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Governing the Narcotic City

“Drugs in Party Spaces & Gender"

May 17, 2021
Governing the Narcotic City

This is the third conference of the “Drugs, Genders, Cities” cycle (organized by CNRS Institutes PASSAGES and the Centre Emile Durkheim in Bordeaux, Projects DRUSEC, and Governing the Narcotic City).

Party spaces such as clubs or festivals are strongly gendered. Rising feminist complaints depict sexual harassment as being endemic in such spaces – not least when alcohol is involved. Drug consumption itself is not only gendered, with, for example, men on average still consuming many drugs more intensively. Rather, “consumer choice” is also part of the enactment of gender and sexuality, as well as of other categories such as class or race. Especially queer and techno subcultures are discussed as sites of consuming substances that enhance the pleasures of dancing or sexual intercourse (such as ecstasy, GHB, Viagra). At the same time, queer and feminist parties are key sites of developing new cultures of community care. These provide “awareness structures” or “psy care teams” whose work dovetails nicely with neoliberal self-help and harm reduction approaches, and may thus receive the support of “night mayors” and club owner associations or be integrated in urban diversity politics. The workshop analyzes these complicated links between the often drug-laden party spaces and gender based on empirical work from different European countries.

Note: the event takes place in the Paris time zone (CET)

Monday, May 17, 2021

Afternoon Program (14:30-17:00)

Moderation by Mélina Germes

  • 14:30 – Roxane Scavo (CNRS Passages), Mapping Gender and Festive Drug Consumption in Bordeaux
  • 15:00 – Gemma Blok (Open University of the Netherlands): Rave Girls in the Netherlands: Contested Women’s Liberation in the 1990s
  • 15:30 – Jenny Künkel (CNRS Passages): Negotiating Drugs and Sex in Contemporary Feminist Party Spaces
  • 16:00 – General discussion

Evening Keynote (19:00-20:30)

Moderation by Jenny Künkel

  • 19:00 – Emily Nicholls (University of Portsmouth): “Girl Time,” Wine and Crossing the Line: Embodying Class and Gender through Drinking on the Girls’ Night Out
  • 19:40 – Discussion

In order to receive updates about the program by email, you can: 

– subscribe to the newsletter of our working group “Drogues, Genres, Villes” (news partly in French, registration page in French) here:

– or send an email to:


Published on April 15th, 2021.