Gender seminar – Day 1
9.30 a.m: Frantic re-packing, hauling sweaters and hairdryer out of one bag into decidedly larger bag. Have to be on train at 11. No sweat, I even managed to eat breakfast, pack a lunch, and throw in an extra pair of shoes and two packets of gum. I am multi-task genius.
11 a.m.: Train platform is overcrowded to the point that I am afraid people in mass numbers will fall on the tracks if someone sneezes. Board in wrong end of train which means I have to get out at later station and run frantically alongside train to no. 21-22, where I have to stand up for the remainder of my 3 hour trip.
So what’s the hubbub?
I am currently at Testrup Højskole attending a seminar on gender in literature. I decided to sign up around Christmas time and today the day has finally arrived. The schedule looks really promising and I feel the nostalgic vibe of ‘højskolestemning’ in the air. People are all here for one reason – to debate, discuss, listen and challenge each other.
Mads Eslund and Christian Dorph, the course leaders, started the debate with positioning themselves in two different directions. But they both had good points on feminism, the blurry lines of gender, biological versus social constructions in gender and how literature can display or talk about gender.
10 p.m. – Lars Bukdahl, critic, author, critic and editor, gives us a summoning up of the year 2010 in books. As well as being immensely passionate, very buzzy on stage and a in dire need of a second mouth to let out all his thoughts, he also possesses a certain infectious stance to literature. He spoke of his role as reviewer, or critic, and described situations of panic or restlessness when confronted with a work that in both ways pleased and puzzled. He talked about the furious women and weak men as tendencies in Danish literature 2010. But rather than just labeling men and women as such, his main focus lies with language – its being as poetic, unraveling, sensuous, hilarious, furious and weak – as means of defining the work of authors.
Tomorrow we will dive into some Michel Foucault and Judith Butler right after breakfast – what a way to digest your tea and buttered buns! 🙂
Good night from the theatre auditorium at Testrup.