The Nonrepresentational Theory: Applications for Feminist Media Studies and Beyond GSS Masterclass was held on 6 April 2018.

A masterclass by by Kim Toffoletti and Rosemary Overell

Over recent years we have witnessed calls for greater diversity of representation in mainstream media – by feminist, anti-racist, LGBTQI and disability advocates – and heightened visibility around the experiences and issues faced by marginalised/subjugated groups (e.g. #blacklivesmatter #metoo). Such approaches focus on representation and signification as key sites for political foment and resistance. Much has been written on why representation matters. This masterclass, however, considers the more than representational as a means for accounting for affective experiences and as a potential site for generating new ways of organising against patriarchal and other oppressive structures. We introduce participants to feminist engagements with nonrepresentational theory as a conceptual tool to think through the operations of images, objects and happenings in the everyday. Further, the faciliators of this masterclass invite participants to consider the limits of dominant understandings of how representation operates by focusing on feminist approaches to representation that circumvent binary thinking about images and objects as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘accurate’ or ‘inaccurate’, ‘realistic’ or ‘unrealistic’, but rather seek to ‘find ways of approaching the complex and uncertain objects that fascinate because they literally hit us or exert a pull on us’ (Stewart, 1997, p. 4)’. We encourage students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to attend and participate in this masterclass.


Suggested readings

Stewart, Kathleen. 2007. Ordinary Affects. Durham: Duke University Press.
Stewart, Kathleen. 2012. ‘Precarity’s Forms’. Cultural Anthropology 27 (3): 518-525

These “First Fridays” masterclasses will run once a month, at 2pm on the first Friday of the month, at Deakin Downtown (at 727 Collins St, near Southern Cross Station). Masterclasses are open to HDR students at Deakin who are working on sex, gender and/or sexuality, or who have an interest in building their capacity in gender and sexuality studies.

Each masterclass will be followed by a public seminar in the ‘First Fridays’ Deakin GSS Seminar Series, which commences at 4pm, concluding at around 5pm for drinks.


About the presenters

Kim Toffoletti is Associate Professor in Sociology at Deakin University. She has published widely on representations of gender in the media, with a particular focus on sporting and active bodies. Kim’s work draws on critical feminist engagements with postfeminism, neoliberalism, globalisation and technology, to theorise the gendered effects and affects of mediated cultures. Her current research investigates female athleticism on social media.

Rosemary Overell is a Lecturer in Media, Film and Communication at the University of Otago. Her work looks at intersections of gender, race and cultural production – particularly in music subcultures. Rosemary draws on theories of psychoanalysis, feminism and affect studies. In 2014, she published Affective Intensities in Extreme Music Scenes with Palgrave.