Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies by Marsha Meskimmon (Author, Editor) and Marion Arnold (Editor), Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016
In May 2016 one long-standing research network project delivered an important outcome: Liverpool University Press published Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies, co-edited by Marion Arnold and Marsha Meskimmon of the School of the Arts, English and Drama. This project, which directly addresses the questions of communication, culture and citizenship, anticipated the Challenges by several years. The publication is tangible evidence of the Lens of Empowerment research network, conceived in 2009 by Meskimmon and Arnold and formalized in a partnership between Loughborough, the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah. Edited by Arnold and Meskimmon, the book’s primary identity is established in the key concepts of home and land. Fractured by a slash in the title, used as a single word or two separate words in discussion, and finally united by a hyphen in the postscript, language permits the expression of the geo-political, cultural and personal commonalties and differences which women experience.
Home/Land does not arrive at a unified conclusion, nor does it identify a singular form of photography, a fixed definition of ‘citizenship’ or ‘woman’, or a universal home or land. Rather, this compendium demonstrates that women, from many different places and in many different times, have used photography to image and imagine belonging in a world marked by movement and migration.
Drawing Difference: Connections Between Gender and Drawing by Marsha Meskimmon and Phil Sawdon, London: IB Tauris, 2016
Drawing has been growing in recognition and stature within contemporary fine art since the mid-1970s. Simultaneously, feminist activism has been widespread, leading to the increased prominence of women artists, scholars, critics and curators and the wide acknowledgement of the crucial role played by gender and sexual difference in constituting the subject. Drawing Difference argues that these developments did not occur in parallel simply by coincidence. Rather, the intimate interplay between drawing and feminism is best characterised as allotropic a term originating in chemistry that describes a single pure element which nevertheless assumes varied physical structures, denoting the fundamental affinities which underlie apparently differing material forms.
The book takes as its starting point three works from the 1970s by Annette Messager, Dorothea Rockburne and Carolee Schneeman, that are used to exemplify critical developments in feminist art history and key moments for drawing as a means of expression.
Marsha Meskimmon is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory in the School of the Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University.
Dr Marion Arnold is a Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies, also in the School of the Arts.
Gemma Witcomb (Psychology, Loughborough) has been involved in a WHO study looking at whether the diagnosis for trans should change and the perceived implications if it does.