The Making of Modern Men: Gender, Class and Place

This is a gender studies project I'm working on which aims to investigate the construction of masculinities in young men living in Essex. It develops the body of work generated by recent feminist debates regarding the importance of connecting questions of social class and gender identity to questions of worth by shifting the focus of the critique on to modern masculinities. What kind of masculinity, the project asks, is valued in contemporary political discourse and what capitals are accrued by the men best able to perform it?


The originality of the project stems from its insistence on reading the formation of gender and class through the filter of neoliberal ideology and in its focus on the discursive construction of Essex, a county that, despite its regular appearance in media representations as a signifier of poor taste, has received little academic scrutiny in terms of its function as a site of cultural incubation. The project addresses this lack of scrutiny by promoting the relevance of its methodology (field work) within a wider debate concerning how scholars might make best sense of lived experience.


The project is funded by the University of East London and supported by Metal Culture.

Future sex: gender in neoliberalism and beyond

Centre for Cultural Studies Research Seminar

24th April 2013

February 2013

March 2013

This is the first in a series of nights dedicated to thinking critically about questions of space, place and identity in relation to a particular site of cultural and economic regeneration, Southend-on-Sea. I'll be speaking, alongside Tony Sampson and Giles Tofield.


Whether you're a local or someone unfamiliar with this area of south-east Essex, we'd like to invite you to the event . Our aim is to provoke debate outside of the formal - and often exclusionary - confines of academia.


If you want to make sense of your place in the modern world and contribute to creating a critical space in Southend, do join us on the evening of Thursday, 17 April at our venue, the Railway Hotel.

April 2014

download a flyer

May 2014

Many thanks again to all those who turned up to our first event. It was great to see so many people participating. Here are links to text-based versions of both talks, on Deleuze and Bourdieu.

Details of next club critical theory night - Kursaal as heterotopia

Migration and cultural tourism - the theme of the next club critical theory event, 04 December.


Speakers: Sophia Deboick and Agata Pyzik


Details here.


December 2014

ADI601 club critical Postcard-v03 2

Election special: where is the common ground?


Our next club critical theory event, 03 May.


Speaker: Jeremy Gilbert

May 2015

December 2015

CCT 04 DEC 15

Club Critical Theory event


Media power and politics


Speakers: Des Freedman and Tracey Jensen. Discussant: Andrew Calcutt


Details here

Club Critical Theory  @ Conway Hall


Details here

March 2016

ADI600 club critical Postcard-DIGIT

June 2016

Strange, Mad Celebration


An event I'm curating to commerorate the work and life of David Bowie


Venue: The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea


Details here


September 2016

Essex Futures Conference

Venue: Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Details here

postcarda postcardb

June 2017


Food Cultures: A Plan for Southend

Venue: Focal Point Gallery

Details here 

November 2017

Seaside Cultures

Writers and journalists, Tim Burrows amd Joanne O'Connor discuss the cultural futures of UK coastal towns with academics, Dr Tim Gale and Dr Daniel Burdsey


Details here


April 2018

front coast back coast

Conference organised in partnership with Essex County Council

July 2018


Event organised in partnership with the Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre


Details here

November 2018

Event organised in partnership with the Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre


Keynote Speakers: Anna Minton and Sonia Boyce


Details here