“Exciting and fulfilling” is how Liza Tsaliki described the Emergent Femininities and Masculinities Conference (EFM) she organised at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, September 15 – 17.

Professor Tsaliki from the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the university invited international media and gender study researchers from across Europe, North America, Asia and as far as Australia to present at the EFM conference.

“It was wonderful to see so many people from different countries getting together after Covid took away so much out of everyone’s life for two years.

“This was a chance for people, from different schools of thought and at different stages in their careers and academic life, to meet up in person, make acquaintances, exchange ideas and network,” Prof. Tsaliki told Neos Kosmos.

She praised the conference’s “interstellar keynote panel, who attracted other key figures from global academia, and lured young researchers and early-stage academics.”

“The National and Kapodistrian University is all about bringing together different voices, to provide a ground for discussion and reflection, and to offer opportunities for people to network and plan.”

One of the four keynote speakers was Australian-based academic and author, Sean Redmond, Professor of Screen and Design at Deakin University. His presentation; The loneliness room: lonely masculinity in contemporary film delved into existential male loneliness expressed in films such as, Yorgos Lanthimos’, The Lobster, Dogtooth, The Killing of a Sacred Dear and other cinematic explorations of male loneliness such as Todd Phillips’ Joker.

Prof. Redmond was effusive about the conference when he talked to Neos Kosmos.

“The international conference brought together a wonderful mixture of leading academics, drawn from a wide range of disciplines.”

“Their presentations showed gender and sexuality remain central to the way questions of identity and power are played out in the media,” Prof. Redmond told Neos Kosmos.

The other Keynote speakers were, Sarah Banet Weiser, Professor of Communication, University of Southern California who presented; Grifting Femininity: Religion, Marketing and the Con-juncture; Rosalind Gill Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, University of London who presented, Being watched and feeling judged on social media; and Brenda R. Weber, Provost Professor from Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington with her presentation, The Tangled Grey Web: Mediated Discourses of Authenticity, Empowerment and Embodiment.

The conference also showcased over 35 separate panels on topics such as, The Intersection of Politics, Gender, and Media: Female Politicians in Popular Israeli Women’s Magazines by Israeli academic Einat Lachover, In Glory: Deconstructing the Older Gay Man in Contemporary Spanish Cinema by Spanish academic, Josep M. Amengol, ‘We’re not misogynistic c*nts…’: theorising the homosocial dynamics of men’s private online chat groups and their defensive talk about ‘lad culture’ in the UK by Craig Haslop. Another researcher from Australia, Fotis Kapetopoulos  from Deakin University (also a journalist from Neos Kosmos) presented, Two Greek Men Talking – conversations with Christos Tsiolkas.

“It was exceptional to see Athens host such an incredible array of thinkers and a no doubt the conference will be a mainstay for years to come,” said Fotis Kapetopoulos.

Explore the program on www.sites.google.com/view/efm2022conference/home