Cultural Construction of the Vagina - Prof Emma Rees, University of Chester

Emma L. E. Rees

Room 233, Media Centre, St Peter's Campus, University of Sunderland

Our first research seminar of 2018/19 brings Emma Rees, Professor of Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Chester, and Director of the Institute of Gender Studies to Sunderland. Emma has written extensively in the field of gender and representation, and her most recent book, The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History (Bloomsbury) came out in paperback early in 2015. 

There are so many euphemisms for our body parts but particularly for the vagina. When you were growing up did you talk about ‘froo froos’, ‘tuppences’, or ‘lady gardens’? Or were ‘vaginas’ and ‘vulvas’ more commonly referred to? And what does it mean that when we say ‘the C-word’ we’re conjuring up generations of shame and taboo? And why do we say the phrase ‘the C-word’, and not the word itself?