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
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
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
The University of East London’s CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) and CCSR (Centre for Cultural Studies Research) are pleased to announce ISRAEL/PALESTINE: NEW PERSPECTIVES a seminar which will take place in EB.G.18, Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, nearest tube: Cyprus DLR on Monday 28th October 2013, 4–6pm
Dr. Ruth Sanz Sabido, Canterbury Christ Church University ‘A Land of Promises: Tracing the representations of terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’
Tom Tlalim, Goldsmiths, University of London, ‘Resounding Conflict: Sonic Strategies for Political Critique in Israel/Palestine’.
Dr. Jamie Hakim, University of East London, ‘Affect and Popular Zionism in the British Jewish Community after 1967’
Nora Parr, SOAS, University of London, ‘Novel Imaginings of the National Community: Inter-textuality in the works of Ibrahim Nasrallah’
The event is free but space is limited so please reserve a place at israelpalestinenewperspectives.eventbrite.co.uk Continue reading Israel/Palestine: New Perspectives
The family and, in particular, maternal behaviour, has long been subject to public scrutiny. However, since the mid-1990s heightened government and media concern with parenting practices has produced a series of escalating moral panics around child welfare issues. While overt parent-bashing and bewailing the demise of the ‘traditional’ family were once associated with the moral majority in the US and old-style Conservatives in the UK, government intrusion into and commentary on family life has become increasingly central to the discourse of all mainstream political parties. The assumption parental incompetency– rather than broader socio-economic conditions–is responsible for a range of social problems has been reflected in public policy and the rise of media commentary (in current affairs journalism and reality TV), on the subject of modern parenting.
Continue reading The Family in Crisis? Neoliberalism and the Politicisation of Parenting and the Family
CONFLICTING LEGACIES, HUGO CHAVEZ AND MARGARET THATCHER: Neo-liberalism and new wars versus social justice and peace
Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written over two dozen books on world politics and history. His novels, including the series known as the ‘Islam Quintet’, have been translated into many languages. He is a longstanding editor of the New Left Review and writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Guardian
Continue reading CCSR Annual Lecture 2013: Tariq Ali
Presented in association with Iniva, the fourth and final event in the Centre for Cultural Studies Research seminar series Culture & Polity explores the question of public policy. As the government’s austerity drive continues to whittle away arts funding while ministers question the very value of the arts, how should artists and arts bodies respond? What might a progressive arts policy look like? Is Britain’s cultural and creative sector under threat. Or will hard times inspire aesthetic and political radicalism?
Continue reading Public Policy
This is the third seminar in our Culture & Polity series in which our invited speakers will be examining the city both as a concept and as a space marked by social and cultural divisions and in which conflicting notions of community emerge. Has the economic downturn restructured the suburb from paradise to pressure cooker, making it the new inner city precariously perched on the edge? What are the political consequences of the impact of privatisation on city space? The award-winning film-maker John Smith will also present his film ‘Blight’ which revolves around the building of the M11 Link Road in East London, which provoked a long and bitter campaign by local residents to protect their homes from demolition.
Continue reading City and Space
This is the second seminar in our Culture & Polity series in which our invited speakers will be examining the post-neoliberal subject as produced by the strategies of behavioural economics, security screening and the discourse of virology. What is the meaning of community and the social under these conditions? What forms of governance emerge from new techniques of securitisation and behaviour management and what are the implications for democratic processes?
Continue reading Security, Community & Democracy