Episodes

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01Binary and Beyond 1/22018062420190911 (R3)

Emma Smith investigates how depictions of gender in great art of the past might help illuminate today's issues.

1. From Athena on the Parthenon Marbles to contemporary Drag Kings, Emma Smith explores the long history of cross-dressing in the arts - both male-to-female and female-to-male - asking if it might help us understand some of today's issues surrounding gender.

As Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford, Emma Smith has long been fascinated by the original productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It - dramas in which young male actors played young female characters who dressed and passed as young men.

Now she takes this interest further in a programme that considers the social and erotic impact of cross-dressers from Achilles and Hercules to Enid Blyton's George, Vesta Tilley, Katherine Hepburn, Octavian, Claude Cahun and many more.....

Emma learns how highly "performed" gender is, even in vastly differing societies, but how the arts grant power to audiences to transcend these norms and go "Beyond Binary", whether in the imagination or in real life.

Featuring interviews with mezzo-soprano, Dame Sarah Connolly; award-winning author of "Delusions of Gender" and "Testosterone Rex", Cordelia Fine; Drag Kings,"Pecs"; Trans activist and musician C.N Lester; and scholars Sandra Hebron, David Clark, Alastair Blanshard and Matt Cook, "Binary and Beyond" offers historical and cultural insights into a peculiarly contemporary issue - how casual assumptions about gender colour the lives of girls and boys, women and men, and all those between, in life today.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

For Rights reasons, this programme is only available as a UK Podcast.

Might explorations of gender in great art of the past help illuminate today's issues?

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

01Binary And Beyond 1/22018062420190911 (R3)

Emma Smith investigates how depictions of gender in great art of the past might help illuminate today's issues.

1. From Athena on the Parthenon Marbles to contemporary Drag Kings, Emma Smith explores the long history of cross-dressing in the arts - both male-to-female and female-to-male - asking if it might help us understand some of today's issues surrounding gender.

As Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford, Emma Smith has long been fascinated by the original productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It - dramas in which young male actors played young female characters who dressed and passed as young men.

Now she takes this interest further in a programme that considers the social and erotic impact of cross-dressers from Achilles and Hercules to Enid Blyton's George, Vesta Tilley, Katherine Hepburn, Octavian, Claude Cahun and many more....

Emma learns how highly "performed" gender is, even in vastly differing societies, but how the arts grant power to audiences to transcend these norms and go "Beyond Binary", whether in the imagination or in real life.

Featuring interviews with mezzo-soprano, Dame Sarah Connolly; award-winning author of "Delusions of Gender" and "Testosterone Rex", Cordelia Fine; Drag Kings,"Pecs"; Trans activist and musician C.N Lester; and scholars Sandra Hebron, David Clark, Alastair Blanshard and Matt Cook, "Binary and Beyond" offers historical and cultural insights into a peculiarly contemporary issue - how casual assumptions about gender colour the lives of girls and boys, women and men, and all those between, in life today.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

For Rights reasons, this programme is only available as a UK Podcast.

Might explorations of gender in great art of the past help illuminate today's issues?

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

02Binary and Beyond 2/22018070120190913 (R3)

Emma Smith explores how depictions of gender in ancient myths and great art from the past might help us understand the debates surrounding gender today.

2.How have the arts - the novel, in particular, but also dance and music - covered ideas of transitioning the gender of our physical bodies?

Might a Greek mythological character such as Tiresias, a novel such as Virginia Woolf's Orlando, or an altogether 21st century activity such as Queer Tango help us see the human body as a site of "eumorphia" rather than dysmorphia?

Happily confessing to having two left feet, Emma attends a Queer Tango session in south London in order to reflect upon how casually but deeply gendered our lives continue to be today.

She talks with the American author Jeffrey Eugenides about his Pulitzer-prize-winning novel, Middlesex; with Woolf scholar Professor Laura Marcus, author Meg Rosoff, classicist Alastair Blanshard, Mezzo-Soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, and musician and trans activist C.N.Lester to understand gender and identity. Along the way, she learns about the androgynous quality of many great artist and the more expansive gender spectrum their work inspires.

Back on the dance floor, Emma wonders sees how the arts might help each of us transcend our gendered bodies and travel "Beyond Binary", if only in the imagination.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

For Rights reasons, this programme is only available as a UK Podcast.

Might explorations of gender in great art of the past illuminate current gender issues?

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

02Binary And Beyond 2/22018070120190913 (R3)

Emma Smith explores how depictions of gender in ancient myths and great art from the past might help us understand the debates surrounding gender today.

2.How have the arts - the novel, in particular, but also dance and music - covered ideas of transitioning the gender of our physical bodies?

Might a Greek mythological character such as Tiresias, a novel such as Virginia Woolf's Orlando, or an altogether 21st century activity such as Queer Tango help us see the human body as a site of "eumorphia" rather than dysmorphia?

Happily confessing to having two left feet, Emma attends a Queer Tango session in south London in order to reflect upon how casually but deeply gendered our lives continue to be today.

She talks with the American author Jeffrey Eugenides about his Pulitzer-prize-winning novel, Middlesex; with Woolf scholar Professor Laura Marcus, author Meg Rosoff, classicist Alastair Blanshard, Mezzo-Soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, and musician and trans activist C.N.Lester to understand gender and identity. Along the way, she learns about the androgynous quality of many great artist and the more expansive gender spectrum their work inspires.

Back on the dance floor, Emma wonders sees how the arts might help each of us transcend our gendered bodies and travel "Beyond Binary", if only in the imagination.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

For Rights reasons, this programme is only available as a UK Podcast.

Might explorations of gender in great art of the past illuminate current gender issues?

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.