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Lectures and talks

Seminar series: Culture, Power and Politics 2018

stratford library

Culture, Power and Politics 2018

Culture, Power and Politics is a series of 10 public seminars hosted by UEL’s Centre for Cultural Studies Research and led by UEL Professor of Cultural and Political theory Jeremy Gilbert.

Rather than holding the debates in one of the university’s many lecture theatres, the decision was made to hold them in a basement gallery on Ridley Road in Dalston, east London.

The series opened on April 24 with the very timely topic #metoo / #ImWithHer: feminism, liberalism and the politics of gender, with guests Professor Mandy Merck and Catherine Rottenberg.

On May 1 Professor Gilbert will be joined by Hilary Wainwright to discuss Democracy in the Streets: Fifty Years of 1968. Hilary Wainwright has been involved in radical politics since the 1960s, playing a key role on the British Left through much of that time. 

On May 8 Maurizio Lazzarato joins Professor Gilbert to discuss Work, Debt, Creativity, Resistance. Dr Lazzarato is best known for having coined the term ‘immaterial labour’ as a way of describing the many forms of work in the contemporary economy that do not produce physical outputs. In this seminar the two will explain how those ideas have developed and why they are so relevant for contemporary radical politics.

On May 15 Professor Eric Alliez and Dr Maurizio Lazzarato will discuss their new book Wars and Capital, introducing some of the key arguments and ideas from this important new work.

On May 22 Sarah Bufkin and Professor Alan Finlayson join Professor Gilbert to discuss Eyes Right: Trumpism, Brexit and the rise of the alt-right 

May 29th – No session

On June 5th Hegemony Now: Power in the Twenty-First Century (I) with Alex Williams 
In this session Alex and Jeremy will introduce some key concepts and analyses from their forthcoming book Hegemony Now: Power in the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2019). This will be the first of two seminars in the series to will explore this material.

On June 12th  Art, Glitch, Politics  with Debra Benita Shaw. The rise of digital ‘glitch’ art is interesting in terms of how it privileges noise over signal and aestheticises error. Glitch artists randomly re-assort ordered sequences to demonstrate that order itself is arbitrary, contingent and open to transduction. In deliberately confounding the apparently smooth interface through which digital messages are received, the glitch aesthetic suggests a productive imagery for a politics which confronts the hierarchies embedded in and reproduced by digital culture.

This seminar is also part of this year’s programme for Antiuniversity 2018

On June 19th  The Right to the City: politics, place and policy in neoliberal London with Anna Minton and Jacob Mukherjee of Generation Rent. London’s housing market is in crisis because the global super-rich use our homes as piggy-banks and the government does nothing to stop them. Rent is becoming completely unaffordable (never mind buying a place). Gentrification is killing cultural venues all over the city, as overpriced flats crowd out the places where people gather to make some noise. In this session we’ll discuss these issues with two expert campaigners, and think about how they fit into the wider history of global neoliberalism.

On June 26th  Black Lives Matter – ‘race’, bodies and biopolitics in the 21st century. The Black Lives Matter movement has seen arguably the most significant revival of Black radicalism in the English-speaking world for many years. What has led to this situation and what are the political, historical and theoretical issues raised by it? Is ‘black’ still a meaningful term of political identification for non-white peoples outside the African diaspora? What is the legacy of slavery and colonialism in the contemporary West? Why is racism amongst police forces such a perpetually intractable problem, even in apparently liberal countries like the UK (is the very concept of policing, as Foucault seemed to suggest, itself just inherently racist?). How have new philosophies of materiality and embodied experience contributed to the understanding of ‘race’ as a historical and lived experience? What is the place of ‘black music’ in contemporary culture, 100 years in to the history of recorded sound, and what was been the historical relationship of music to black radicalism?

Directly after this seminar there will be a meeting to set up a reading group focussing on theories of race, colonialism, post-coloniality etc, open to anyone who is interested in joining. 

On July 3rd   PFI: The Financialisation of Everything With Grace Blakely 

The story of the Private Finance Initiative reached its long-predicted denouement this year with the collapse of Carillion, a company employing 43,000 workers, responsible for dozens of contracts to deliver services across the UK public sector. The biggest bankruptcy in British history has exposed what many economists and political commentators have been saying for years: the PFI was a disastrous policy that was never really intended to benefit the public, but to enable multinational corporations to generate vast profits at the expense of the tax-payer, local authorities, schools and hospitals. But what exactly is the PFI, how does it work, and why are the Blairites still opposed to actually scrapping it?

You can check out topics for the whole series on the website

All sessions take place from 6:30pm – 8:30 pm at the Doomed Gallery: 65-67 Ridley Road, Dalston, London, E8 2NP. All welcome – there is no charge and no booking required.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018 18:30 to Tuesday, 3 July 2018 20:00

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