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2012 Events

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A list of the events we hosted and produced in 2012.

Friday 14 October 2011
Democracy from below

Narrative, performativity and revolution in Egypt

Professor Jeffrey Alexander, Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University
Professor Farhad Khosrokhavar, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Chaired by Professor Kate Nash, Sociology, Goldsmiths.

4-6pm, Goldsmiths Richard Hoggart Building (main building) Small Hall/Cinema


Thursday 9 February 2012
Democracy and social movements

Professor Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute, Florence, with Professor Natalie Fenton, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, and Professor Kate Nash, Sociology, Goldsmiths

Chaired by Professor Nick Couldry, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths.

5-7pm, Goldsmiths New Academic Building (NAB) LG02


Thursday 8 March 2012
Citizenship after Orientalism

Professor Engin Isin, Open University, with Professor Sanjay Seth, Politics, Goldsmiths, and Dr Ipek Demir, Sociology, University of Leicester

Chaired by Professor Kate Nash, Sociology, Goldsmiths.

5-7pm, Goldsmiths New Academic Building (NAB) LG02

Thursday 1 March 2012

Media Spectacle and the Crisis of (old) Democracy: Politics of Social Media in South Korea

Dr Jaeho Kang, Assistant Professor, School of Media Studies, The New School, New York

In South Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world, the recent advent and wide propagation of social media tend to go beyond the limits of one-way communication on an unprecedented scale. Diverse forms of social media such as social networking sites, Twitter and political podcasts have been actively engaged in election campaigns, the growth of grass-roots movements, and more systematic representation of public opinion.

Yet, many discussions have been overly preoccupied with the quantitative transformation of the public sphere and seem to share both an instrumental perspective on the effective use of social media in political mobilization and an overly optimistic standpoint on the improvement of deliberative democracy driven by advanced communication technology. A good deal less attention has been paid to a vital question about the changing nature of democracy itself in conjunction with the development of social media.

The lecture will examine the politics of social media in South Korea with particular reference to ‘media spectacle’, ‘new visibility’ and ‘monstration.’ In analyzing the impact of social media on democracy as the crisis of deliberative and representative political system, Dr Kang seeks to draw out theoretical relevance for our critical understanding of the interplay between media and democracy, be it ‘new’ or ‘old’ democracy.

Jaeho Kang received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and was Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Research, University of Frankfurt, Germany. He has been teaching sociology of media at the New School since 2005. He has a book in progress, Walter Benjamin and Media (Polity Press, forthcoming) and has published a number of articles on social and media theories of Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, and Siegfried Kracauer. He is also co-editing an anthology, Siegfried Kracauer: Selected Writings on Media, Propaganda and Political Communication (Columbia University Press). His current work expands the scope of his research by exploring media politics, urban spaces and global sports events with reference to media spectacle.

5.30-7pm, NAB (New Academic Building) LG02

17 November 2012

Media and War: challenging the consensus

Day conference on media, war and terrorism to mark the publication of Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives (Sage Publications).

Speakers include John Pilger, Peter Oborne (Telegraph), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Toby Miller (City), David Miller (Spinwatch), Michelle Stanistreet (NUJ), Gholam Khiabany (Sussex), Milly Williamson (Brunel).

Hosted by the Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy and organised by the Stop the War Coalition with the support of Sage Publications.

12-5pm, IGLT, Whitehead Building, Goldsmiths

3 May 2012

Research fellows - ‘Articulating alternatives: agents, spaces and communication in/of a time of crisis’

Eleftheria Lekakis and Hilde Stephansen, research fellows at the Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy, hosted a workshop for new scholars on 3 May 2012.

The workshop addressed a series of issues around the mediation of political life in a time of crisis. The last couple of decades have witnessed the intensification of the neoliberal logic, culminating in a profound crisis of capitalism. This has been accompanied by the widespread de-legitimisation of political institutions as citizens lose trust in the political process and confidence in the capacity of political elites to protect their interests.

Concomitantly, recent years have seen the emergence of a myriad of actors (from indigenous people’s movements to alter-globalisation movements to current mobilisations like the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement), which challenge the neoliberal hegemony and seek to construct alternatives. Such actors are engaged in various forms of knowledge production oriented towards the development of critiques of the current system as well as the elaboration of alternative forms of economic, social, and political organisation.

In the workshop, the participants explored some of the complexities of the relationship between mediated communication and politics in a time of crisis. The intensive mobilisation of citizens around the world raises a number of questions in relation to how agents of transformation are constructing political vernaculars and actions at different scales and across different sites, both physical and virtual.

The notion of a politics of crisis is set as a framework for the exploration of the agencies, spaces and communication practices of counter-capitalist voices. More particularly, the workshop addressed questions in relation to the discursive construction of alternatives, the agents involved in these processes, the spaces that are being opened up for articulation and action, as well as the modes of politics which characterise the current time of crisis.

December 2011

Hilde C. Stephansen joins the Centre as a Research Fellow for 2011-2012

Hilde C. Stephansen has a BA in Communications & Sociology and an MA in Social Research from Goldsmiths, University of London. She completed her PhD in Sociology, also at Goldsmiths, in December 2011. Her thesis explored the character and significance of media and communication in the World Social Forum, focusing on their relationship to processes of knowledge production and to the politics of place and scale in transnational social movement networks. Her research interests and activities include the World Social Forum and social movements; alternative/citizens' media and new communications technologies; media, participation and public spheres; feminist and non-Western epistemologies; 'global' ethnography and the politics of research; activism and academia.

Eleftheria Lekakis is a Research Fellow at the Centre for 2011-2012

Eleftheria Lekakis received her doctorate in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She holds a BSc in Political Science from the University of Crete, Greece and an MSc in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Politics in the Pocket? Coffee Activism, Political Consumerism and the Internet, was concerned with the relationship between alternative forms of political participation in the marketplace, their mediation online and offline in relation to information, mobilisation and types of action, as well as their significance for the reconfiguration of our understanding of politics. Her past and present research and activities address issues of politics and new media, while her research interests primarily include corporate culture, cultural citizenship, political communication and alternative culture.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Baroness Onora O’Neill Lecture on 'Regulating for Communication'

Baroness Onora O’Neill, Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University and former President of the British Academy, will deliver a lecture at Goldsmiths for the Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy on the subject of ‘Regulating for Communication’.

The lecture will be introduced by Pat Loughrey, Warden of Goldsmiths, with responses from Angela Phillips, Goldsmiths, and Dan Sabbagh, the Guardian's head of media and technology. The event will be chaired by Nick Couldry, Director of the Centre.

This lecture marks ten years since her BBC Reith lectures in 2002 (published as A Question of Trust, Cambridge University Press) which highlighted to a wide public audience questions concerning the accountability of and trust in the media. She is one of world’s leading moral philosophers and has for two decades shown particular interest in the ethical and moral questions raised by media. She is also a member of the House of Lords and has contributed actively to debates around the UK’s recent Leveson Inquiry.

The lecture is open to all, and will be followed by a drinks reception.

6:30-8pm New Academic Building (NAB) LG02, Goldsmiths, University of London