Monthly Archives: January 2009

We will

badgeI’m corresponding with a certain Jen O about her prospective PhD here:

Her day job in marketing reminded me of an anecdote I’ve been meaning to post:

There once was was a workshop once that was run by our marketing/consultancy people. I think this was a rather dim excersize from no doubt excessively paid chancers, but we had fun at this workshop. They asked us to break into teams and brainstorm the five main themes of Goldsmiths mission/brand. Our group had to take the slogan – ‘Goldsmiths offers a transformatory experience’ and make it more ‘edgy’. Stage one we came up with ‘Goldsmiths will change the way you think’, which is OK and I’d been using a version of this for years in introductory talks for new students (I’ve another talk coming up on Opend Day wednesday 18th Feb). But we had to report back at this meeting in front of all the college heads of departments and other tops. All fine, the then head of finance was our designated feedback person, so – with him in a bow-tie – we had him stand up and announce to the assembled heads that our second stage radicalization of that slogan – ‘we will change the way you think’ was now ‘We will fuck with your head’. Much laughter and mock shock, credit to him for doing our bidding. Needless to say, our rewritten slogan for Goldsmiths was subsequently voted down and on the strapline and on the twee little lapel buttons they made as part of the ‘rebranding’ our slogan was not adopted. The badge instead says ‘radical’ – which is of course counter-indicative [but I could not find an image of that badge on line, so will scan it tomorrow maybe, in the meantime see the random badge pic generator to the left, and even better - see here for a better viral marketing move omn Goldies part].

Stiegler at Goldsmiths CCS Feb-march 09

isterbs*BERNARD STIEGLER *will give four lectures
Organised by: Centre For Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
All welcome

4 February, 13.00-15.00
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
THE PROCESS OF EXTERIORIZATION AND THE EPIPYLOGENETIC MEMORY

11 February, 13.00-15.00
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
THE QUESTION OF THE PHARMAKON

25 February, 13.00-15.00
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
MNEMOTECHNICS AND GRAMMATISATION

4 March, 13.00-15.00
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
GRAMMATISATION, PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS AT THE AGE OF INTERACTIVITY

Bernard Stiegler is a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Cultural
Studies from 2009.

He is also a director of the department of cultural development  at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, and a professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne where he teaches philosophy. Before taking up the post at the Pompidou Center, he was program director at the International College of Philosophy, Deputy Director General of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, then Director General at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). Bernard Stiegler has published widely on philosophy, technology, digitization, capitalism, and consumer culture. Among his writings, his three volumes of /La Technique et Le Temps /(English Translation: /Technics and Time/), two volumes of /De La Misère Symbolique,/ three volumes of /Mécréance et Discrédit/ and two volumes /Constituer l’Europe/ are particularly well known. Professor Stiegler has a long term engagement with the relation between technology and philosophy, not only in a theoretical sense, but also situating them in industry and society as practices. He is one of the founders of the political group Ars Industrialis based in Paris, which calls for an industrial politics of spirit, by exploring the possibilities of the technology of spirit, to bring forth a new “life of the mind”. He published extensively on the problem of individuation in consumer capitalism, and he is  working on the new possibility of an economy of contribution.

Please reply to Dr. Olga Goriunova <o.goriunova[at]gold.ac.uk> for enquiries.


Dr. Olga Goriunova
Lecturer in Interactive Media
Centre for Cultural Studies
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London
SE14 6NW

[image from Dan Ross and David B's film The Ister].

Politics, Time and Theology 25.2.09

clockA Workshop on Giorgio Agamben’s ‘The Time That Remains’

Andrew Benjamin and Scott Lash.

Politics necessitates a thinking of the event; the event as a form of interruption that opens the space for another possibility. Equally politics brings with it questions of agency and subjectivity. The interconnection between the event and the subject continues to be expressed in terms of the relationship between universality and particularity. Contemporary philosophy continues to find resources that allow the issues raised by this complex of relations to be taken up in the theological writings of Paul.

Badiou, Derrida, Zizek, Taubes, Agamben amongst others have turned to Paul to continue to think through what might more generally be called a politics of time. The aim of this workshop will be to look in detail at one of these contemporary works, namely, Giorgio Agamben’s ‘The Time That Remains’ Stanford University Press (2005)

Event Information

Location: RHB Cinema, Goldsmiths
Cost: Free and all welcome
Website: Events at the Centre for Cultural Studies
Time: 25 February 2009, 15:00 - 17:00

Star Spangled Non-believers Rise Up!

obamaflagI feel part of this, and then I dont. We were all included: jews, muslims, hindus, christians, ‘and non-believers’ (Obama 20.1.09). Though the phrasing parsed this as something of a an afterthought or hanging clause, it was about time an American president made a space for me, for I am a ‘non believer’. (On the same day of the speech I had used the phrase ‘god-botherers’ on a college website, but this was deemed unsuitable and edited. Ah well, at least I did not go for the term ‘bible-bashers’ – though I’d point out that neither phrase is disrespectful of ‘god’, but rather of bibles and prattlers. He who who don’t exist don’t get offended, only the fools who think he does, do [forgive my grammars & tresspass against us!]). Anyway, as tolerant freedom loving people [pah, relativists!] we have to consider things from a non-believers point of view: just as we would endorse any other ‘denomonational’ conviction or set of axioms.

So, to move this on past the rhetorical lists of inclusions, I turn to the question of nostalgia and look for explanations/speculation. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me 44′s articulation of hope is a repackaging of pretty old dreams (King, Kennedy, Camalot … Lincoln, Gettysburg, Khe Sanh [!!! sheesh]). All this seems to return to the fable of a lost America, an America that still had unquestioned superpower status, a 50′s or 60′s America perhaps – yet all the while this nostalgia looks back at the past it does several things. It manages to be at the same time contrived, knowing, nostalgic and a forward march. This is somehow endearing, and productive in a weird, contentless way. I see it as something like Admiral Adama’s speeches in TV’s “Battlestar Galactica” (“lets find ‘earth’”) or how things turn out in Celebrity Dance shows where anyone who works hard and has poise, good looks and a very fine outfit can succeed (or be judged at least 2nd or 3rd runner up. Even Hillary gets a job – yay!). Sure, the fantasy of hope as tricked up nostalgia still inspires people to feel confident, capable and constituted – but it is also fragile. It relies on old glories (we saw such a lot of that old say can you see…) and it relies upon ‘resoluteness’, on ‘fortitude’ and ‘tenacity’. This sets up, for the mass of people who adopt its outlook, a dependence upon a precarious ‘confidence’ which, in its pernicious effect and whims, permeates the market from the stock exchange to the high street small business, and reaches even so far as to the countenance of people waiting for a bus. I swear Londoners today seemed less disgruntled… but still the market drops like a stone. The double play is underway, and its unclear which way the crumble is cooking… I’m still a non-believer.

Bengali Cinema and class

nagarikI was asked for recommendations of films on Class and Caste by Dipa for her course in LA.  Just a few very quick suggestions of the top of my head. I’ve no idea if these are readily available in Hollywood, but I’d expect they should be:

Bengali Films on class [and caste] would start with almost anything by Mrinal Sen (we screened a bunch of these at Goldsmiths last year):

Sen’s film “Kharij” is great for its critique of middle class life. He made this after his Calcutta revolution trilogy. Though I guess that’s more class politics than caste, of course it can also be seen that the boy is of lower caste as well. Its a pretty amazing film.

Or you might look at the films of Ritwik Ghatak, starting with Nagarik 1952, an early Marxist statement dealing with partition – predates Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” by a few years, but not released till after Ritwik died of alcohol related illness.

Then – though not a Bengali film – there is that film about Ambedkar, more contemporary, glossy, but I recall thinking it pretty good. Read Gail Omvedt alongside the film.

Several films have been made of Mahasweta Devi novels to do with tribals and dalits. “Mother of 1084” I think is one that deserves attention. Obviously its Devi and Spivak who you’d read alongside this. My take here.

Burt

burt_lancasterAlongside Barbara Stanwyck, my other fave mainstream movie star is Burt Lancaster (and though the woman on the beach in this still is, if you did not know, Deborah Kerr, Stanwyck and Lancaster teamed up together in “Sorry, Wrong Number” way back in 1948). As I am on a bit of a Burt tip this month, I watched “The Professionals” (1966) tonight. It is fantastic. Alongside his great “Crimson Pirate”, its one of the huge movies that show that the House Un-american Activities Commission (HUAC) really had a point, there were communists in Hollywood. Kaaabaaan! And it was a good thing too. More arty types might also enjoy Lancaster in Visconti’s very last film, “Conversation Piece” where Burt plays an aging Professor obsessed with trinkets. That kind of appealed to me too. What a trajectory – pirate – revolutionary – art dealer. Its a pity his involvement with the movie “Airport” ruined the run.

Letter in today’s Guardian

The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Signatories:

Professor Gilbert Achcar, Development Studies, SOAS
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Politics and International Studies, SOAS
Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS
Professor Eric Alliez, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. Jens Andermann, Latin American Studies, Birkbeck
Dr. Jorella Andrews, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, Philosophy, University of Warwick
John Appleby, writer
Dr. Claudia Aradau, Politics, Open University
Dr. Walter Armbrust, Politics, University of Oxford
Dr. Andrew Asibong, French, Birkbeck
Professor Derek Attridge, English, University of York
Burjor Avari, lecturer in Multicultural Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr. Zulkuf Aydin, International Development, University of Leeds
Dr. Claude Baesens, Mathematics, University of Warwick
Dr. Jennifer Bajorek, Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
Professor Mona Baker, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Manchester
Jon Baldwin, lecturer in Communications, London Metropolitan University
Professor Etienne Balibar, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Dr. Trevor Bark, Criminology, WEA Newcastle
Dr. Susan Batchelor, Sociology, Glasgow University
Dr. David Bell, Tavistock Clinic and British Psychoanalytic Society
Dr. Anna Bernard, English, University of York
Professor Henry Bernstein, Development Studies, SOAS
Anindya Bhattacharyya, writer and journalist
Dr. Ian Biddle, Music, Newcastle University
Sana Bilgrami, filmmaker and lecturer, Napier University, Edinburgh
Professor Jon Bird, School of Arts & Education, Middlesex University
Nicholas Blincoe, writer
Dr. Jelke Boesten, Development Studies, University of Leeds
Dr. Julia Borossa, Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University
Dr. Mark Bould, Film Studies, UWE
Dr. Mehdi Boussebaa, Said Business School, University of Oxford
Professor Wissam Boustany, Trinity College of Music, London
Professor Bill Bowring, Law, Birkbeck
Dr. Alia Brahimi, Politics, University of Oxford
Professor Haim Bresheeth, Media Studies, University of East London
Professor John D Brewer, Sociology, Aberdeen
Victoria Brittain, writer and journalist
Professor Celia Britton, French, UCL
Professor Charles Brook, Paediatric Endocrinology, UCL
Dr. Muriel Brown, writer
Professor Ian Buchanan, Critical and Cultural Theory, University of Cardiff
Professor Ray Bush, African Studies and Development Politics, University of Leeds
Professor Alex Callinicos, European Studies, KCL
Dr. Conor Carville, Irish Studies, St. Mary’s University College
Professor Noel Castree, Geography, University of Manchester
Matthew Caygill, lecturer in History and Politics, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr. Rinella Cere, Arts, Design, Communication and Media, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr. John Chalcraft, Government, LSE
Dr. Claire Chambers, English Literature, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr. Sue Chaplin, Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University.
Dr. Sharad Chari, Geography, LSE
Dr. Lorenzo Chiesa, Critical Theory, University of Kent
Dr. Andrew Chitty, Philosophy, University of Sussex
Professor Emilios Christodoulidis, Law, Glasgow
Professor Sue Clegg, Education, Leeds Metropolitan University
Professor Claire Colebrook, English Literature, Edinburgh University
Dr. John Collins, Philosophy, UEA
Professor Guy Cook, Education and Language Studies, The Open University
Professor Diana Coole, Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck
Professor Annie E. Coombes, History of Art, Birkbeck
Charlie Cooper, lecturer in Social Policy, University of Hull
Julia Copus, poet
Professor Andrea Cornwall, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex
Dr. Don Crewe, Criminology, Roehampton University
Professor Simon Critchley, Philosophy, University of Essex
Dr. Stephanie Cronin, Social Sciences, University of Northampton
Eleanor Crook, sculptor & lecturer, University of the Arts London
Laura Cull, artist and researcher, Drama, University of Exeter
Dr. Sonia Cunico, Modern Languages, University of Leicester
Dr. David Cunningham, English, University of Westminster
Catherine Czerkawska, writer and historian
Dr. Sarah Dadswell, Drama, University of Exeter
Dr. Gareth Dale, Politics and History, Brunel University
Dr. Gary Daniels, Public Policy and Management, Keele University
Neil Davidson, Senior Research Fellow, Geography and Sociology, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Graham Dawson, Cultural History, University of Brighton
Christophe Declercq, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
Dr. Helen May Dennis, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Caitlin DeSilvey, Geography, University of Exeter
Dr. Mark Devenney, Humanities, University of Brighton
Dr. Pat Devine, Social Science, University of Manchester
Dr. Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Translation, Imperial College London
Professor James Dickins, Arabic, University of Salford
Kay Dickinson, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College
Jenny Diski, writer
Dr. Bill Dixon, Sociology & Criminology, Keele University
Noel Douglas, lecturer and graphic designer, University of Bedfordshire
Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Law, University of Oxford
Professor Allison Drew, Department of Politics, University of York
Dr. Judit Druks, Psychology & Language Science, UCL
Professor Mick Dunford, Geography, University of Sussex
Dr. Sam Durrant, English, Leeds University
Dr. Graham Dyer, Economics, SOAS
Professor Abbas Edalat, Computer Science, Imperial College
Professor Rasheed El-Enany, Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
Gregory Elliott, writer and translator
Dr. Richard Elliott, Music, Newcastle University
Professor Hoda Elsadda, Arabic Studies, University of Manchester
Bernardine Evaristo, writer
Dr. Howard Feather, Sociology, London Metrolitan University
Professor Patrick ffrench, French, King’s College London
Dr. Clare Finburgh, Theatre Studies, University of Essex
Professor Jean Fisher, Fine Art, Middlesex University
Dominic Fox, writer
Dr. Jennifer Fraser, Spanish, Birkbeck
Professor Murray Fraser, Architecture, University of Westminster
Dr. Des Freedman, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths
Maureen Freely, writer and journalist, English, University of Warwick
Dr. Diane Frost, Sociology, University of Liverpool
Dr. Geetanjali Gangoli, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol
Juliet Gardiner, writer
Dr. James Garvey, philosopher
Professor Conor Gearty, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE
Dr. Julie Gervais, Government, LSE.
Dr. Jeremy Gilbert, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Aisha Gill, Criminologist, Roehampton University, UK
Professor Paul Gilroy, Sociology, London School of Economics
Charles Glass, writer
Dr. Andrew Goffey, Media, Middlesex
Professor Barry Goldson, Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool
Professor Philip Goodchild, Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham
Dr. Paul Goodey, lecturer and oboist
Professor Ian Gough, Social Policy, University of Bath
Dr. David Graeber, Anthropology, Goldsmiths
Dr. James Graham, Media Culture and Communication, Middlesex University
Professor Penny Green, Law, Kings College London
Dr. Simon Gieve, Education, University of Leicester
Dr. Steve Hall, Sociology and Criminology, Northumbria
Professor Peter Hallward, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Keith Hammond, lecturer in Education, University of Glasgow
Dr. Sameh F. Hanna, Translation Studies, University of Salford
Nicky Harman, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
M John Harrison, writer
Dr. Rumy Hasan, Science & Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex
Owen Hatherley, journalist and academic
Dr. Jane Haynes, writer & dialogic psychotherapist
Dr. Jonathan Hensher, French Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Barry Heselwood, Linguistics & Phonetics, University of Leeds
Tom Hickey, Tutor in Philosophy, Politics and Aesthetics, University of Brighton
Dr. Jane Hiddleston, Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Dr. Nicki Hitchcott, French and Francophone Studies, University of Nottingham
Professor Eric Hobsbawm, President, Birkbeck
Dr. Jane Holgate, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Professor Derek Holt, Mathematics, University of Warwick
Professor Ted Honderich, Philosophy, UCL
Professor David Howell, Politics, University of York
Professor Richard Hudson, Linguistics, UCL
Professor John Hutnyk, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
Dr. Colin Imber, Turkish, University of Manchester
Professor Lyn Innes (emeritus), English, University of Kent
Professor Yosefa Loshitzky, Film, Media and Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Lars Iyer, Philosophy, Newcastle University
Dr. Ian James, French, University of Cambridge
Dr. Daniel Katz, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Mark Kelly, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Joanna Gilmore, lecturer in the School of Law, University of Manchester
Susan Kelly, lecturer in Fine Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Christian Kerslake, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. Alexander King, Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
David Kinloch, poet
Dr. Dianne Kirby, History and International Affairs, University of Ulster
Dr. Graeme Kirkpatrick, Sociology, University of Manchester
Dr. Laleh Khalili, Politics and International Studies, SOAS
Dr. Stathis Kouvelakis, European Studies, KCL
Professor Basil Kouvaritakis, Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Dr. John Kraniauskas, Spanish, Birkbeck
Dr. Cecile Laborde, Political Science, UCL
Professor Ernesto Laclau, Government, Essex
Dave Laing, writer and journalist
Dr. Juan Antonio Lalaguna, Humanities, Imperial College London
Professor William Large, Philosophy, University College Plymouth, St Mark and St John
Nicholas Lawrence, lecturer in English & Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Professor Andrew Leak, French, UCL
Dr. Barbara Lebrun, French, University of Manchester
Dr. Keekok Lee, Philosophy, University of Manchester
Professor Esther Leslie, English and Humanities, Birkbeck
Dr. Jo Littler, Media and Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Tim Llewellyn, journalist and writer
Dr. Caroline Lloyd, Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Dr. Jill Lovecy, Politics, University of Manchester
Simon Lynn, lecturer in Social Work, UEL
David Mabb, artist and Reader in Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Stephen Maddison, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Kevin Magill, Arts and Humanities, University of Wolverhampton
Michael Mahadeo, lecturer in Health and Social Sciences, University of Ulster
Dr. Suhail Malik, Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Johanna Malt, French, KCL
Dr. Matteo Mandarini, Business and Management, QMUL
Professor Susan Marks, Law, KCL
Dr. Lee Marsden, International Relations, University of East Anglia
Professor Lauro Martines, historian
Dr. Luciana Martins, Spanish, Birkbeck College
Dr. Nur Masalha, Religion and Politics, St Mary’s University College
Dr. Dina Matar, Centre for Media and Film Studies, SOAS
Dr. Graeme Macdonald, English, University of Warwick
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Philosophy, KCL
Dr. Maeve McCusker, French Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr. James McDougall, History, SOAS
Dr. Sonia McKay, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Dr. Susan McManus, Politics, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia, Human Rights Studies, UCL
Professor Susan Melrose, Performing Arts, Middlesex University
Dr. Farah Mendlesohn, Media and Creative Writing, Middlesex University
Dr. Mahmood Messkoub, Business, University of Leeds
Dr. China Miéville, writer and academic
Dr. Anna-Louise Milne, French, University of London Institute in Paris
Dr. Surya Monro, Politics, University of Sheffield
John Moore, lecturer in Sociology & Criminology, University of the West of England
Professor Bart Moore-Gilbert, English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths
Dr Farhang Morady, Globalisation and Development, University of Westminster
Dr. Stephen Morton, English, Southampton University
Dr. Pablo Mukherjee, English and Comparative Literature, University of Warwick
Professor John Mullarkey, Philosophy, University of Dundee
Professor John Muncie, Criminology, The Open University
Professor Martha Mundy, Anthropology, LSE
Dr. Alex Murray, English, University of Exeter
Dr. Karma Nabulsi, Politics, University of Oxford
Ali Nasralla, Senior Fellow (retired) at Manchester University Business School
Professor Mica Nava, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Marga Navarrete, Lecturer in Spanish and Translation, Imperial College
Dr. Nick Nesbitt, French, Aberdeen
Dr. Michael Niblett, Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Warwick
Professor Christopher Norris, Philosophy, University of Cardiff
Julia O’Faolain, writer
Michael Oliva, composer and lecturer, Royal College of Music
Wendy Olsen, Development Studies, University of Manchester
Professor Peter Osborne, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. George Paizis, French, UCL
Professor Ilan Pappé, History, University of Exeter
Professor Benita Parry, English and Comparative Literature, University of Warwick
Dr. Diana Paton, History, Newcastle University
Dr. Ian Patterson, Queens’ College, Cambridge
Lara Pawson, writer and journalist
Dr. Maeve Pearson, English, University of Exeter
Carmen Perea-Gohar, lecturer in Spanish, Imperial College
Dr. Luis Perez-Gonzalez, Translation Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Andrea Phillips, Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Nina Power, Philosophy, Roehampton University
Dr. Jane Poyner, English, University of Exeter
Professor Scott Poynting, Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr. Nicola Pratt, Political, Social & International Studies, UEA
Professor Al Rainnie, Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester
Dr. Kamran Rastegar, Arabic and Persian Literatures, University of Edinburgh
Professor Jane Rendell, Architecture, UCL
Professor Dee Reynolds, French, University of Manchester
Dr. Chris Roberts, School of Community Based Medicine, University of Manchester
Dr. Mark Robson, English Studies, University of Nottingham
Professor William Roff, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh
Professor Bill Rolston, Sociology, University of Ulster
Caroline Rooney, English and Postcolonial Studies, Kent
Professor Hilary Rose, Social Policy, University of Bradford
Michael Rosen, writer
Dr. Elaheh Rostami-Povey, Development Studies, SOAS
Professor William Rowe, Spanish and English, Birkbeck
Dr. Juliet Rufford, Theatre Studies, University of Reading
Professor Jonathan Rutherford, Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Professor Alfredo Saad Filho, Development Studies, SOAS
Dr. Gabriela Saldanha, English Language, University of Birmingham
Dr. Shahira Samy, Politics, University of Oxford
Dr. Stella Sandford, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Professor Sanjay Seth, Politics, Goldsmiths
Carole Satyamurti, writer
Professor Yezid Sayigh, War Studies, KCL
Professor Phil Scraton, Law and Criminology, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Richard Seaford, Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter
Amanda Sebestyen, writer and asylum campaigner
Professor David Seddon, Development Studies, University of East Anglia
Richard Seymour, writer and activist
Dr. Subir Sinha, Development Studies, SOAS
Dr. Debra Benita Shaw, Social Sciences, Media & Cultural Studies, University of East London
Professor Avi Shlaim, International Relations, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Mark Shuttleworth, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
Professor David Slater, Geography, Loughborough University
Dr. Andrew Smith, Sociology, Anthropology and Applied Social Science, University of Glasgow
Dr. Graham Smith, Law, University of Manchester
Professor Neil Smith (emeritus), Linguistics, UCL
Olivia Smith, Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr. Anthony Soares, Portuguese, Queen’s University Belfast
Ahdaf Soueif, writer and journalist
Professor William Spence, Physics, QMUL
Dr. Robert Spencer, Postcolonial Literatures, University of Manchester
Professor Paul Stewart, Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Alison Stone, Philosophy, Lancaster
Colin Stoneman, writer
Professor Paul Sutton, Caribbean Studies, London Metropolitan University
Professor Helen Taylor, English, University of Exeter
Professor Phil Taylor, Business, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Jennifer Terry, English Studies, University of Durham
Dr. Nicholas Thoburn, Sociology, University of Manchester
Adriana Tortoriello, translator
Dr. Alberto Toscano, Sociology, Goldsmiths
Professor Martin Upchurch, Business, Middlesex University
Dr. Anastasia Valassopoulos, English and American Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Rashmi Varma, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Ritu Vij, International Relations, University of Aberdeen
Professor Dennis Walder, Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, Open University
Dr. Geoffrey Wall, English, University of York
Sean Wallis, Survey of English Usage, UCL
Dr. Vron Ware, Social Sciences, The Open University
Dr. Eyal Weizman, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths
Professor Lynn Welchman, Law, SOAS
Dr. Jutta Weldes, Politics, University of Bristol
Tony White, writer
Geoff Whittam, Reader in Entrepreneurship, University of the West of Scotland
Dr. David Whyte, Sociology, University of Liverpool
Dr. Paula Wilcox, Criminology, University of Brighton
Dr. Caroline Williams, Politics, QMUL
Professor Eddie Williams, Linguistics, Bangor University
Professor James Williams, Philosophy, University of Dundee
Dr. Carla Willig Psychology, City University
Dr. Jon E. Wilson, History, KCL
Dr. Nicole Wolf, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Dr. Jim Wolfreys, French and European Politics, KCL
Professor Andy Wood, History, University of East Anglia
Professor Geof Wood, International Development, University of Bath
Robin Yassin-Kassab, novelist
Professor Nira Yuval-Davis, Gender & Ethnic Studies, University of East London
Dr. Shamoon Zamir, American Studies, KCL
Professor Slavoj Zizek, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Dr. Paquita de Zulueta, Medicine, Imperial College

Chameleon

akifdmliv1For Kiwi and Alexander’s book, I’ve started (very late, overdue) to reconstruct my talk from the Berlin Chameleons conference in Feb last year. Its a draft as yet. Here is the first stab at an intro….

I have that sinking feeling again: I don’t trust the chameleon. I don’t like the guise. The chameleon is embedded, goes undercover, incognito, prefers covert operations, stealth, intrigues, performs with a secret agency, organizes an underground resistance, clandestine ops, a conspirator of deception. The associative range of ‘camouflage’ and ‘immersion’, when thought of as something that might pass as a strategy for understanding work in the arts, humanities or social sciences, immediately invokes a range of military and official connotations that do not bode well for a progressive politics of knowledge. Journalists as well as academics have been exposed in various local dress, false stories have been planted in the press, dossier’s collected that masquerade as truth, propaganda lies. There are a great many examples of dishonesty, feint and deceit that pass as truth amongst the casualty machine that is war. Increasingly war is fought in the media theatre as well as in blood – with murderous weapons on the ground, and equally brutal machines of war on screen.

The military have always liked to dress up, often in burlesque manner, and it was only with modern warfare that flamboyance was not always a dress code. All those red tunics of Empire of yore… Contemporary wars now sport desert patters or jungle greens, and contemporary war reporters increasingly opt for battle field chic in their to-camera reports. Television news and documentary series thrive on the new aesthetic of the embedded, combat boot wearing, hot spot on the spot presenter, mimicking military campaigns to stream live from Baghdad, Kabul, or the border of Gaza (as I write few journalists can enter Gaza as Israel relentlessly shells a trapped population of millions). The theatre of war has its own costume department.

This is, of course, also true of the opposition. In this chapter I will have something to say of the Palestinian scarf, the Kufiya, in relation to solidarity and resistance, and fashion, just as I think its important to acknowledge the symbolism of media use on both sides. In news and commentary, there are critics of war who stage their interventions with a certain style just as much as do the public relations and publicity-conscious Generals. I think not only of the Japanese news presenter that wore such a Kufiya every night as he reported the attacks on Baghdad in 2003, but also the role of such a scarf in the iconography of Aki Nawaz from Fun^da^mental, a long-time severe critique of anti-Muslim aggression. This chapter wishes to chart a politics of representation and fashion, recognising perhaps that all camouflage is war; that all fashion shoots are hostile; that all journalism happens by way of conflict. Today, whether safe at home before the screen, or on the streets of <insert battle-zone name here>. all our reports are war stories.

The chapter will go on to discuss Aki Nawaz’s recent adventures in media and on the Free Gaza boat, Ted Swedenburg’s excellent Hawgblawg, and research strategies under conditions of total war….

Solidarity

millie-yoot1The Observer of course slants the story the wrong way, always appearing to be news when it manages always to voice the ‘news’ of the ‘authorities’ (cops good; and its women and children over against ‘masked youth’ [see pic]). The saturday demonstration in London was about much more than trashing Starbucks or fashion stores, even if people did have to dress up for the occasion [see pic]. There is much to be read between the lines of this Observer puff. Violence did not ‘erupt’ – it started in Gaza. The panic did not ‘ripple’ through the crowd – it was anger at the atrocities and at the introduction of riot cops and mounted police. They say 20k, we say 100k. The relevant number is not in London: how many dead in Gaza today? Still, let’s read the report:

Violence erupts at embassy protest

Violent clashes broke out near the Israeli embassy in London yesterday as tens of thousands marched in protest against the military action in Gaza. Shop windows were smashed and police pelted with missiles by masked youths near the embassy during the largest demonstration in Britain against the Israeli offensive.

Last night, broken glass and debris littered the scene of the disturbances on Kensington High Street, where ranks of riot police waited behind locked gates near the embassy entrance.

Earlier in the evening, a number of demonstrators attacked a branch of Starbucks, smashing its front windows and ransacking it before shattering the facade of a clothes shop.

It continues here. [and must continue elsewhere: see pic]

Squatting

rooThis article below from Melbourne Uni caught my eye since we’ll be evicted from our flat in 15 days. I’m afraid squatting’s not an option for us (unlike kangaroos), though I support the form… the last line  of this report once again underlines the border shame.

from The Age

“Uni squatters gear up for evictions

  • Mex Cooper
  • January 7, 2009

Melbourne University student squatters are gearing up to resist police and sheriff’s officers as the countdown to their eviction begins.

- Squatters rally at uni houses
- ‘Political point’ on rental crisis
- 16 defy court order to leave

Sixteen students remain living in three terrace houses in Faraday Street, Carlton, which are owned by Melbourne University, despite an order to leave from the Supreme Court.

The students moved into the houses about five months ago.

Student Housing Action Collective spokesman James Field said the buildings had been empty for three years until the students began squatting last August.

He said the group were making a political point about the rental crisis in Melbourne and the failure of the university to help its 220 homeless students.

Members of the collective expected the Sheriff’s Office to conduct a “raid” and evict them from the property after an anonymous tip from a police source.

But after staging a rally in front of the houses from noon, Mr Field said the students had since been told that they would not be evicted today.

He said he believed the Sheriff’s Office and police were strategically avoiding the glare of the media’s spotlight and would arrive when there were fewer people around to witness the eviction.

He said the students living at the houses would link arms and refuse to leave – possibly by chaining themselves to the buildings so they could not be moved.

Mr Field said four international students had moved out so as not to risk their visas by resisting police.”

Chilling

snc00146My fingers are falling off for cold, typing with gloves on. This with a heater under my desk – its sub-zero in London, so that should explain my silence so far this year, though I still maintain nothing explains Obama’s silence on the Israeli military’s crimes in Gaza (he finally said something vaguely related today).

2009 has started out bleak huh. The temperature appropriate to the mood.

I guess the inevitable news cycle shift will occur in about ten days, by which time the too many dead will be off screen. Second Wave posted a link to Nahida’s comparative bombings post on Palestinian Mothers. A certain ironic even-handedness. The pics are still grim, but the ones elsewhere on her page of the blog show yet worse atrocities, if you can look, you must look. All photos are war photos – even happy snaps are tainted by war.

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