National Centre for Circus Arts, London, UK
Bio: Martha Harrison is a circus performer specializing in doubles trapeze and acrobalance. With 15 years of performing and teaching experience in the sector, Martha went on to complete an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture in 2013. This led to further research in both gymnastics and circus, with a specific interest in representations of gender.
Title: Gender In Contemporary Circus: A Case Study
Abstract: Three distinct questions were brought up at the Roundhouse Gender Salon in London, namely: “Is circus too heteronormative?”, why are there “so many all-male circus companies?” and can “a woman ever enjoy the same privileges and opportunities in the industry as a man?” Using a well-known London-based newsletter, this study uses discourse analysis to establish how gender is represented in contemporary circus while attempting to answer the above mentioned questions. Data from this study may subsequently be used to further question who the “others” are in this context.