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Cambridge: where theory meets practice

2012 October 7
by Zoe Strimpel

So, at 30, after nine years in London, many of them involving plenty of champagne, lavish meals I didn’t have to pay for (thanks, journalism!) and ridiculous exposure to the arts – I find myself in a small bedroom on the Barton Road in Cambridge.

The adjustment to sharing a toilet and shower with four other people has not, actually, been particularly tough. Or even that weird – it’s amazing how low-maintenance you can become when you need to.

What IS weird and inescapably so is that I am far older than pretty much everyone else. Grads at my graduate college tend to be 23. So I’m getting used to 23 as the new 31. Which … is ok.

The other odd – and great thing – is that no matter how dodgy or unpromising looking or sounding a person is, the chances are they have a firm grasp of either Judith Butler (a theorist whose favourite words include “heteropatriarchy” and “normative phallogocentrism”) or the detailed workings of some minute aspect of neuroscience.

So how does this play out where the men are concerned? Well, first of all they’re young (see earlier point about being 23). Secondly, they talk a lot about Judith Butler and subjective normativities. Just get them going on materialities…Erotically, you can see how this might have potential. Or not. After all, in the words of Judith B herself, gender is performative. Just saying.

 

 

 

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