Friday, June 29, 2007

Cultural Studies Now - An International Conference

Cultural Studies Now - An International Conference
Venue: University of East London, Docklands Campus
Date: July 19th – 22nd, 2007

The conference is now open for registration - online booking only.

CULTURAL STUDIES NOW is a major international conference organised by the School of Social Sciences, Media & Cultural Studies (SSMCS) at the University of East London.

Cultural Studies, as the paradigmatic interdisciplinary project, has always been defined by its relationships to proximate sets of ideas, practices and institutions. As Cultural Studies has grown and matured, its borders have multiplied. Cultural Studies has affected and been affected by contiguous disciplines, academic and non-academic institutions, political movements and projects, and creative practices of many kinds.

The question now is: has Cultural Studies been expanded, relocated and disseminated to the point where it no longer has a coherent identity? Is there a future for Cultural Studies as such? The conference will consider these issues by addressing a number of connected topics including:

Cultural Studies and politics:
Cultural Studies was once closely allied with socialism, feminism and antiracism. Is this still the case? Has Cultural Studies lost its political edge? Has it moved to the right? Or is it finding a home in the latest new social movements?

Cultural Studies and its disciplinary neighbours:
history, literature, sociology, philosophy, geography, visual culture, psychoanalysis, political science, postcolonial theory, economics, environmental studies, science and technology studies; film and media studies, queer studies and popular music studies are among the disciplines and fields that have contributed to and drawn on Cultural Studies. Has Cultural Studies been a good neighbour?

Cultural Studies in the public sphere:
what has been the influence of Cultural Studies outside the academy? How has the corporate universe made use of it? Has the selective uptake of Cultural Studies in a range of institutional contexts, including government, been positive in its effects?

Cultural Studies and creative practice:
what are the actual and potential relationships between Cultural Studies and other forms of creative practice? What has been the impact of Cultural Studies on cultural practices and vice versa? How has this been played out?

Cultural Studies and national contexts:
does Cultural Studies occupy different institutional and intellectual spaces in different national, international, and global contexts? Is there a cosmopolitan Cultural Studies or have local conversations predominated? Is there any continued relevance for the Birmingham CCCS models?

Today, when Cultural Studies risks responding to these challenges by collapsing into theoretical obscurantism or technocratic ineffectuality, we at the University of East London believe that there is a place for a Cultural Studies which is politically committed and relentlessly experimental in its intellectual, institutional and creative practices.

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