University of Northampton lecturer discusses Doctor Who’s female companion at three-day conference

Date 13.11.2015

Dr Lorna Jowett, a reader in the University of Northampton’s School of The Arts joined other leading academics from around the world last week for the Doctor Who: Walking in Eternity conference at the University of Hertfordshire.

The three-day conference took place between 3-5 September, and was organised by Kim Akass from the University of Hertfordshire . Attendees considered various aspects of the 50-year-old BBC television series, discussing subjects including women’s roles in the show, heroism, fan fiction, socio-political analysis and the masculinity and sexuality of the Doctor.

Lorna Jowett commented: “When I gave my keynote lecture (‘The Girls Who Waited? Female Companions and Gender in Doctor Who’) on the last day, I was a little apprehensive. I was talking about the series’ representation of gender and how disappointing it can sometimes be, especially coupled with the lack of female writers and directors employed to work on the show. This subject might have been considered less than celebratory for an anniversary conference. Responses were encouraging, though, with positive comments from many in the audience, as well as on Twitter, and a recent report on the conference described my talk as an ‘impassioned’ look at gender inequalities surrounding the series. I’m currently in discussion with a publisher about a book on the same area. For now I’m looking forward to the 50th anniversary celebrations and specials in November, and hoping to see a female Doctor sometime in the future!”

The next Doctor to wield the sonic screwdriver will be played by Peter Capaldi. The BBC will be airing a variety of programmes around the show’s 50th Anniversary in November.