Accepted Paper:

Enacting queer political fantasies of synchrony  

Author:

Nina Wakeford (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

A contribution to Feminist STS in which synchrony is addressed through tales of menstrual effects, the making of fake blood, and the act of singing.

Paper long abstract:

In 1971 a paper by Martha McClintock in Nature launched a longstanding debate about the ‘McClintock effect’ in which women who live in close proximity experience the onset of their menstrual cycles as increasingly synchronized. Analysing the menses onset of college women in shared dormitories, McClintock suggested the existence of menstrual synchrony pheromones, an idea that is largely dismissed by contemporary endocrinology.

This presentation will address the scientific debate about menstrual synchrony and the truth or fictions of oestrogenic hormones, but also explore the capacity of menstrual synchrony to speak to the affective life of group solidarity and the potential of collective passions. The conference contribution draws from a recently initiated project ”Queering Love/Queering Hormones” funded by the British Film Institute in conjunction with the Society for Endocrinology.

Song lyrics that attempt to develop affinities between feminist papers at the conference will be written for the panel. In a nod to another cultural arena which has a strong affinity with both synchronicity (sound and image) and blood, the lyrics will be distributed in parallel with a recipe for the making of ‘Kensington Gore’: a fake blood used in cinematic performance, developed by a retired British pharmacist in the 1960s.

Panel T100
Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice