Radical Cultural Studies: CCSR at Open School East

About Radical Cultural Studies

CCSR commissions the Radical Cultural Studies book series published by Rowman & Littlefield International. The aim of the series is to encourage a return to the core project of Cultural Studies: to examine the culturopolitical, sociopolitical, aesthetic and ethical implications of international cultures. We commission work that engages with the lived reality of politics and cultures and is alert to possibilities for social change – to ‘understand … the present in the service of the future’ (Grossberg, 2010: 1). We are interested in writing that analyses cultures as sites of power, which explicitly engages with the materiality and variety of cultural forms, and looks at new, emerging and radical cultures. We would welcome approaches from prospective authors.  CCSR representatives will be present at all seminars.

About Rowman & Littlefield International

Rowman & Littlefield International is a new independent academic publisher in the disciplines of Philosophy, Politics & International Relations, Cultural Studies and Economics. They are particularly intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of these subject areas. They are committed to bringing incisive modern scholarship to a global readership, insisting on high quality at every point in the publishing process. They firmly believe in the value of publishing cutting-edge research for a scholarly audience.

About OSE

Located in a former library and community centre in De Beauvoir Town, East London, Open School East is a unique space that brings together:

  • A free study programme for emerging artists;
  • A multifaceted programme of public projects and events which facilitate interactions between artists, local residents and audiences from further afield.

Central to Open School East’s approach is a commitment to foster cultural, intellectual and social exchanges between artists and the broader public. They do this by opening their study programme outwards, responding to our locality and providing an informal environment for the sharing of knowledge and skills across various communities – artistic, local and otherwise.

Programme 2016

All lectures and seminars are 6.30 – 8.30pm. There is no charge and no booking is required

January 28


Maria Tamboukou, University of East London

Sewing, Fighting and Writing: Radical Practices in Work, Politics and Culture

Seamstresses were central figures in the socio-political and cultural events of nineteenth and early twentieth century France but their stories and political writings have remained marginalized and obscured. Drawing on a wide range of published and unpublished documents from the industrial revolution, ‘Sewing, Fighting and Writing’ is a foucauldian genealogy of the Parisian seamstress.

February 18

Lucy Finchett-Maddock, University of Sussex & Matt Fish, SOAS

February 18

Lucy Finchett-Maddock, University of Sussex & Matt Fish, SOAS

Making Home: Reflections on Squatting, Protest, and Private Property

Focusing on the alternative property narratives of ‘social centres’, or political squats, Lucy will suggest that these spaces and their communities create their own – resistant – form of law. Matt will discuss his ethnographic research in squatted spaces around London and his experiences as a squatter and academic. He will talk about the questions that squatting as a spatial practice raises in terms of place, place-making and ethical relationships to space in London. Is there any academically useful approach to squatting, or can it only ever be understood when practiced?

March 10


Stevphen Shukiatis, University of Essex

The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics & Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde

How does the avant-garde create spaces in everyday life that subvert regimes of economic and political control? How do art, aesthetics and activism inform one another? And how do strategic spaces of creativity become the basis for new forms of production and governance?

April 28


Debra Benita Shaw & Maggie Humm, University of East London with Kat Deerfield, Cardiff University

Radical Space: Exploring Politics and Practice 

The spatial turn in the Humanities and Social Sciences has produced a considerable body of work which re-assesses space beyond the fixed Cartesian co-ordinates of Modernity and the nation state.  Radical Space reveals how activists and artists have deployed these theoretical tools to examine and contest spatial practice. Special guest Kat Deerfield will discuss her research into the gendered dimensions of extraterrestrial space.

May 5th

Dan Hassler-Forest, Utrecht University, Netherlands & Julia Dane, University of East London

The Walking Dead: Undead Capitalism, Morality & Affect.

In a late capitalist world that no longer offers any alternatives, the zombie genre has offered potent tools to critique a system that is both unsustainable and –ultimately– apocalyptic. Dan Hassler-Forest will suggest that critical posthumanism offers a way out of the deadlock between capitalism and the apocalyptic imaginary and Julia Dane will argue that The Walking Dead forces the audience to contemplate new frameworks of social value and the moral choices that might be made in an apocalyptic world.

June 9th

Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University

Authoritarian populism and austerity Britain

Kirsten will examine how ‘authoritarian populism’ can be applied to present-day Austerity Britain. There are obvious parallels with rhetoric used in the 1980s and that used today, particularly around ‘scroungers’, ‘benefit’ or ‘health tourists’, ‘swarms’ of refugees, etc. However, in other ways the situation is very different in terms of the parameters of socially acceptable speech, who is seen as belonging to British society and who does not, as well as the conditions facing those of us who want to challenge this and the strategies and tactics we can use.

June 30

Stephen Maddison, University of East London

Comradeship of Cock? Gay porn and the entrepreneurial voyeur

Thirty years of academic and critical scholarship on the subject of gay porn have produced one striking consensus, which is that gay cultures are especially ‘pornified’: porn has arguably offered gay men not only homoerotic visibility, but a heritage culture and a radical aesthetic. At the level of politics and cultural dissent, what’s ‘gay’ about gay porn now? This paper will explore whether processes of legal and social liberalization, and the emergence of networked and digital cultures, have foreclosed or expanded the apparently liberationary opportunities of gay porn.