Annual Heather Höpfl Memorial Seminar: Curating Identity and Difference - Gender, subjectivity and display

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) warmly invite you to this year's Annual Heather Höpfl Memorial Seminar with guest speakers Ela Przybyło, Justine Grønbæk Pors and Matt Lodder.

  • Wed 29 Sep 21

    12:00 - 14:00

  • Online

    Join this seminar

  • Event speaker

    Ela Przybyło, Justine Grønbæk Pors and Matt Lodder

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Sophie Hales

The Heather Höpfl memorial seminar will bring together insights from various speakers around the topic of curating identity and difference, with a particular focus on the themes of gender, subjectivity and display.

How to attend this seminar

This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance

Please join this seminar online on Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 12pm

We warmly invite you to join with your friends, colleagues and classmates.

Presentation Summary

Publishing as worldmaking: Running a journal collaboratively


Ela Przybyło, English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Illinois State University

Ela Przybyło is Assistant Professor in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Illinois State University. She is the author of Asexual Erotics: Intimate Readings of Compulsory Sexuality (Ohio State University Press, 2019), an editor of On the Politics of Ugliness (Palgrave, 2018), and author of many peer-reviewed articles and chapters including in such journals as GLQ and Feminist Formations. Ela is a founding and managing editor of the peer-reviewed, open access journal Feral Feminisms.

Talk summary

Ela’s talk will look at the difficulties and triumphs of editing and creating an independent journal, focusing on themes of collaboration, burn out, invisible and feminized labour, and histories of feminist publishing.

What taxidermy can teach us about current attempts to inspire STEM aspirations in young women 


Justine Grønbæk Pors, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School

Justine Grønbæk Pors is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. Her work concerns changes in public policy and the practices of public organizations and how these challenge professional and ethical values. She is interested in the contradictions inherent to contemporary policies and in questions about subjectivity, affect and ghosts. Currently, she is conducting two research projects: one investigates the gendered formations of educational interests and aspirations of young women; the other explores societal responses to biodiversity loss.


Talk summary

A lack of female candidates in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an increasingly pressing concern. As a result, local, national, and international policy actors have launched initiatives designed to motivate girls and young women to STEM education and careers. In this talk, Justine takes, as a point of departure, an ethnographic ‘moment’ where such ambitions of motivating young women were disrupted by the presence of a set of old, dusty taxidermic moulds inappropriately (re)appearing in a biology classroom. Justine takes this moment as an invitation to read the political STEM ambitions diffractively, through taxidermy. She unpacks the hauntological forces (un)resting in taxidermic moulds by reflecting on a visit paid to the workshop of a leading taxidermist and by considering the colonial pasts of taxidermy. This allows her to raise, for reflection and discussion, the question of whether current STEM campaigns motivate young people for ‘better, more diverse’, futures by conserving old ideas about human superiority over nature.
The paper on which Justine’s talk is based is co-authored with Jette Sandager.

The Jessie Knight Collection: Uncovering, Presenting and Preserving Female Tattoo History in the Museum


Matt Lodder, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Matt Lodder is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory and Director of American Studies in the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex. Matt’s research primarily concerns the application of art-historical methods to histories of Western tattooing and body modification practices. Matt has recently published work on feminist debates in pornography, and on the intersections of consent, culture and the law in the context of 1970s and '80s queer subcultures. He has given invited lectures at venues including the V&A, the National Museum of Scotland, and the Museum of London, and contributed forewords for over a dozen popular books on tattooing. Matt’s exhibition, 'British Tattoo Art Revealed', began at the National Maritime Museum Falmouth in March 2017 before going on a nationwide tour.


Talk Summary

In this talk, Matt will outline the central role played in his recent exhibition British Tattoo Art Revealed by the private collection of art and artefacts belonging to Jessie Knight, England's first prominent female tattoo artist. He will outline how the exhibition was structured to question and debunk myths about the role women played in this history of tattooing, and in British cultural life more generally, and will discuss how he was able to ensure that the collection was preserved for the nation as a collection of especial art-historical importance. The talk will also address wider questions about the absence of vernacular arts from museum collections, and how the histories of collecting have largely occluded the history of gendered art practices.

Related events