In her latest book, The Helen 100, writer and humorist Helen Razer chronicles the sudden, life-shattering evaporation of her 15 year relationship. This grief (and a subsequent dare from her beauty therapist) prompted her to go on 100 dates over a year – in search of renewal, distraction and good old-fashioned porking.
For no one, least of all a writer in the business of cranky analysis, is dating straightforward. Razer found that in writing and representing herself, whether online or face-to-face with others, the limits of identity tended to shift – often rather nastily. In her own case, she learned that exiting a same-sex relationship came with particular instability; lesbians, she found, were ‘supposed to stay together forever and provide an inspiring liberal example to others.’
In conversation with sex and gender researcher Hannah McCann, Razer will talk about what she discovered about queer identity, profound affect and our broad social values about dating, power and desperation.
This event will be Auslan interpreted.
Helen Razer was a broadcaster and is now a writer. Her appointments in radio were at the Triple J national network and ABC Melbourne. Her books include A Short History of Stupid, co-authored with national affairs correspondent Bernard Keane, a 2015 work on the history of bad Western thought shortlisted for the Russell Prize; and Total Propaganda, a popular work on Marxism recently published by Allen & Unwin.
Helen has written on social and political matters for the Age and Australian. She now contributes news and cultural analysis to outlets including Crikey, the Saturday Paper, Daily Review, Frankie, SBS and Atlantic digital publication Quartz.
Dr Hannah McCann is a lecturer in gender studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research explores feminine gender presentation as represented in feminist discourse and in queer femme LGBTQ communities, and she is currently working on a research monograph for Routledge, titled Queering Femininity: Sexuality, Feminism and the Politics of Presentation.
She has published in the Australian Humanities Review, Australian Feminist Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and on the Conversation, writing on topics including postfeminism, affect theory and queer femininity.