Season One of The Lifted Brow’s ‘Brow Talks’ Lecture Series Continues

After a successful launch last year of this public talks series, we welcome back BROW TALKS for 2017, presented in partnership with non/fictionLab at RMIT. Informal in tone and omnivorous in range, these talks are fun, forward-thinking samplers of the best new thinking about nonfiction today. Please join us at the Urban Writing House, non/fictionLab’s new home for all things research, writing, and the city. Bring questions and a good attitude!

As before, these lectures are free, free, free – all you have to do is RSVP to They will be held at non/fictionLab’s Urban Writing House (RMIT City Campus Building 80.01.08), Melbourne, Australia.

Lecture Three: Simona Castricum – ‘CAN YOU IMAGINE ME BEING THERE?’ (Wednesday 22 March, 6pm for 6.30pm)

What is our expectation of architecture when our cities, buildings – their programs, connections and interfaces – reinforce essentialist and cisnormative notions of gender? For some, that is not an architecture of safety, nor of belonging or identity; rather of hostility, othering and privilege. Relationships between form, space, program and function have unique political and spatial meanings for gender nonconforming people. When program is the enemy of function, we adapt as they disconnect. We seek belonging, safety and find identity. What can be learnt about architectural emotion, space and practice through the lens of gender nonconforming experiences?

Simona Castricum is a musician, architecture academic and writer from Melbourne. Simona’s musical, spatial and activist interventions articulate gender non-conforming experiences in architectural and emotional space - their relationships to power, sexuality, violence and the body. Her fluid and multidisciplinary practice across architecture, graphic design and music experiment with vocal, percussion, dance, image and typography as both creative tools and evocative publishing forms. Simona is represented by Melbourne queer feminist label LISTEN Records. Her culture and music writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, i-D and Archer magazines.

Lecture Four: Chad Parkhill – ‘THE LANGUAGE OF PROGRESS’ (Wednesday 26 April, 6pm for 6.30pm)

Last year saw democracies around the world elect regressive and reactionary leaders (Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, the return of Pauline Hanson) or enact reactionary political programs (Brexit). These events, and the possibility of similar events in the near future, have created a crisis for progressives. How can we build progressive alliances and solidarity across identity groups and between different worldviews? How has the neoliberal project impacted the language and concepts we use to articulate a progressive and just vision for the world?

This lecture will examine discourses of contemporary progressive politics to argue that the language we use to articulate these politics is inadequate to the task of combating global reactionary and regressive political movements. Drawing upon the analysis of performative speech acts and performativity developed by queer theorists such as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler, it argues for concrete changes in the ways progressives talk about, and therefore think about, their politics – away from a neoliberally-inflected politics of the oppressed self, towards a politics of contingent solidarity.

Chad Parkhill is a Melbourne-based cultural critic who writes about sex, booze, music, history, and books—but not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in The Australian, The Guardian, Junkee, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Overland, and The Quietus.