UEL Docklands Campus
The second event in the Music, Politics, Agency series, this symposium explores debates around gender, sexuality and sound. Contributions will be situated in contexts that range from the recording studio to hip-hop, classical music and the New York dance floor.
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The Centre For Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London will be hosting a major international conference on September 8th-9th, 2011 which will re-assess Michel Foucault’s contribution to radical thought and the application of his ideas to contemporary politics. What does it mean to draw on Foucault as a resource for radical politics, and how are we to understand the politics which implicitly informs his work?
Keynote speakers will be Stuart Elden, Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University, one of the founding editors of Foucault Studies and Mark Kelly, Lecturer in Philosophy, Middlesex University, author of The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault (Routledge, 2009). Please see full call for papers here.
On December 8th 2010 CCSR held a seminar on the implications of ideas of shared ‘pain’ which have become so central to the coalition government’s discourse of austerity. Speakers were Kate Pickett (co-author of The Spirit Level), Michael Rustin (of UEL and Soundings), and Jeremy Gilbert. Matthew Reisz, writing in the THE, noted how the event coincided with students taking to the streets ‘ahead of last week’s tuition-fees vote’ and the occupation of part of UEL’s campus. An Audio Recording of the seminar is available here and a copy of Jeremy’s paper ‘Sharing the Pain’ is available here.
A full audio recording is now available of the first of our series of seminars examining the meaning of Debt, Pain and Work in the era of austerity and coalition politics.
Pain has become one of the central discourses of the coalition government as it embarks on its cuts programme. The cuts are inevitable, we are told, and the pain must be shared in the interests of fairness. But is the pain necessary, should it be shared, is it really being shared, how will the pain effect the social, and what are the psychosocial consequences of the crisis? Kate Pickett (author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better), Mike Rustin (author of The Good Society and the Inner World) and Jeremy Gilbert (author of Anti-Capitalism and Culture: Radical Theory and Popular Politics. This is the text of Jeremy’s talk to the Demos institute in Ghent, May 2010, which was an invited response to The Spirit Level) will address these and other questions. The second of three CCSR seminars that are examining the coalition government’s discursive agenda, the meeting will take place in room EB.G.14 in the East Building of UEL’s Dockland’s Campus.
The Politics of Debt: Concepts and experiences of debt have become central to the management of contemporary capitalism, to understandings of its consequences and to social experience at every scale. National debt, personal debt, ecological debt are key issues for understanding contemporary culture and politics. But what exactly is debt? Can we manage without it? Are current levels of personal, national, corporate and ecological debt sustainable; and what are the origins of this most fundamental concept?
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Focusing on the themes of debt, pain, and work, the coalition government has attempted to build a new common sense around the need for deep public sector spending cuts, the curtailment of strategic health authority and local governmental influence in the provision of health and education, and the sweeping shift from public sector to private sector delivery. This academic year the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at UEL is holding three linked seminars on the themes of Debt (13 October), Pain (December 1) and Work (date to be confirmed) in order to interrogate the substance of the government’s strategy. Each event will be held at UEL’s Docklands Campus in East London, and will feature speakers from a range of activist, journalistic and research backgrounds.
On 3rd July, 2010, CCSR committee member Debra Benita Shaw spoke at the University of Surrey Institute of Advanced Studies conference The Emergence of the Posthuman Subject. She delivered a paper entitled ‘Posthuman Remains: Contemporary Biopolitics and the Consumption of Undeath’ which interrogated the fascination with life extension techniques and how they can be understood in terms of the way that neoliberalism constructs contemporary subjectivities.
CCSR committee member Debra Benita Shaw and Sarah Baker, a former doctoral candidate at UEL, attached to CCSR, who was recently awarded her PhD, presented papers at the 8th Crossroads in Cultural Studies conference at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, June 17th – 21st, 2010. Sarah’s paper, called ‘Retro Homes and the Value of ‘Authentic’ Iconicity’ discussed the results of ethnographic research among ‘retro’ enthusiasts in the UK. Debra’s paper, ‘Investment Strategies in the Genomic Domain: The Life Cycle of homo oeconomicus’ presented the results of ongoing research into the connection between evolutionary psychology and contemporary neo-liberalism.
Started in 1996 in Tampere, Finland, the Crossroads Conferences were to fill what was felt to be a gap in the international cultural studies community. Since then it had become one of the most important international conferences in cultural studies where scholars from all five continents get together to exchange their scholarly insights as well as to get in touch with different cultures. Organized by the Association for Cultural Studies (ACS), Crossroads conference is now held every two years in different parts of the world: Birmingham in UK, Illinois in US, Istanbul in Turkey and Kingston in Jamaica. This was the first time it had been held in East Asia