzzati’s fascination for mountains reaches back to childhood: a keen climber early on, he proudly proclaimed ‘[i]o sono diventato alpinista’[2] in a letter to his friend Arturo Brambilla when he was fourteen years old.

Many critics have noted the…

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Women and the Canon: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Christ Church, Oxford, 22-23 January 2016

Lovely words on Women and the Canon from Ascensión Manzuela-Anguita.


Christ Church College on Friday Christ Church College on Friday

This weekend I participated in the International Conference on ‘Women and the Canon’, celebrated at Christ Church College, University of Oxford. This event brought together scholars doing research into women and the canon in different periods and from a variety of perspectives, such as literature, theatre, art, music, philosophy, religion, and education.

Discussion at Blue Boar exhibition space Discussion at Blue Boar exhibition space

In addition to twelve cross-disciplinary sessions, the conference included two keynote lectures by Elena Lombardi and Suzanne Aspden (Oxford), respectively; the presentation of the artwork ‘Society sees not: The obscurity of female artists in Modernism, the flourishing factors of femininity in contemporary art in Iran’ by Sara Masinaei, artist and researcher; a concert including the world premiere of a choral piece by Helen MacKinnon; and a round table. This consisted of the presentation of the project ‘Women’s literary culture and the medieval canon’…

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Thank you!

Gender & Authority

Women and the Canon (127).JPG Thank you from Julia and the whole Women and the Canon team!

An enormous thank you to all who came, presented, and contributed to the discussions to make Women and the Canon a hugely enjoyable, interesting, challenging, and (we hope) productive conference.

Watch this space for further reflections on the conference, for news of the forthcoming Gender and Authority seminar series, and continuing updates with relevant news items and blog posts pertinent to our themes.

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Henrike Lähnemann’s Inaugural Lecture 21/1/16

Looking forward to Professor Henrike Lähnemann’s inaugural address tomorrow!

Gender & Authority

If you find yourself in Oxford before the conference, Professor Henrike Lähnemann will be giving her inaugural address as Chair in Medieval German, the first woman to hold the post.


Prof Lähnemann has kindly agreed to chair our panel on “The Role of Anthologies”, and has extended an invitation to all conference delegates to attend her event tomorrow evening:

All participants at the conference ‘Women and the Canon’ are warmly invited to Henrike Lähnemann’s Inaugural Lecture. It will take place on 21 January 2016, 5pm, in the Lecture Theatre of the Taylor Institution, followed by a wine reception, 6pm. The title of the lecture is “The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts”. The focus of the lecture will be an illuminated and glossed Psalter from the Cistercian abbey of Medingen. The manuscript itself will be carried in the inaugural procession by Bodley’s librarian and accompanied by the current Abbess of Medingen to…

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