Maren Hancock

Maren Hancock is a PhD student in Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto. The author of Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch, she is presently researching women and gender in DJ and electronic music cultures. Maren is also a professional DJ and a critically acclaimed MC, singer and performer.



"Last Night a Shejay Saved My Life? Or, Do We Still Need Women Only Spaces to Nurture Female DJs?"

There is to date very little research that examines DJ culture and its attendant gender politics in which men are promoted and endorsed far more quickly than their female counterparts. As my own research and professional work as a DJ attests and other studies affirm, men dominate the DJ industry, and women are subject to active discrimination in both overt and covert ways (Straw, 1994; Terrett, 2003; Zeleke, 2004; Hutton, 2006, Rodgers 2010). Despite the barriers imposed on women to entering into and taking part in DJ culture and its professions, recent research has shown a significant rise in female DJs during the last decade. This increase has occurred in tandem with advances in technology resulting in unprecedented access to inexpensive and user-friendly DJ software and hardware, free digital music, and social media sites that have enabled women to network and promote themselves (Marsh, 2002; Farrugia, 2004; Katz, 2006). These studies have also highlighted the importance of women-only spaces such as lesbian nightclubs wherein women are encouraged to DJ for supportive audiences.

This presentation blends empirical research with qualitative data garnered from interviews with Vancouver-based women DJs in order to look closely at the rise and fall of one of the only lesbian nightclubs in Vancouver, recently closed down, in order to assess the importance of its presence and the subsequent impact of its closure. Given that women DJs are becoming more common in city nightclubs, are women-only nightclubs and club nights still integral for fostering professional female DJs?

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, March 24

4:00pm EDT