Annual Lecture 2014: Glenn Greenwald

Glenn PortraitThe 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’.

Greenwald’s story raises significant questions about the freedom of the press under the terms of contemporary neoliberal power structures. At the same time, the documents leaked by Snowden, many of which are yet to be published, raise questions about the meaning of democracy in a world where governments continually spy on their citizens. What should be the role of the ‘Fourth Estate’ in combating the panoptic state? What is the future for investigative journalism when journalists who serve democracy are denounced as threats to national security?

Glenn Greenwald will be appearing via a specially commissioned videocast recorded a few days prior to the event. He will discuss his new book  No Place to Hide and will respond to questions posed by members of CCSR. The screening will be followed  by a panel discussion with distinguished academics Christian Fuchs, Anthony Barnett and Jonathan Hardy, chaired by CCSR co-director Debra Benita Shaw.

Anthony Barnett has been one of the UK’s most important political commentators and activists for many years, founding both Charter 88 and open DemocracyHis publications include This Time: Our Constitutional Revolution (Vintage 1997). 

Christian Fuchs is Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute and the Centre for Social Media Resarch. He is editor of tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique ( and chair of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network 18 – Sociology of Communications and Media Research. His most recent publications are Social Media: A Critical Introduction (2014), Digital Labour and Karl Marx (2014) and OccupyMedia! The Occupy Movement and Social Media in Crisis Capitalism (2014)

Jonathan Hardy is Reader in Media Studies at the University of East London and a member of CCSR. He is a regular contributor to the journal Free Press and writes policy papers and submissions on UK and European media policy issues. He is also Secretary and Member of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

Debra Benita Shaw is a critical posthumanist interested in urban culture and the politics of information systems. Her third book Posthuman Urbanism: Mapping Bodies in Contemporary City Space will be published by Rowman & Littlefield International in 2016. She blogs at

A wine reception will follow.

The event is free but places are limited so please register using the Eventbrite link below.

Venue: : Room US.G.17, Ground Floor, University of East London, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, London, E15 1NN
Eventbrite - CCSR Annual Lecture 2014 - Glenn Greenwald