20 March, 2014
Orangery, Surrey House, Goldsmiths
The peripheral is not only what is imagined as geographically distant, but encompasses those seen as the distant amongst us – the stranger, the outcast, the pariah.
What does it mean, in the age of digital technologies, to be “peripheral” - on the fringes and out of sight? How are communities imagined as peripheral empowered or disempowered through networks and practices? How is the peripheral constructed and mediated by new media, as place, as geography, as relationship and as a category of being?
This event will discuss the idea of the peripheral, examining communities and subjectivities imagined as distant, aiming to explore the nature of peripherality, to examine experiences of being strange or far away, and to debate whether new media changes or impacts how categories of distance/difference are constructed. Speakers include Nirmal Puwar, Aimee Joyce, Ashwani Sharma and Marianne Franklin.
2-3 June, 2014
University of Warwick
Recently, there have been various calls for a move beyond ‘post-structuralism’ (i.e. Foucault, Deleuze, cultural/critical theory), which had long been seen as the radical edge of the critical social sciences. Such calls are motivated in part by the sense that post-structuralist philosophies - which were forged against a backdrop of totalitarian rule and burgeoning welfare states in Europe - fail to offer moral or political purchase in the contemporary governmental landscape. Moreover, there is a sense that various concepts and theories have become reified and constraining – closing down the possibilities of critical thought.
The exciting line up of confirmed speakers for the conference now include: Louise Amoore (Durham); William Connolly (Johns Hopkins); Christian Borch (CBS, Copenhagen); Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck); Amade M'charek (Amsterdam); Luciana Parisi (Goldsmiths); & AbdouMaliq Simone (Goldsmiths)
Tuesday 4 March
Rm 203, No 10 University Gardens (Medieval History), University of Glasgow
This paper discusses the mobilization of notions of “gender equality” by contemporary European nationalist and xenophobic parties and neo-liberal governments in discussions of migrants' and particularly Muslims' integration. First, by introducing the concept of “Femonationalism” the paper analyzes the ideological formation that brings together the heterogeneous anti-Islam and anti-(male) immigrant concerns of nationalist parties, of some feminists and of neo-liberal governments. Second, it pays particular attention to the prominent role of migrant women (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) in the European care-domestic labor markets and to its theoretical as well as political implications. In conclusion, this paper argues for the need both to decipher the Femonationalist ideology in political-economic terms, and to explain the intersection of neoliberal economic and political transformation and the sexual and racial politics of care.
Sara R. Farris is Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She was Member Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2012-2013. She has published on sociological theory, political sociology, orientalism, international migration, feminist and Marxist theory. Most recently she is the author of Max Weber's Theory of Personality. Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion (Brill, 2013). She is currently completing her second monograph, provisionally entitled The Political Economy of Femonationalism.
Friday 28 February
Rm A0.23, Social Sciences Bldg, University of Warwick
Free, but please register in advance
This workshop seeks to interrogate the nature and impacts of claims that feminist scholarship is, or ought to be, undergoing a ‘turn’, i.e. a change in direction, aim or focus. The notion of ‘turn’ has long played an important role in oral and written narrations of the development of social and political theory. In those narrations, the declaration of a ‘turn’ functions not just as a categorising device making it possible to identify patterns and pinpoint transformations in knowledge production, but also as a touchstone of sometimes fierce debates about the relative epistemic value and political utility of different forms of scholarship.
The event will take the format of an open roundtable discussion where speakers (including Goldsmiths Rebecca Coleman) and participants will debate the current political-theoretical feminist landscape, asking how feminist ‘turns’ operate within and against a changing academic environment, at a time of political and economic ‘crisis’ and strengthening of social inequalities. We will consider questions of institutionalisation, temporality, the stories we tell about feminist scholarship, geo-politics, feminist pedagogies, citational practices and the relation between feminism and the political economy of contemporary academia.
Wednesday 26 February
Produced in 1984, at the time that Edward Said and Jean Mohr were working on After the Last Sky, the film brings Arab women’s gaze to the different times and places of women’s roles in the Palestinian struggle. It explores the personal and the political, locating women in the spaces of absence as it inserts their centrality and presence in the history of Lebanon and of Palestine. It is concerned with photography, with acts of remembering, draws on collective memory and on an Arab heritage of oral history and mosaic patterns to compose a compelling narrative structure, re-centering women in Arab history. ‘Leila and the Wolves’ has been called a feminist masterpiece.
Screening followed by discussion. You are invited to view the exhibition in the Kingsway Corridor before the screening.
Meeting Stuart Hall's Voice - Nirmal Puwar
Diasporic Walking Sticks - Yasmin Gunaratnam
Stuart Hall, A Bright Star - Les Back
Wednesday 26 February, 5pm
RHB140 (Richard Hoggart building)
Ville Takala - PhD student, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class is without a doubt one of the most widely read sociological books of the past ten years. Florida argues that recent economic developments have led to the rise of a new social class, the Creative Class, upon which the economic development of post-industrial cities depends. In order to be prosperous, cities are today forced to compete against each other by creating conditions that attract this highly mobile and international group of people. Although Florida’s theory has been heavily criticised by many, it has nevertheless been hugely popular amongst civic leaders all around the world. In this presentation I will examine Florida’s theory from a methodological perspective and question Florida's use official statistics and statistical techniques to support his arguments about the nature and direction of economic development in post-industrial times.
Wednesday 12 March, 5pm
NAB 302 (new academic building)
Join Arun Kundnani as he presents his groundbreaking new critique of the War on Terror and resulting discriminatory surveillance.
In this talk, New York-based scholar Arun Kundnani introduces his new book The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror, publishing in March. Based on several years of research and reportage from Texas and New York to Yorkshire, it is the first comprehensive critique of counter-radicalization strategies.
Hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy
Thursday 6 March 2014
Warmington Tower 1204.
In this workshop Annie Pfingst introduces a discussion that will trace and present the visual as both a methodology, part of a dynamic interdisciplinary spatial, visual, archival and theoretical practice of inquiry, as well as a photographic recording of a series of encounters.
For more information, please visit the Unit of Play web page.
6 February, Humboldt University, Berlin
Following on from the publication of Live Methods, edited by Les Back & Nirmal Puwar, both of them will be presenting a joint public lecture at Humboldt University, in Berlin, on 'Re-Imagining Social Craft: a live methods manifesto'.
They will be foregrounding the work of colleagues in the department and the collection. The lecture will be followed by a workshop on 7th March 2014.
30 January 2014
COL 8.3, London School of Economics
The ‘Evaluation’ is a term which has been abused in the recent scramble to systematically measure the economic and social value of the arts. In considering the relationship between arts policy, cultural theory and arts and evaluation practice this paper offers a critical perspective on institutional ‘norms’ and ‘forms’ of evaluation. The histories of, and motivations for evaluation include a governmental impulse to employ culture as a resource that can be put to work as part of a wider global project of managing social change (Yudice 2003, Bennett 1995) and a genuine desire to learn from and improve the effectiveness and possibilities of arts-based social interventions. In the current policy context evaluation has become a technocratic ‘hoop’ for arts organisations to jump through in an endless mutual narrative driven by cultural policy, instrumentality and accountability. The value of evaluation, however, lies in the opportunity it offers for critical and reflexive learning and intersectoral dialogue on cultural value. This paper given by Alison Rooke, offers examples of critical approaches to evaluation, based on a method of participation action research, with a focus on arts-based mental health interventions.
25 February 2014
BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London
As part of this day event, Nirmal Puwar will be giving one of the two keynotes, and Michaela Benson will be presenting a paper entitled Practising white privilege in lifestyle migration: habitus, field and the mutability of capitals.
This paper presents a theoretical framework inspired by Bourdieu to explore how privilege is articulated, explained and experienced by lifestyle migrants. In particular, it draws on empirical research conducted with North American residents of Panama. Such a context is marked by significant geographies of power, namely the inequalities between the US and Central America, as well as the racialised hierarchy that frames the Panamanian social structure. The paper examines how, following migration, these relatively affluent migrants enter Panamanian social fields (e.g. housing, power) and find themselves at a level significantly elevated from their position back in the US. Furthermore, it reveals how their whiteness becomes central to their accumulation of symbolic capital within their new surroundings. In many ways, it becomes clear this is a form of migration that can be understood in terms of postcolonialism. However, beyond this, I want to explore the processes by which the white privilege of these migrants is eventually embodied by them as they shift from awareness of their own difference through to practice. In this respect, the paper focuses on the processes by which capitals (economic, social and cultural) are converted through migration and how such processes are experienced and felt by the migrants’ themselves, becoming internalized to their habitus over time.
29 January 2014
Foyles, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB
Marx is without doubt one of the most important thinkers in history, yet also one of the most misunderstood. Shedding light on the key areas of Marx's thought in this event is French Marxist philosopher Étienne Balibar. Author of the latest volume in Verso's beautiful Radical Thinkers series, The Philosophy of Marx. Balibar, and a celebrated student of Louis Althusser who has also written books on Spinoza and Locke, Balibar will be in conversation with Alberto Toscano, author and lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Brenna Bhandar & Alberto Toscano
28 January 2014
After the Last Sky was conceived as an effort to redress the fact that, as Said put it, 'to most people Palestinians have been visible as fighters, terrorists and lawless pariahs'. Negatively 'over-represented', yet in crucial respects invisible, the Palestinian experience of dispossession is here restored to its lived complexity, not allowing the violence of occupation to saturate the field of vision and blot out everyday life. In this presentation, we want to reflect on how, more than a quarter century after its publication, Said and Mohr's collaboration can serve as a potent resource in addressing the politics and aesthetics of representing dispossession. In particular, we will consider how Said's recognition of the centrality of land to the dynamics of dispossession informs the composition of After the Last Sky, and how the book can provide a critical vantage point on a rich critical legal literature on settler-colonial dispossession which often risks abstracting away from lifeworlds of ownership and resistance which remain unregistered in legal frameworks. Drawing on some of Said's writings on the visible, as well as on Allan Sekula's critical writings on the history of photography, will also try to contrast Said and Mohr's ways of seeing with different strategies for representing Palestinian dispossession and resistance, focusing in particular on three registers: reflexive or formalistic attempts to depict (armed) Palestinian struggle, from Wakamatsu and Adachi's PFLP-Japanese Red Army – Declaration of World War and Godard and Melville's Ici et Ailleurs to Ahlam Shibli's Phantom Home; documentary records of dispossession (Ariella Azoulay's From Palestine to Israel); contemporary filmic and photographic work which foregrounds the landscape or the technologies of dispossession whole leaving Palestinian experience outside the frame (Sophie Ristelheuber's West Bank).
30 January 2014
Giving the opening lecture for the Centre for Feminist Research, Bev Skeggs will draw upon her various research projects, from Formations of Class and Gender to Reacting to Reality TV, to explore responses to power and judgment from those constantly made subject to both. Reactions reveal how struggles for value are shaped through very different time and space vectors that are rarely understood in traditional analyses of subject formation and relationality.
17 January 2014
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the present 'age of austerity' has repeatedly been compared to the wartime and postwar austerity years. For many, the rise of austerity nostalgia suggests a compliant public in thrall to the command to 'keep calm and carry on' while the welfare state is dismantled around them. Yet, at the same time, the idea that the Second World War can serve as a compelling historical precedent for sustainable living has found favour in environmental and anti-consumerist debate.
Challenging dominant approaches to 'austerity', Rebecca Bramall (University of Brighton) explores the presence and persuasiveness of the past in contemporary popular culture, focusing intensively on the contradictions, antagonisms, alternatives and possibilities that the current conjuncture presents. In doing so, she exemplifies a new approach to emergent uses of the past, questioning longstanding assumptions about the relationship between history, culture and politics.
Part of the ESRC Seminar Series on Austerity Futures: Imagining and materialising the future in an ‘age of austerity’ - Dr Rebecca Coleman
Content last modified: 11 Mar 2014
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