We live in an epoch of personal choice, hyper-mobility, celebrity-worship and fiercely competitive labour markets. But this is also the age of networked communication, of global culture, of Occupy and the new politics of ‘the Commons’.
What are the connections and tensions between such apparently diverse tendencies, and do they help democracy to develop, or render it impossible?
This public seminar, marking the launch of Jeremy Gilbert’s book Common Ground (Pluto Press), will discuss the relationship between collectivity, individuality, affect and agency today, asking whether personal freedom is the great achievement of our era — or if individualism is actually forced on us by capitalist culture, fatally limiting our capacity to solve the problems that we can only solve together.What forms of politics, culture and philosophy might take us beyond the limits of traditional conservatism or banal individualism?
At: Brilliant Corners, 470 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, E8 4AE
Speakers: Anthony Barnett, Lisa Blackman, Mark Fisher, Jeremy Gilbert
Continue reading Common Ground: Democracy & Collectivity in an Age of Individualism
|24 April 2014|
CCSR welcomes Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? author Mark Fisher to launch his new book Ghosts of My Life, in conversation with the London-based artist and writer Laura Oldfield Ford. Are we, as Fisher argues, haunted by futures that failed to happen?
“Ghosts Of My Life confirms that Mark Fisher is our most penetrating explorer of the connections between pop culture, politics, and personal life under the affective regime of digital capitalism. The most admirable qualities of Fisher’s work are its lucidity, reflecting the urgency of his commitment to communicating ideas; his high expectations of popular art’s power to challenge, enlighten, and heal; and his adamant refusal to settle for less.” Simon Reynolds, author of Retromania and Rip It Up and Start Again.
Venue: Room US.G.17, University of East London, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, E15. 1NF
|19 March 2014|
Information and communications technologies have had a profound effect on political activism in the 21st century. In the hybrid space of contemporary cities, movements for social change are co-ordinated through social media and, effectively, take place both on the street and in information space. At the same time, as the Snowden files have revealed, digital communications are routinely monitored by government agencies and military applications of the same technologies facilitate drone surveillance and targeting. In the lead up to our annual lecture, this seminar brings together specialists in the field of social media, activism and surveillance to assess the impact of digital activism and its future development. How is the use of social media changing in the face of increased surveillance? What are the connections between activist and military applications of information technologies? And how do people respond to monitoring and surveillance in daily life? Continue reading Social Media, Activism & Surveillance
The Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London is delighted to announce that our annual lecture for 2014 will be given by Glenn Greenwald, who came to the attention of the world in June 2013 as the journalist responsible for the publication of documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The documents, which were published simultaneously in The Guardian and The Washington Post, revealed the extraordinary extent of US and UK government surveillance of both private citizens and foreign governments. Since then, the UK government has threatened Greenwald with criminal investigation and his partner, David Miranda, has been arrested and held for nine hours while passing through Heathrow airport on the pretext that he was carrying encrypted electronic documents. Greenwald, who is currently living in Brazil, has publicly stated that ‘not being able to visit the UK is not something that I regard as a punishment’. Continue reading Annual Lecture 2014: Glenn Greenwald
Stuart Hall, the globally-respected and much-loved public intellectual and giant of cultural studies, who has just died, had a huge influence on the development of Sociology and Cultural Studies at the University of East London.
UEL (then still North East London Polytechnic) was the first university in the UK to establish an undergraduate degree in, and later a department of, Cultural Studies. The BA, launched in 1980, was developed by a group of UEL staff several of whom had had strong links with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham, the unit directed by Stuart Hall. Continue reading Stuart Hall and Cultural Studies at UEL
Event to mark the publication of Professor Jeremy Gilbert’s new book Common Ground: Democracy & Collectivity in an Age of Individualism
Full details will be published here shortly
A series of seminars which will take place in Spring, 2014 assessing the impact of the Snowden papers with interventions from scholars in surveillance studies, journalists and hackers. Exploring the world of the ‘dark net’ , visibility and everyday life, surveillance and polity and digital resistance.
Full details will be published here shortly
Vinyl is the medium that won’t die. How do we explain it’s long-lasting appeal, its unique aesthetic qualities, and the strange sense that these questions are somehow important? This event will see a panel of expert commentators and practitioners discussing the issues in the ideal setting of Brilliant Corners, London’s only audiophile venue, before then hosting a party to put theory into practice.
Attendance is free and open to all – no need to register, just turn up. Continue reading Vinyl Culture: A Seminar and a Party
|28 March 2014|
A lecture by Professor Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster.
Jonathan Hardy will be chair and discussant.
In public and academic debates, journalism and management ideology, there is a lot of talk about the emergence of a qualitatively new Internet that is termed “social media” or “web 2.0”. In this talk I challenge such claims that go hand in hand with the ideas that we are experiencing the emergence of participatory culture and Facebook revolutions. I argue that deepening class relations are at the heart of contemporary capitalism and capitalist social media, that we need to engage with Karl Marx’s theory in order to understand society, inequality and the media landscape today, and that the transformation of paid into unpaid or lowly paid precarious labour is at the heart of the transformations of labour today. I situate the emergence of so-called commercial social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the context of what can be termed digital labour – capital’s exploitation of users’ work. In order to understand digital labour, we need to see the global division of labour underlying it and the role that targeted advertising plays for the capital accumulation model of social media corporations. I conclude that we need to re-invent the Internet in order to establish truly social media.
Continue reading Reflections on the Political Economy of Digital Labour
A collaboration with UEL’s Centre for Migration, Refugees & Belonging.
This event will take place at INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), 1 Rivington Place, EC2A 3BA
Part of CCSR’s Race & Nationalism series. Race and Sport will be the second seminar in the series and will take place in July 2014
Full details including dates and times will be published here shortly