Category Archives: cultural studies

Daisy Tam on Centre for Cultural Studies Goldsmiths

Daisy Tam video on Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies site – …ehem, notice her saying ‘support of her supervisor’ – beam!

http://www.gold.ac.uk/apps/widgets/video_player/play_vid.php?url=http://magiclantern.gold.ac.uk/movs/international/daisy.mp4&ratio=&width=800&height=450

More than a friend. 22.2.13. 6pm

poster3Screening of queer South Asian film as part of LGBT History Month at Goldsmiths.

LGBTQ Society & Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, invite you to a screening of More Than A Friend… a film that explores the public perception of same-sex relationships in India through the story of Rupsa and Ranja – two women in love, living together in contemporary Calcutta. Directed by Debalina and produced by Sappho for Equality (an LBT organisation based in Calcutta, India), it weaves in real-life interviews into the narrative, swiftly moving between the real and the reel.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with one of the producers.


Event Information

Location: Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building
Cost: Free, all welcome
Website: Trailer
Department: Centre For Cultural Studies
Time: 22 February 2013, 18:00 – 21:00

audio recording from the George Caffentzis Public Lecture 31.1.13

// The making of a debt resistors’ movement: From Occupy Wall Street to Strike Debt // 

The financial crisis in the US officially began in September 2008, but the first mass street response arose in September 2011 with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Since then Strike Debt, a debt resistors’ organization, emerged out of Occupy. George Caffentzis discusses debt resistance as a working class project and the prospects of Strike Debt in the context of previous debt resistance movements.
Goldsmiths College, New Cross 31 Jan 2013
This free event was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Cultural StudiesPM Press and Common Notions.

- and a big shout out to Dissident Radio for their work in recording and uploading.

- and thanks Camille

John Hutnyk’s Publications

For the record… A drab day, in which I have been consigned to routine tasks, like updating my publications list. Gets a little sketchy towards the end because I cannot be listing all the small mags stuff (some of this can be downloaded link to the left, others I’d have to send you, still others need to be scanned by the oompa-loompas one day soon)…

Books (single authored)

1996     The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity and the Poverty of Representation. Zed Books, London. ISBN 18649408X

2000     Critique of Exotica: Music, Politics and the Culture Industry London: Pluto Press ISBN 0 7453 1597 6

2004     Bad Marxism: Capitalism and Cultural Studies London: Pluto Press, ISBN0-7453-2266-2

Books (co-authored)

2005  Hybridity and Diaspora, (With Raminder Kaur and Virinder Kalra) London: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-7397-4

Edited books:

1996     Dis-orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music (co-edited with Sanjay Sharma and Ashwani Sharma). Zed Books, London. ISBN 1856494705

1999 Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics London, (co-edited with Raminder Kaur) Zed books. ISBN 1856495620

2006     Celebrating Transgression: Method and Politics in Anthropology (with Ursula Rao) Oxford: Berghahn. ISBN 1-84545-025-6

2012 Beyond Borders London: Pavement Books ISBN: 978-0-9571470-0-3

Edited Journals:

1987 Melbourne Journal of Politics (with Nick Lane), Department of Political Science, University of Melbourne

1987-1988 Criticism, Heresy and Interpretation – Journal of the Department of Anthropology, University of Melbourne – 3 volumes as editor in chief.

1991  The Consuming Subjects of Education. La Trobe University Education Research Journal

1998  special issue – Postcolonial Studies Vol 1 No 3 – ‘Diasporic Music and politics’. ISSN No. 1368-8790

2000 special issue – Theory, Culture and Society vol 17 (3) – ‘Music and Politics’ ISSN 0263-2763

2005 special section PubliCity in the journal Left Curve USA –  a samizdat style insert in this journal containing 30 articles from 19 different countries.

2006 ‘Problematising Global Knowledge, special issue (2 volumes) Theory Culture and Society Vol 23 (2-3) ISSN 0263-2764

2007 the second special section PubliCity in the journal Left Curve USA –  a samizdat style insert in this journal containing 12 articles from 9 different countries.

Book Contributions

1991   ‘Strategy, Identity, Writing: An interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’, in Sarah Harasym (ed), The Post-Colonial Critic, (USA) Routledge, New York, pp 35-49. ISBN 0415901707

1996   ‘Introduction’ (with Sanjay Sharma and Ashwani Sharma) in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma (eds) Dis-orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music Zed Books, London, pp 1-14. ISBN 1856494705

1996 ‘Re-Sounding (Anti)Racism, or Concordant Politics? Revolutionary Antecedents’ (with Virinder Kalra and Sanjay Sharma) in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma (eds) Dis-orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music Zed Books, London. pp 127-155. ISBN 1856494705

1996 ‘Repetitive Beatings or Criminal Justice?’ in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma (eds) Dis-orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music Zed Books, London, pp 156-189. ISBN 1856494705

1997 ‘Adorno at Womad: South Asian Crossovers and the Limits of Hybridity-talk’ forthcoming in Werbner, P and Modood, T. (eds.) Debating Cultural Hybridity: Multi-Cultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism, London, Zed books, pp 106-136. ISBN 1856494241.

1999      ‘Argonauts of Western Pessimism: Clifford’s Malinowski’ in Steve Clarke (ed) Travel Writing and Empire: Postcolonial Theory in Transit, London: Zed books pp 45-62. ISBN 1856496287

1999   ‘Introduction’ (with Raminder Kaur) in Raminder Kaur and John Hutnyk (eds) Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemorary Cultural Politics London, Zed books pp 1-13. ISBN 1856495620

1999 ‘Magical Mystical Tourism’ in Raminder Kaur and John Hutnyk (eds) Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemorary Cultural Politics London, Zed books pp 94-119. ISBN 1856495620

1999 ‘Semifeudal Cybercolonialism: Technocratic Dreamtime in Malaysia’ in Bosma, J et al (eds.) Readme! Filtered by Nettime: Ascii Culture and the Revenge of Knowledge New York: Autonomedia,. pp 315-321

2000 ‘Capital Calcutta: Coins, Maps, Monuments, Souvenirs and Tourism’ in Bell, D and Haddour, A (eds) City Visions Longman ISBN: 0582327415

2003 ‘Musik für Euro-Maoisten: Über die richtige Behandlung der Widersprüche bei Pop-stars’ in Kunstwerk und Kritik, Jour Fixe Initiative Berling (hg), Munster: Unrast-Verlag pp 111-143

2006   ‘The Dialectics of Here and There: British Asian Communism’ in Ali, Kalra and Sayyid (Eds) A Postcolonial People, Hurst, ISBN: 1850657963

2006 ‘Deathening Silence: The Terms of (Non) Political Commentary’ Basu, D and Lamelle S Eds The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip-hop and the Globalisation of Black Popular Culture London: Pluto Press ISBN 978-0745319407

2008 ‘Martin Heidegger Goes to the Movies’ in David Held and Henrietta Moore eds., Culturl Politics in a Global Age: Uncertainty, Solidarity and Innovation, Oxford: One World 112-120 ISBN: 978-1-85168-550-9

2008 ‘Tourism and the Selling of Cultures’ in Robin Anderson and Jonathan Gray eds., Battleground: the Media (2 Vold) vol 2 Westport: Greenwood Press: 513-519 ISBN 978-0-313-34169-4

2009 ‘Translating Appearance: On the First Sentence of Das Kapital’ in Tom Bunyard ed., The Devils Party London CCS pp50-54 ISBN 978-1-4452-1822-9

2010 ‘Hybridity’ in Kim Knott and Sean McLaughlin Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities London Zed books pp59-62 ISBN 978-1-84277-948-4

2010 (with Laura King) ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Gaius Baltar: Colonialism Reimagined in Battlestar Gallactica’ in Arlo Kemp fed., Breaching the Colonial Contract  Springer pp237-250 ISBN978-90-481-3888-3

2011 ‘Pantomime paranoia in London or, ‘lookout he’s behind you!’’ in Peddie (ed) Popular Music and Human Rights, Volume I: British and American Music, London: Ashgate

2011 ‘Undercover Transports’ in Menrath and Schwinghammer eds What Does a Chameleon Look Like? Topographies of Immersion, Cologne: Herbert Von Halem Verlag.

2011 ‘NDTV 24X7, the Hanging Channel: News Media or Horror Show’ in Batabyal, Chowdhry, Gaur et al Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change, London: Routledge.

2011 ‘Critica de tudo’ in Tatiana Amendola Sanches ed., Estudos Culturais uma abordagem pratica Sao Paulo: Editora Senac pp99-209 ISBN 978-85-396-0141-7

Refereed Papers:

1987 ’The Authority of Style’, Social Analysis, 21:59-79. ISBN 0133977X

1988 ‘Castaway Anthropology: Malinowski’s Tropical Writings’ Antithesis, 2(1):43-56. ISSN 10303839.

1989 ‘Customs Review of Public Culture; The U.S. and Africa in Melbourne’ Public Culture 2(1)Fall: 130-136. ISSN 08992363

1989 ‘Clifford Geertz as a Cultural System’ Social Analysis 25:91-119. ISBN 0133977X

1990 ‘Comparative Anthropology and Evans-Pritchard’s African Photography’ Critique of Anthropology 10(1):81-102

1992 ‘Cinematic Calcutta: Camera Angles on the City’ Agenda Special issue, Dec:68-72 ISSN 10331115

1992  ‘Articulation and Marginalia: Making Spaces for Other Voices in Our Institutions’ New Literatures Review Winter-South:104-116. ISSN 03147495

1993  ‘Calcutta Cipher: travellers and the city’ Social Analysis 32:53-65. ISBN 0133977X

1993  ‘Noir Sociology: Can Academics Map Los Angeles’ Left Curve 17:26-33. ISSN 01601857

1994 ‘Thinking With Berger: Local/Global and Dialogue in Modernity As Exile by Nikos Papastergiadis’, New Literatures Review, 27: 91-103. ISSN 03147495

1996 ‘Media, Research, Politics, Culture’ Critique of Anthropology 16(4):417-428. ISSN 0308275X

1997   (with Virinder Kalra and Sanjay Sharma) ‘Fun^Da^Mental Politics: the New Asian Dance Music and its Revolutionary Antecedents’ Left Curve 21:54-64. ISSN 01601857

1997 ‘derrida@marx.archive’ Space and Culture 2:95-122. ISSN 12063312

1998 (with Virinder Kalra) ‘Music and Politics – introduction to the special section’ Postcolonial Studies, 1(3):335-37. ISSN No. 1368-8790

1998 (with Virinder Kalra) ‘Brimful of Agitation, Appropriation and Authenticity: Madonna’s “Asian Kool”‘ in Postcolonial Studies, 1(3):339-355. ISSN 1368-8790

1998 ‘Clifford’s Ethnographica’ Critique of Anthropology 18(4):339-378. ISSN 0308-275X

1998  ‘Adorno at Womad: South Asian Crossovers and the Limits of Hybridity-talk’ Postcolonial Studies, 1(3):401-426. ISSN 1368-8790

1999  ‘Resettling Bakun: Consultancy, Anthropologists and Development’ Left Curve 23:82-90. ISSN 0160-1857

2000 ‘Hybridity Saves: Authenticity and/or the Critique of Appropriation’ in Amer-Asia 25(3):39-58 ISSN 0044-7471

2000 (with Sanjay Sharma) ‘Music and Politics: Introduction to the Special Section’ in Theory Culture and Society 17(3):57-65 ISSN 0263-2763

2000 ‘Music for Euro-Maoists: On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among Popstars’ in Theory Culture and Society 17(3):141-163 ISSN 0263-2763

2002 ‘Jungle Studies – the State of Anthropology’ in Futures 34(1):15-31 ISSN 0016-3287/01

2002    Tales from the Raj’ in Rethinking Marxism, vol. 13(3-4):119-136, ISSN 0893-5696.

2003 ‘Bataille’s Wars: Surrealism, Marxism, Fascism’ Critique of Anthropology, 23(3):264-288 ISSN 0308-275X

2004 ‘The Chapati Story: How Hybridity as Theory displaced Maoism as Politics in Subaltern Studies’ Contemporary South Asia 12(4)481-491 ISSN 0958-4935

2004 ‘Photogenic Poverty: Souvenirs and Infantilism’ Journal of Visual Culture, 3(1):77-94 ISSN 1470-4129

2005  ‘The Dialectics of European Hip-Hop: Fun^da^mental and the Deathening Silence’ South Asian Popular Culture 3(1):17-32 ISSN 1474-6689

2005   ‘Hybridity’ Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(1):79-102, ISSN 0141-9870

2005 ‘Panoramas of Asia and the Electronic Hearth: Michael Palin’s Connection’ Journal of the Moving Image 4(Nov):32-62

2006 ‘The Dialectic of Here and There: Anthropology ‘At Home’ and British Asian Communism’ Social Identities 11(4):345-361 ISSN 1350-4630

2006 ‘Culture’ main entry for culture section in Theory Culture and Society Vol. 23(2–3): 351–375 23 ISSN 0263-2764

2007. Pantomime Terror Diasporic Music in a Time of War. Journal of Creative Communications, 2(1-2), pp. 123-141.

2011 ‘Critique of Everything’ in Soumen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 36(3)71-75

2012 ‘Beyond Television Studies’ Rountable essay in South Asian History and Culture 3(4):583-590

2012 ‘Sexy Sammie and Red Rosie’? From Burning Books to the War on Terror’, Space and Culture 15.2, pp164-176

2012 ‘Poetry After Guantanamo: M.I.A.’ Social Identities 18.5, pp. 555-572

2012 ‘Contexts for Distraction’ Journal For Cultural Research (Special issue on the August 2011 uprisings in London). DOI:10.1080/14797585.2012.756248

2013 ‘Proletarianization’ in New Formations (special issue on Bernard Stiegler)

other publications, review essays and conference proceedings, magazines etc.

1986 (journal article) ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain: Politics and Knowledge in Ethnography’, Melbourne Journal of Politics, 18:126-141.

1988 (journal article) ‘Lévi-Strauss as a Cultural System: Geertz’s Chapter on Tristes Tropiques’ Criticism, Heresy and Interpretation, vol. 1, No. 1.

1989 (journal article) ‘The Third Body: Black Art on (Re)View in London’ Criticism, Heresy and Interpretation vol. 3

1990 (conference papers) ‘Introductory Essay’ The Consuming Subjects of Education La Trobe.

1992 (journal article) ‘Photogenic Calcutta- Instamatic Anthropology’ In Media (India) July.

1992 (journal article) ‘Writing for the Space Cadets: reviewing the urban west’ Melbourne Journal of Politics 21:151-167

1992 (conference publication) ‘Value for Money: Giving the $ign to the Bourgeoisie’ IIR Higher Education Summit, Sydney, Australia.

1993 (conference publication) ‘Photogenic Calcutta’ in Postmodern Cities, University of Sydney Department of Architecture and Urban Design.

1993 (conference publication) ‘Technological Dreamtime: the advanced technology park for Redfern’ in Postmodern Cities University of Sydney Department of Architecture and Urban Design.

1994 (conference review) ‘African Research Futures: Post-Colonialism and Identity’ Anthropology Today 10(4):24-25.

1995 (journal article) ‘Writing Calcutta: Travelling with Lévi-Strauss and Gunter Grass’ Kolkata 2000, (India) June pp 31-47.

1996 (Web E-Journal) Review of Bill Martin Humanism and its Aftermath: The Shared Fate of Deconstruction and Politics New Jersey, Humanities Press 1995 in Sociological Research Online 1(4) <www.socresonline.org.uk/1/4/hutnyk.html>

1996 (book review) Martin Stokes (ed) 1994 Ethnicity, Identity and Music: The Musical Construction of Place, Anthropological Notebooks: (Društvo Anthropologov Slovenije) 11(1)146-148.

1997 (occasional paper) ‘derrida@marx.archive’  Manchester Papers in Social Anthropology No 6, 49pages

1997 (book review) Les Back 1996 New Ethnicities and Urban Culture: racisms and multiculture in young lives, Sociological Review, 45(1)

1997 (book review) Cohen, 1996 Cambridge Survey of World Migration in Race and Class, Vol 38, N0 3

1997 (book review) Spivak 1996 The Spivak Reader in Self, Agency and Society 1(2):178-180.

1998 (book review) Ang 1996 Living Room Wars: Rethinking Media Audiences for a Postmodern World in Sociological Review 46(3):594-598.

1999 (web E-journal article, with Anna Har) ‘Languid, tropical, monsoonal time?: net-activism and hype in the context of South East Asian politics’ in SASKI No. 6. http://www.saksi.com/jul99/huynyk.htm

2000 (web E-Journal article) ‘Culture Move: On Asian Dub Foundation’ in Ghadar: the Forum of Indian Leftists 4(1), May 1 2000 www.proxsa.org/resources/ghadar/v4n1/edit.html

2000 ‘Complicity’ catalogue essay for ‘Assembly’ RCA/Goldsmiths

2000 (debate publication) ‘The Right to Difference is a Fundamental Human Right: Against the Motion’ contribution to GDAT debate No 10, with Corry, S, Jean-Klein, I, Wilson, R, ed Wade, P. The Right to Difference is a Fundamental Human Right University of Manchester, pp40-52 ISBN 0-9527837-3-8. Reprinted in Left Curve No 23, 2001

2001 (journal article in translation) ‘Dog-Tribe’ – Swedish translation of a chapter from Critique of Exotica in  Glanta 3. 2001.

2001 (Magazine article, with Virinder Kalra), ‘Postcolonial London’ Seminar, (India).

2005 (journal report) ‘Show Neon Fashion’ – Left Curve ‘Publicity’ section article. Volume 29: 106-107. (California)

2005 (Encyclopaedia entry) ‘Calcutta’ in Vinay Lal and Ashis Nandy eds The Future of Knowledge and Culture New Delhi: Penguin pp 20-25 ISBN 0-67-005813-0

2007 (Magazine article) ‘The politics of Cats’ in Stimulus Respond – e-journal – http://www.stimulusrespond.com

2010  Catalogue essay for Steel Sculptures – Sokari Douglas Camp, London: Douglas Camp Pubs

forthcoming books:

2013 Pantomime Terror: Diasporic Music and the Politics of Fear. 60,000 monograph,with Zero

2013-14 Colour TV: B&W Life, 45,000 word monograph on culture and film.

2013 Communists Must Write 80,000 word book of essays with Minor Compositions

2013 (?) Trinketization

2014 (?) Capital and Film

Silvia Federici at Goldsmiths

from the dextrous camera trigger/edit digits of Kevin Molin and NyX: a Nocturnal in the Centre for Cultural Studies, this:

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 06.48.45

Cotton – money – Bible – money – Brandy

by far and away the best response to lecture three ever….oldbeardo

Sophie Fuggle’s lecture course – Text and Image @ Goldsmiths mondays from Jan 7 2013

Text and Image 2013

Lectures open to the public. Starting this Monday, 7 January 2013.

11am-12noon. Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Films shown in conjunction with the course will be screened as part of the Monday film night. More details here.

Course Outline:

To present something is always to re-present it, to repeat it, to reproduce it and ultimately to reimagine it. There is no originary gesture here. The World was never a tabula rasa or blank canvas. Meaning has always been inscribed, scratched out and recarved onto its surfaces. The World itself is presented to us (and, indeed, by us) via repetition, a repetition which produces difference via the temporal and spatial interstices emerging from each turn and return, each citation and recitation.

This year’s course will explore the relationship between visual and textual modes of representation via the notions of difference and repetition. The task at hand is three-fold. Not only will this involve consideration of the processes of doubling which occur between texts and images and the blurring of the differences between the two forms and practices but at the same time, we will be attentive to the ways in which theories of text and image replicate this doubling in the language used to describe and analyse different aesthetic and textual/literary practices. Finally, and most importantly, we will explore the political and ethical dimensions of textual and visual objects and practices and the implications of the repetition of difference and the difference of repetition. What is at stake in the proliferation of signs and sign systems, the commodification of art through the mass reproduction and distribution techniques which reach their apotheosis in late capitalism? How might we read banality, loss and impoverishment of meaning against the potential for transgression, profanity and parody which emerges here?

image

Course Schedule:

I.               Taxonomies of Difference

7 January 2013 

An Introduction to the profanity of difference and the tyranny of repetition

Reading: Jorge Luis Borges – ‘Pierre Ménard, Author of the Quixote’ in Labyrinths (Penguin, 1986), pp.62-71.

Gilles Deleuze – Preface to Difference and Repetition (Columbia University Press, 1994), pp.xix-xxii.

14 January 2013 

Words and Things

Michel Foucault – ‘The Prose of the World’ in The Order of Things (Routledge, 2002), pp.19-50.

Giorgio Agamben – ‘Theory of Signatures’ in The Signature of All Things (Zone Books, 2009), pp.33-80.

Film: Helvetica (2007), Gary Hustwit (dir.)

II.              Frames of Reference

21 January 2013 

The Refracted Image

Walter Benjamin, ‘Art in the age of mechanical reproduction’ in One Way Street and Other Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2009), pp.228-259.

Available: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm

Ariella Azoulay – ‘Civil Uses of Photography’ in Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, 2012), pp.219-241.

28 January 2013 

Smoke Screens

Jean Baudrillard, The Evil Demon of Images (Power Institute of Art, 1986).

bell hooks, ‘The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators’ in Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies (London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1996), pp.197-213.

Gilles Deleuze – ‘Frame and Shot, Framing and Cutting’ in Cinema 1: The Movement Image(London: Continuum, 2005), pp.13-29.

Film: The Player (1992), Robert Altman (dir.)

4 February 2013 

Scar Tissue

Georges Didi-Huberman, ‘Legends of Photography’ in Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière (MIT Press, 2003), pp.29-66.

Steven Connor, ‘Disfiguring’ in Book of Skin (New York, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004), pp.73-94.

Film: The Pillow Book (1996), Peter Greenaway (dir.)

READING WEEK

III.            Mapping and Counter-Mapping

18 February 2013 

The Surface of the Earth

Martin Heidegger, ‘The Age of the World Picture’ in Off the Beaten Track (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp.57-85.

Paul Virilio, ‘June 1991: Desert Screen’ in Desert Screen (Continuum, 2005), pp.76-94.

25 February 2013 

Passports and Postcards

Jacques Derrida – ‘Envois’ (extracts) in The Post Card (University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp.3-256.

Amitava Kumar – Passport Photos (Berkeley, CA: California University Press, 2000).

Film: Erasing David (2010), David Bond and Melissa McDougall (dirs)

4 March 2013 

Alternative Cartographies

Rem Koolhaus, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto of Manhattan (New York, NY: Monacelli Press, 1994). (extracts)

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (Vintage, 1997).

IV.            Chronographies

11 March 2013 

Ghost Writing

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (Vintage, 2009).

Ulrich Baer, ‘Revision, Animation, Rescue’ in Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma (The MIT Press, 2005), pp.127-178.

18 March 2013 

Back to the Future

Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History including ‘The Paralipomena’ in Selected Writings: Volume Four(Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2003), pp.389-411.

Available (minus the Paralipomena): http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/CONCEPT2.html

Jean-François Lyotard, ‘Rewriting Modernity’ in The Inhuman: Reflections on Time (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998), pp.24-35.

Film: La Jetée (1962), Chris Marker (dir.)

Course Guide for lectures on Marx’s Capital 2013

Lecture course on Marx’s “Capital” at Goldsmiths: everybody is welcome

Capitalism and Cultural Studies – Prof John Hutnyk:

tuesday evenings from january 8, 2013 – 5pm-8pm Goldsmiths Room RHB 309. Free – all welcome.

No fee (unless, sorry, you are doing this for award - and that, friends, is Willetts’ fault – though the Labour Party have a share of the blame too).

****** weekly course reading guide is here: Cap and cult studs outline013********

This course involves a close reading of Karl Marx’s Capital (Volume One).
90 minute lectures, 60 minutes discussion
The connections between cultural studies and critiques of capitalism are considered in an interdisciplinary context (cinema studies, anthropology, musicology, international relations, and philosophy) which reaches from Marx through to Film Studies, from ethnographic approaches to Heidegger, from anarchism and surrealism to German critical theory and poststructuralism/post-colonialism/post-early-for-christmas. Topics covered include: alienation, commodification, production, technology, education, subsumption, anti-imperialism, anti-war movement and complicity. Using a series of illustrative films (documentary and fiction) and key theoretical texts (read alongside the text of Capital), we examine contemporary capitalism as it shifts, changes, lurches through its very late 20th and early 21st century manifestations – we will look at how cultural studies copes with (or does not cope with) class struggle, anti-colonialism, new subjectivities, cultural politics, media, virtual and corporate worlds.
****** weekly course reading guide is here: Cap and cult studs outline013********

The lectures/seminars begin on Tuesday 8th January 2011 between 5 and 8pm and will run for 11 weeks (with a week off in the middle) in the Richard Hoggart Building (Room 309), Goldsmiths College. You are required to bring their own copy of the Penguin, International Publishers/Progress Press or German editions of Karl Marx Capital Vol I. We are reading about 100 pages a week. (Please don’t get tricked into buying the abridged English edition/nonsense!)

Rachel Rye Convergence

A great abstract for an upcoming must see talk by Rachel (jan 2013, goldsmiths – stay tuned), posted (with permission) because it sums up some of the best that CCS does. The sort of thing that also was described here.

In February 2012 No Borders London, along with students and academics, held a week-long Convergence at Goldsmiths. The aim was to share knowledge and experiences relating to trans-national migrant and activist struggles against the border regime. Numerous discussions by activists, academics, migrants rights groups and organisations took place, direct actions occurred simultaneously at various sites away from the Convergence, films were screened, stories were told, food was cooked, childcare was provided, plans were made, friendships and alliances were formed, debates, disagreements and grievances were aired. My proposal is to present for discussion some reflections on what happened when No Borders converged within the academic space of the university. These reflections are based on my own close involvement as an organiser throughout both the planning stages and the actual week of events. I will consider the event in relation to previous border camps to highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of staging such a meeting at a university campus.

The 2012 No Borders Convergence offered a valuable opportunity to examine the challenges of bringing scholars and militant activists together within the institutional space of the university. As an event, the Convergence attempted and – to some extent – succeeded in creating a productive clash of activist struggles with critical academic scholarly research. In my presentation I will argue that a one-off event is not enough to bridge divides across research and activist practice and that the challenge now is to discuss how, when and where to stage the next Convergence-style event. How might it be possible to bring scholars, activists, migrants, humanitarian and charity workers together into productive connection again? Should such events be a priority in other institutions where researchers are working on the issue of migration and migrant activism? Is there really such a divide between the militant activist and the academic, or are many in No Borders in fact more closely connected to academic research than it might first appear? What does it mean to assume the ‘activist identity’ and how can this role be usefully problematised?

Rachel Rye

PhD student, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths

Federici at Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies – audio

Pantomime Terror (inaugural 2008) – Video Dailymotion

Pantomime Terror – Video Dailymotion.

(working on the book again!)

This mornings’ task checklist

- wrote and sent two references for people seeking academic jobs

- got someone an actual job, as an academic

- helped someone else find someone for the job they had on offer (see above)

- helped out with two other people doing funding apps

- coffee (see stain on son’s sleep suit – bad parent)

- had flu jab

- received additional crazed post from someone in need of help I am not qualified to give

- sought advice on the above

- took smallest son with his mom to a cafe, coffee

- walked to work in the rain

- sent out two books – Beyond Borders

- emailed copy of an old paper on overwork to someone, and got into complicated discussion exchange on that – ahh, FB.

- read a draft chapter of someones’ PhD, coffee

- read some of – not enough – the PhD I am currently examining

- read the paper – appalled at the BBC and the softening up process before Leveson

- changed doc appointment time

- tried to move the email list problem on – getting close to fixing it

- helped design a trinkets display feature

- tried yet again to get a response from a certain admin dept that has gone dark on me

- reading for Berlin trip

- scanned copy of Ben Ross article from 15 years ago that seems really relevant now – will post here soon

- more chat with people for the Proletarianization and the River project (on thursday had a good meeting with the archivist at Museum of London Docklands. They are interested in the ideas we bring. Especially that of co-research with local activist groups coming in to the museum to work with the archives and to identify local sites/trinkets that connect up with a co-constituted colonial history with other ports like Calcutta, Canton, Caribbean etc. The same sort of proposal as was welcomed at Maritime, but perhaps even more so since Docklands is planning to reorganise their collection display under a new theme of ‘many East Londons’. Having XTalk, Brick lane Circle and Housing groups as co-researchers can really work with this. The idea will not be that we teach people to do research, but we research with them, alongside their agendas which will be to do with harlots, lascars and squatters etc (XTalk are  interested in sex work around the ports, Brick Lane Circle in Bengali sailors who jump ship, Deptford and Stratford Housing in land use.)

- prepared posters for Wednesday’s film – Baba Ratan’s Fair

- corrected start time for tonight’s Fedeici event

- twitter exchange with ex-student from Melbourne (I miss Marios breakfasts)

- prepared materials for PHD progress meeting in dept (which is about to start)

- reviewed the PhD list, what a great lot of projects – see here and here.

Not a bad morning so far, but again nothing done on my own book. Have at least updated the blog!

Damn, forget to get a sandwich for lunch. Will eat and think about how if we comply with social media’s demand to tell everyone what we are doing all the time we will never do anything. Vanishing up an orifice of our own making…

Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths

This is one of those internal discussion documents that never sees the light of day – here it is for the gnawing criticism of the mice (supposed to leave it in a drawer for that, but of course I mean digital mice):

The Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths has offered the PhD for over ten years and aims to provide the destination of choice for research in cultural and postcolonial theory, popular culture studies, critical philosophy of praxis, creative and interactive technological media, new media and media activism. The PhD can be either ‘practice-based research which entails significant practical work and a written component of up to 60,000 words, or textual research with a 100,000 word thesis’. 

Students undertake the CCS PhD for several reasons: academic research and teaching as well as cultural organization, international agencies and third sector careers. The engagement with critical theory in cultural studies is well established and draws upon a strong heritage in the UK, especially at Goldsmiths with staff in the Centre for Cultural Studies as well as Cultural Studies-and cognate area identified staff in Media and Comms, Visual Cultures, Politics and Art, Visual Art, Visual Anthropology and Digital Sociology. At Goldsmiths, the Centre for Cultural Studies was founded by Professor Scott Lash in consultation with people like Profs Morley, McRobbie and Professor Stuart Hall. It was Professor Hall who insisted that CCS should aim at extending beyond the founding interests of British Cultural Studies. Today CCS incorporates theoretical and practical explorations in technological media and cultural difference in the geo-political context of global capitalism. It’s commitment to theory involves enquiries into the most advanced paradigms of cultural thought. It’s practical commitment involves us in cultural production and critical engagement with the culture industries.

An ethos in cultural studies is interdisciplinarity. A way to describe this is to say that the Centre for Cultural Studies works by mixing possibly incongruent constituencies – what this means is that we have, for more than ten years, been bringing what may at first seem like incommensurate groups together to debate and research creatively, in teams, workshops and symposia: for example we ran a series of research conferences pairing neuropsychologists and artists together to examine new modes of representing the brain and its functions, innovating the new area of neuro-aesthetics; also we brought both London City and Chinese Finance modelers together with artists to rethink the portrayal of high finance and money [hence, the recession]; following the same convergence model, in a series of 6 workshops in London, Berlin, Copenhagen and Gothenburg we brought immigration activists and theatre, film, music and medical practitioners together to re-imagine the border. We continue to develop new projects along such lines, most recently historians and the Maritime Museum Greenwich, the Museum of London Docklands and activists in social and housing campaigns along the eastern end of the Thames in London (eg., ‘Proletarianisation and the River’ event for Museum of London Docklands Sept 2013). Our mode of operation is to intersect and interrupt in creative ways the protocols of disciplinarity, so as to inspire new work. This has a successful; track record reflected in our theory-practice research student projects. 

The Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths has some 12-15 PhD students per year, currently 45 students enrolled, and has increased enrollment year on year since founding in 1998 with one PhD student. Its MA programmes feed into the PhD – there are five such programmes at present – Interactive Media, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Creating Social Media and Culture Industry. MA Contemporary Asia and MA Provocative Media are planned to start in 2013. There are some 100+ MA students. In 2012 there were twelve graduations from the Centre for Cultural Studies PhD programme, but this by no means is the extent of cultural studies at Goldsmiths. Significant Cultural Studies PhDs, especially working in popular culture and media, are housed in Goldsmiths five star rated Media and Communications Department, and there are significant numbers of PhD students working in Visual Anthropology, Visual Sociology, as well as initiatives in Visual Cultures and Politics and Art. Goldsmiths is pre-eminent in this area, as evinced by its staff profile, and its contribution to cultural debate in the UK. 

Training provision for PhD students is rich and diverse and tailor-made to individuals.

The Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths has a dedicated PhD-level cultural theory seminar, writing practice groups, and readings groups (Hegel, Deleuze, Ranciere, Spivak, Lefebvre, new Media at preset) and runs numerous training workshops on practical and formal aspects of the Phds – for example a publishing workshop in Spring 2012, a video editing training in Spring 2013, risograph training, print on demand trainings, and much more, including in-house publications such as NyX: a Noctournal (supported by the Graduate School), Coputational Culture and close associations with Mute, TCS, and Pavement Books. In terms of colloquia, three times each year CCS participates in or co-ordinates a joint doctoral symposium with InterArts Berlin and the Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies (Berlin November, London February, Copenhagen in June) and we send AHRC candidates to India via the AHRC International Placement Scheme. CCS doctoral students must present their work at least once per year in the PhD seminar as well as in the Graduate School Spring Review, they participate in the writing group, an annual panel, regular supervision, often with co-supervision in another department, and are encouraged to present at conferences and international colloquia.

Proposal: that we think in terms of Convergences and Frictions. The putting together of seemingly incommensurate or unusual partnerships so as to provoke creative and innovative alliances. A fund to be apportioned to initiatives on the model of ‘incongruent constituencies’ described above, with PhD students in cultural studies tasked with proposing projects:

e.g.,

-        the two Augusts – the imagery of Olympics and the Riots

-        cinema and mapping

-        global rivers, cultural theory, history and value theory

-        geological and social survey techniques, the report from Hunan used to survey London

-        border convergence, time-based media and immigration

-        the politics of cleaning

-        etc.

Proposal: on the model of the artist-in-residence programme, already extant alongside for example the Politics and Art PhD programme at Goldsmiths, we introduce a cultural activist–in-residence programme. An ‘activist-in-residence’ programme similar to established ‘artist-in-residence’ initiatives would be developed with initial efforts to establish the ways such placement would enable relevant people to work in collaboration and parallel to grant holders and other staff members across Goldsmiths…

Educate the educators. Pace Gayatri Spivak: The effort to build an ethics of education into the protocols of the institution. The institution as a mechanism for social mobility is filled with blockages and cul-de-sacs that can only be circumvented through a ruthless criticism of everything that exists

Transnational literacy, lexicon-consulting, language-learning, long-durée effort to unpack assumptions and counter the too easy inducements of information retrieval and impression management that web 2.0 offers as alternative to book-learning.

Patient non-coercive work to rearrange desire and unlearn Eurocentric privilege. (See Gayatri Spivak 2012 An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization)

Stitching the two ends of here and there together. The co-constitution of urban and rural, metropole and colonial theatre. Even if these old binaries no longer map so easily onto translocal globalism, any programme of training must make mobility multidirectional and bifurcate ideological privilege of advanced, western, developed or civilizational privileges. Remote locations, obscure languages, opaque aims are also viable research interests in a critical geopolitical and geopoetical cultural studies.

review of CCS grad Dr Craig Smith in Washington Post

This piece by Philip Kennicott was published August 15 2012 here.

[read the whole text by clicking the link above - the part about Craig is here]: But what if such things fell into the hands of bad people? The answer to that is addressed in fascinating, elliptical ways by the most conceptually complicated project on display, “FireSale©TM,” by Colin Beatty and Craig Smith, who operate as the collective SmithBeatty. The project involves purchasing a gun, disassembling it and mailing its pieces to “33 stakeholders, including museum directors, art curators, artists, university professors, lawyers and a weapons manufacturer president.” The pieces are defined as shares in a corporation and beautifully packaged into sturdy cases. Recipients aren’t asked whether they want to participate, and when the collective issues a call on the shares — the gun pieces — the participants can ignore the whole thing or return the gun parts as asked, which are then reassembled.

The inevitable “missing” pieces are manufactured using a 3-D printer, a powerful technology that may at some point allow almost anything to be reproduced at home using digital design files readily found on the Internet. In the case of “FireSale©TM” — which includes extensive and beautifully rendered documentation of the project, a blog on which participants record their reactions, and the gun pieces (or their 3-D printer substitutes) — the missing gun elements, made from a fragile white plastic compound, are not functional.

But with apparently credible reports that 3-D hobbyists have managed to use more sophisticated iterations of the technology to create the essential operating element of an M16 — heralded by some observers as “the end of gun control” — the dark side of SmithBeatty’s work is obvious. If you have the right specifications, at some point you could “print” yourself enough firepower to topple governments. Perhaps.

The positive, practical elements of this technology are obvious: Surgical tools could be available in remote locations; easily acquired replacement parts might put an end to landfills stuffed with barely broken toasters. But there’s a deeper utopian element in how SmithBeatty conceived its game. By structuring the project as a corporation, the duo demonstrates how the complexity of human interaction may be the greatest brake on our collective suicide. The busy executive who tosses out his piece of this gun effectively stops the reassembly. Only complete participation — almost impossible to get in any project — can yield a functioning gun. At least for now, but perhaps not for long if 3-D technology is sufficiently advanced.

If nothing else, “FireSale©TM” makes us aware of how we are invested, wittingly or not, willingly or not, in our collective destiny. Technology drives us forward in a magnificent spectacle of human accomplishment, yet it propels us toward ever-more apocalyptic possibilities. The artist’s role — one role, at least — is to warn us about these dark possibilities, before Rubicons are breached that can never be uncrossed. If you don’t like a world filled with guns bought at gun shows, over the Internet or at mom-and-pop corner shops, imagine a world — what is being called the “Thingiverse” — in which almost anything can be replicated by anyone, anywhere. We will have democratized our world all the way back to Thomas Hobbes’s jungle of violence and despair.
And so technology, progress and enlightenment make and undo us. Rousseau has been warning us about the dangers since his 1750 “Discourse on the Sciences and Arts.” Then, as now, it’s tempting to retreat into a shell, to focus on the self and feeling and the near-at-hand world, and hope the rest of this vast system takes care of itself. It won’t, of course, which is why we need exhibitions such as “Manifest: Armed.”

 

Manifest: Armed [was] at the Corcoran’s Gallery 31 space through Sept. 2. Call 202-639-1700 or visitwww.corcoran.org.

What other CCS graduates have been up to is here

Silvia Federici 12.11.12 6.30pm NAB LG02

CCS event:

Dear friends and comrades (please forward to other groups and networks and help spread the word)

Save the date: Monday 12 November – 6.30pm
Goldsmiths University
New Academic Building, Room LG02
New Cross, London

Public Lecture by Silvia Federici
and launch of her new book – Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (PM Press, 2012)


Written between 1974 and the present, Revolution at Point Zero collects forty years of research and theorizing on the nature of housework, social reproduction, and women’s struggles on this terrain—to escape it, to better its conditions, to reconstruct it in ways that provide an alternative to capitalist relations. Indeed, as Federici reveals, behind the capitalist organization of work and the contradictions inherent in “alienated labor” is an explosive ground zero for revolutionary practice upon which are decided the daily realities of our collective reproduction. Beginning with Federici’s organizational work in the Wages for Housework movement, the essays collected here unravel the power and politics of wide but related issues including the international restructuring of reproductive work and its effects on the sexual division of labor, the globalization of care work and sex work, the crisis of elder care, the development of affective labor, and the politics of the commons.

About Silvia
Silvia Federici is a feminist writer, teacher, and militant. In 1972, she was cofounder of the International Feminist Collective, which launched the Wages for Housework campaign internationally. With other members of Wages for Housework, like Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James, and with feminist authors like Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Federici has been instrumental in developing the concept of “reproduction” as a key to class relations of exploitation and domination in local and global contexts, and as central to forms of autonomy and the commons. She is the author of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia, 2004)

In the 1990s, after a period of teaching and research in Nigeria, she was active in the anti-globalization movement and the U.S. anti-death penalty movement. She is one of the cofounders of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, an organization dedicated to generating support for the struggles of students and teachers in Africa against the structural adjustment of African economies and education systems. From 1987 to 2005, she also taught international studies, women’s studies, and political philosophy courses at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

Her decades of research and political organizing accompanies a long list of publications on philosophy and feminist theory, women’s history, education, culture, international politics, and more recently on the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalization and for a feminist reconstruction of the commons. Her steadfast commitment to these issues resounds in her focus on autonomy and her emphasis on the power of what she calls self-reproducing movements as a challenge to capitalism through the construction of new social relations

18 more reasons to like working at CCS

Sibi Arasu

MA Cultural Studies Course, 2011

Age: 24
Nationality: Indian
Undergraduate degree and course: Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication
Previous job before MA: Correspondent, Panos Radio South Asia
Current Job: Senior Correspondent, India Today

“I chose the Cultural Studies course for the potential it held in widening my knowledge base, especially in media and media theory related ideas, which I hoped would help enhance my career prospects in journalism.

The course stood out for me. It was unlike other courses I had looked at, and because I had already acquired a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, I felt the knowledge that I would gain from a course in Cultural Studies would be more relevant to me.

The course has taught me how to read philosophical and theoretical texts in a structured manner, research and write in detail on subject areas of my choice and interest, and in particular, develop a meticulous reading habit.

My favourite part of the course was organising the seminar called Unfinished Business—Undoing Cultural Studies, along with other peers from my department. The seminar dealt with a wide array of issues regarding cultural theory and how it is practiced. I was primarily involved in the making of a short-documentary which involved gaining opinions from a large spectrum of people on the question of culture. The process was a student-initiated affair, and it was a great learning experience organising the event itself.

I believe the course has helped me to develop a more analytical framework, which I can apply when possible during my work as a journalist. The theory I learnt has also helped me form more coherent arguments.

Throughout the course, I was really inspired by works such as Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze and Guattari, and the theoretical texts of Michel Foucault, which I was unfamiliar with before the course commenced. A wide range of South Asian texts, including works by writers like SH Manto, also provided me with a new perspective.

In the future, I would like to have a job which enables me to produce journalistic reports and features on a consistent basis, and on a wide-array of subjects within the South Asian context.

I think for perspective students interested in this course, it would be good to know exactly how you would like to apply theory, to learn, and get informed about your chosen field before enrolling on to the course.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

Bryony Beynon

MA Culture Industry, 2010

Age: 26
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: English and Cultural Studies at Sussex University
Previous job before MA: Public Relations Executive
Current Job: Programme Officer at Arts Council England

“I had been looking to further expand on my interest in cultural theory and was uncertain if PR was really for me. This opportunity to study at Goldsmiths came along at just the right moment.

I was interested in the focus on production and organisational critique, and the fact that it brought together theory and practice in a meaningful way with the scope of the final projects.

Throughout the course I was constantly challenged in my thinking and forced to consider multiple angles by our tutors Matthew Fuller and Josie Berry Slater. The opportunity to attend seminars with Angela McRobbie hugely informed my thinking and illuminated the path for an intersectional radical feminist critique of the culture industries.

A particularly memorable moment was walking through the land that would become the Olympic park. Walking from Stratford to Mile End with cultural critic Anthony Iles completely upturned everything I thought I knew about the Olympics. It’s a walk I’ve taken many friends on since, a public footpath route that has become smaller and smaller as the Games preparation has progressed.

For my major project I spent a month at the office of a volunteer-run magazine based in San Francisco, mapping the knowledge exchange, working hierarchies and modes of production at play. This experience taught me the value of reflexivity when it came to any kind of ethnographical work.

The knowledge I gained from my MA has been absolutely invaluable to me in my current job. My position involves running a pilot programme that offers advice and loan funding to creative businesses. It’s ultimately about balancing creativity and life under capitalism, the very same debate that struck at the heart of so much of what we debated on the MA course.

I am currently working on a community project to create an autonomous creative space in South London that will link up independent musicians and artists with learning disabled adults and other social groups that have trouble accessing the arts. My goal at the moment involves getting that off the ground with successful fundraising and grants, and creating a sustainable proposition for that space to exist on a permanent basis.

I would advise prospective students to be ready to think critically and look beyond your own world when it comes to what we mean by ‘culture.’”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

Cristobal Bianchi

PhD in Cultural Studies, 2010

PhD Project title: Bombing of Poems: Poetics of a Plural Event
Nationality: Chilean
Undergraduate degree and course: Licenciado in Psychology at Universidad de Santiago de Chile
Postgraduate degree and course: MA Interactive Media at Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Job: Member of the Casagrande art collective (www.loscasagrande.org)

“The Centre for Cultural Studies was an interesting place to develop my PhD. It gave me the opportunity to consider that it was possible to write a thesis about the Bombing of Poems in the first place. I found out, for example, how the Bombing of Poems can be thought of as a practice that deserves research because it can bring out ideas and relations between concepts and different fields. It made me think of it as the tip of an iceberg, with most of its structure hidden. My thesis perhaps illuminates a crack within this hidden geography.

The bombing of poems is a symbolic intervention, and as such makes references to other acts of air bombardment – indiscriminate death raining from the sky – and in this way confirms the brutality of total war. The use of such bombing oscillates between being proscribed by international treaty to being used for ‘just war’, as well as for pedagogical purposes in which the waging of war against civilians becomes legitimate. My thesis takes these air bombardments as critical background for the research, but also points to a different type of air bombing – that is to say, one realized using poems. The Bombing of Poems takes place in cities that have experienced aerial bombing during military confrontations and has so-far been carried out in Santiago de Chile, Gernika, Dubrovnik, Warsaw, Berlin and recently in London.

Following one of Umberto Eco’s ideas, the Bombing of Poems, in my understanding, is an open act (Eco, 1989), and as such is located in an intermediary space that permits it to be studied from different perspectives. For example, the Bombing of Poems is situated within a tradition of practices that use the sky to form an image through movement from high places, without it mattering whether these projects are defined as artistic works, literary scenes, cinematographies, psychological warfare, political propaganda, or marketing strategy. In their own contexts these interventions are both inside and outside of art, politics and publicity. Obviously our work recognizes this ambivalence and plasticity, but it also tries to situate itself as a public intervention and a performance – which is to say in the terrain of the poetic.

The papers that are dropped from the helicopter are poems printed on bookmarks. The bookmarks are suspended in the air before they become gifts – that is, before they arrive to the streets, the people and the buildings. They are a reference to the pamphlets used as propaganda and in psychological warfare to demoralize the enemy. This image comprises the act of bombing and constructs the visual effect of rain or snow falling from the sky. The poems are written by authors who are younger than 42 years-old and who are from Chile and other countries where the event occurs. Poetry is important precisely because it speaks for itself. In this way, poetry is located in the Bombing of Poems as an instance of the poetic, and for this reason there is no specific theme to be found in the particular contents or messages of the poems.

The helicopter over the city poses a dichotomy to the public. On the one hand, it creates a sensation of fear due to the impossibility of escaping from the omnipresence of this machine of war. On the other hand, and in the opposite sense, it gives a sense of rescue and liberation that comes from the sky, partly due to the helicopter’s ability to land in difficult terrain. In between the tension of fear and relief, the Bombing of Poems relocates not only the audience, but also urban space. It does this by means of a symbolic intervention that extends a violent event in order to change its meaning within a radical opening of the memory (Opazo-Ortiz, 1997).

CCS gave me the chance to outline a research project, not only as an academic question but also a biographical one related to the past thirteen years of working with poetry in public space as well as experimenting with publishing through different technologies. My classmates made the experience of the PhD much more real, productive and friendly.

I have had the chance to present the Bombing of Poems and share this research at cities in many countries. I did presentations at the New School in New York, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Prague, Wales, Dresden, Guernica, Belfast and Göteborg. In London I presented at Middlesex University, Central Saint Martins Design School, The London School of Communication and This is not a Gateway Festival (2009). This year I will present a paper at Yale University in the symposiumArchitecture and Performance and at the cultural week in the University of Bristol.”

For further information about the Bombing of Poems project you can e-mail Cristobal atcristobianchi@gmail.com

Interviewed by Leila Whitley

___________

James Burton

PhD Cultural Studies, 2008

PhD Project title: Machines for Making Gods: Mechanisation, Salvation and Fabulation in the Works of Henri Bergson and Philip K. Dick
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: BA English (1999), Cambridge University
Postgraduate degree and course: MA Cultural Studies (2002), Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Job: Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Ruhr University, Bochum (Germany)

“After I finished my undergraduate degree and started working, I found I wasn’t very happy sitting in an office, and was increasingly feeling dissatisfied with the politics and culture of the world around me. I didn’t think I had the personality to go into politics, but I thought I might have the characteristics of someone who could research and write about it and maybe hope to help change it that way. So, I thought, how can I pursue that further? And I did the MA and PhD in Cultural Studies.

I had previously studied English literature, and the people who taught me were brilliant and very open-minded, quite politically minded and so on, but by the end of that degree I had begun to see traditional disciplinary boundaries as quite rigid and somewhat arbitrary. If I was going to pursue postgraduate study, I wanted something that would let me combine my different interests in philosophy, literature, politics and other fields, and let me experiment with different media and cultural forms. CCS turned out to be just what I was looking for: in the anti-disciplinary cultural studies tradition of figures like Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall, but with an openness and sensitivity to a wide range of contemporary cultural and political trends, as well as modern continental philosophy and cultural theory (which was particularly important for me).

Studying at CCS can be a bit of a chaotic experience at times, but to an extent that just reflects how much there is going on in terms of seminars, invited speakers and other events. There’s a sort of intermingling of theoretical, academic, but also social and activist, activities. We used to organize a lot of things among ourselves, just the students, like reading groups, and the journal (or noctournal)Nyx, which is still being produced by students and ex-students. I think overall it’s a lot less of a lonely experience than most people describe as characteristic of doing a PhD. I never felt alone or isolated, and if anything I had to carve out space to be alone to finish writing my thesis.

On the surface, my PhD was about philosophy and science fiction – specifically, the philosopher Henri Bergson and the science fiction writer Philip K Dick. More thematically speaking, it developed a theory about the relationship between mechanization and salvation in modernity, how modern culture is beset by contradictory imperatives, caught between immanence and transcendence, materialism and spiritualism, and the way fictionalising or fabulation, might function to mediate those difficulties, to enable what I termed a form of ‘immanent salvation’. On another level though, it was just a reading of two thinkers/writers who I love and think have a lot to say to each other.

Now I’m doing a postdoctoral research fellowship in Germany at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. My research here is geared towards producing a book on the concept of metafiction as a central category in contemporary cultural theory and experience. I’m also rewriting aspects of my PhD for publication as a book called The Philosophy of Science Fiction.”

Interviewed by Leila Whitley

___________

Federico Campagna

MA Cultural Studies, 2011

Age: 28
Nationality: Italian
Undergraduate degree and course: BSc Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy
Previous job before MA: Rights Manager at Zed Books in London
Current Job: Rights Manager at Verso Books

“I chose this course because I wanted to complement my studies in economics with a more philosophical approach. I felt the course could teach me how to contextualise my work in the publishing industry within a critical interpretation of culture and cultural production, as well as improve the theoretical foundations of my writing.

I particularly liked the department of cultural studies and how it provided a truly interdisciplinary approach, while at the same time creating strong connections between philosophy, cultural theory, anthropology, sociology, art and even business studies.

I gained a deeper understanding of the various theoretical and critical approaches to cultural production during the course. This has helped me contextualise both my work and my position as a cultural consumer. I also met some very interesting people during my studies, who I hope to stay in touch with.

The course allowed me to understand the industry I work in as a field of cultural production, and how I can interact with it and with all its philosophical and political implications.

I enjoyed the courses’ scope for independence, which meant I had the time and the resources to explore and research, which was a great asset to the writing I am doing now.

During my studies, Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’ really inspired me through his writing and through our friendship, along with writer Mark Fisher who I still frequently discuss ideas with. In terms of more contemporary journals, I have found Wilful Disobedience a very worthwhile read.

The knowledge I have gained from the course has definitely made me a lot more familiar with the concepts behind the books that Verso, the company I work for, publishes.

My dream would be to live well while writing, as well as having free time to travel.

I would advise prospective students to read as much as you can and try to meet and talk with people, not just the ones on your course, and try and have a mentor/friend that you can discuss your work with.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

Christine Checinska

PhD Cultural Studies, 2009

PhD Project title: Colonizin’ in Reverse! The Creolised Aesthetic of the Empire Windrush Generation
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Hons Fashion and Textiles University of West of England
Postgraduate degree and course:MA Fashion and Communication, University of the Creative Arts Epsom
Previous job before MA:Fashion Design Consultant
Current Job:Freelance Exhibitions Researcher/Curator and Fashion Design Consultant

“I became interested in doing a PhD whilst I was completing my MA at Epsom. I realised that academics and artists with a Goldsmiths connection wrote many of the texts that I was reading and being inspired by, for example, Gilroy, Mercer, Jefferies and Shonibare. Goldsmiths has always had a reputation for creativity, for robust critical debate, for the breaking down of boundaries and that to me was really exciting. I think it is this ability to embrace a cross-disciplinary approach that makes Goldsmiths unique – CCS typifies this way of working. Speaking as someone who doesn’t really fit into a neat pigeonhole, Goldsmiths CCS seemed to be the right place for me!

Much of my work was and still is underpinned by Stuart Hall’s writings and I knew of his connections with CCS. I was specifically interested in exploring post-colonial studies; no other centre offered expertise in this area.

As a creative practitioner, it was important to me to have a supervisor that also had a practice background as well as someone rooted in post colonial studies. CCS made this possible through it’s links with the then Visual Art department. The relationship with the supervisor is key to doing a research project; they become almost like personal trainers – they have to push you when you need pushing! They also need to inspire. I was very fortunate.

At CCS my eyes were opened to so many different things. I remember being encouraged to present papers and publish articles. The first conference that I spoke at was in St Kitts – exciting and scary in equal measure as this was during my first year as a research student! One of my first articles was published in “Kunapipi: The Journal of Postcolonial Writing”; again, this opportunity came directly from one of my supervisors suggestions.

Since graduating, I’ve worked on a number of freelance projects with INIVA – The Institute for International Visual Arts. Second Skins: Cloth and Difference brought together a dynamic group, working in the fields of textiles, cloth and fashion exploring the role that cloth plays in the re-fashioning of identities in geographical and symbolic border crossing. Similarly, Social Fabric is an exhibition examining the role of textiles in social and economic processes.

Publications include Social Fabric (Iniva Publications, 2012) and Every Mickle Mek a Mockle: Reconfiguring Diasporic Identities in Beyond Borders (Pavement Books, 2012), drawn directly from my research project and examining the notion of dress as a creolized non-verbal “Nation Language”.

My aspirations have certainly changed. My interest in curating came directly out of my time as a research student. Similarly, I now view writing as part of my creative practice.

It’s important to find the right department/centre and the right combination of supervisors that meet your academic needs, your style of working and aspirations. Doing a PhD is a long process and can sometimes feel a little isolating – you have to really connect with your topic; it’s the “spark” between you, your topic, your supervisor and your peers that keeps you going.”

www.iniva.org/exhibitions_projects/2012/social_fabric/

www.iniva.org/events/2009/second_skins

Interviewed by Lee Mackinnon

___________

Saoirse Fitzpatrick

MA Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy, 2011

Age: 24
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: Social Anthropology and Development at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Previous job before MA: Internship at World Development Movement NGO
Current Job: Social Enterprise Consultant in Mozambique

“I wanted a course that was really critical of development, and there was definitely not a similar course around. I knew Goldsmiths was pretty left-wing and open minded because whenever I had heard lecturers from Goldsmiths on the radio, they were always on a really interesting programme and often quite outspoken.

It seemed like a natural progression from my undergraduate degree – going more in-depth and questioning what I had learned before. I had also heard that Bhaskar was an entertaining professor.

The course taught me to question my own position in terms of picking out when I was positively discriminating against things. The policy lab lessons were especially interesting, because at the time when I was studying, it was all about the rise of the tuition fees. It was a real movement we were in – we were part of something historical. It was great that we did not look at global issues in a passive way, but were encouraged to actively talk about it.

I learned to be more of a realist and look at the world in a different way, especially by getting away from the romantic tendency to see cultures foreign from your own as beautiful, amazing and unchanging, and to actually see that there are so many lines where things converge and diverge. It is when you see history repeating itself again, that forces you to question why we are going through the same mistakes again.

The course gets rid of your assumption that in global development or charities something needs to be done, and therefore doing anything is reasonable. It teaches you to question yourself and your own goodwill, and to question where your own anthropologic attitudes come from.

The most important thing the course taught me was that development does not really work if it is not for profit. I think for me, now working with social enterprise, development is about giving people business opportunities to make a living, because meritocracy is a myth, as we do not all start off in the same playing field, and some people do not have access to the same opportunities, so I think it is about recognizing those differences in class, in privilege, that people have, and try to narrow that gap.

I would advise prospective students to get stuck in and reflect on what the course teaches you on a day-to-day basis.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Richard Iveson

PhD Cultural Studies, 2012

PhD Project title: Thinking Encounter with Animals
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: BA(Hons) Design, University of the Arts London (Camberwell School of Art)
Postgraduate degree and course: MA Writing, Middlesex University
Current Job: writer, tutor

I work mainly at the intersection of Continental philosophy and Animal Studies, which is set to become a key area of radical political change over the next few years. I have a number of articles published or forthcoming, and am involved with a number of action groups concerned with the mutual articulation of apparently disparate oppressions (how speciesism underwrites racism & sexism, for example), and with ending the exploitation and oppression of nonhuman others. At the moment I am working on my first monograph, based on my PhD dissertation, which is to be published next year.

I wanted to do a PhD to prove something to myself, I guess, and because it would give me space and time to study whilst at the same time providing a structure and a goal of sorts (I’ve never been a fan of the “taught at & take notes” style of study). This latter too goes some way to explain my choice of Goldsmiths, which I applied to for two simple reasons: radical politics and creativity.

After an unorthodox interview with John Hutnyk (the main thing I remember was the brooding b&w portrait of Marx on the wall), I started in Sep 2006. The influence of Continental Philosophy and Theory was immediately evident in the seminars, and this immediately inspired me to begin an intensive course of reading that is still continuing today (well, maybe not immediately – during most of the first year, I often felt to be somewhat adrift, that I’d been accepted by mistake, although I guess this was a combination of lack of confidence and of not having the right supervisor). Yeah, so even though I was adrift in the first year, I still read a great deal of Nietzsche & Marx in particular, it was still a productive time. Eventually, at my first panel Bhaskar (who was not connected to my study) basically gave me another list of books to read, which was (no irony intended) incredibly important. In my second year I changed supervisors and, although it was unnecessary for us to meet often, these were the two major events which changed the course of my study for the good.

Doing a PhD revolutionised every aspect of my life, although upon completion it does turn out that old habits die hard. It enabled me to understand and articulate a great number of those things which previously I had perceived only in a vague sense as problematic or unjust, as well as provide ways for trying to change things. At the same time, it made me realise that universities are not bastions of truth and free discussion (an illusion all too quickly dispelled), but both suffer and inflict injustice and reactionary politics.

Choose a subject you are passionate about, and read, read, read – widely, slowly, and in-depth. If you have the passion, you will never get bored. If you simply want to be a Dr., or think you will earn lots of money then don’t bother – there are much easier ways of doing both.

Interviewed by Lee Mackinnon

___________

 

Alexandra Sofie Joensson

MA Interactive Media, 2010

Age: 27
Nationality: Danish
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Art History, Copenhagen University Denmark
Current Job: Self employed media practitioner and researcher

“I was interested in more practice-based research methodologies and in the critical approach to media history and technology, which seemed to be at the heart of the Centre for Cultural Studies research production.

The main difference from the other programs I looked at, was that the Interactive Media course offered a Free and Open-Source Software lab environment to support research through practice. I remember thinking that I did not really understand what it was all about in the beginning — but it was worth taking the risk to try it out.

The course enhanced my openness and curiosity, my critical thinking skills, and skills in conceptualizing practice-led research projects.

I think this course is a potential space where practice-led research can spring out of collaborations. Every year is very different, but during the year I attended, the most exciting questions where produced collaboratively. For example, the award winning project (http://xmsg.org.uk/) initiated by Cliff Hammett and myself, saw us creating a low cost DIY telephony server together with sex workers activist group x:talk.

Today the project is a platform for critical reflection on how communication practices and structures materialise in the sex industry — a space where new collaborations and knowledge ecologies can take form as a mutual exchange.

I think doing this course can raise ones awareness of how questions can be critically investigated through collaborative environments. The Flee Immediately (http://fleeimmediately.co.uk/), by former student Renee Carmichael, is yet another initiative investigating forms of practice-led collaboration through production and publication, bringing attention to the frameworks in which co-productions can materialise.

The course has led me to many new research areas and pushed me to work with practical projects in technology that I did not have previous experience with.

I work as a full-time mum, practitioner and researcher, and in most of my activities the skills that I have acquired during the masters course including, critical thinking, learning by doing, and project management, are all operating in the back or foreground of my life.

I would advise prospective students to be open, ready for plenty of failure, and to make sure you have fun.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Olga Mascolo

MA Creating Social Media, 2012

Age: 28
Nationality: Italian
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Literature, Padova
Previous job before MA: Web-editor

“I needed a decisive change in my life. The Italian Government did not, in my opinion, adopt a proper employment policy towards young people, so I decided to take the time to invest money for my education.

After working for a while as a journalist, proofreader, and web-editor, I realised that my interests were increasingly focused around social media.

What I liked about this course was the opportunity to learn something useful about coding, developing and build websites, web-scraping, and digital search tools.

The course offered a critical approach to social media and how to use it, as well as learning about new ethics in the use of digital research tools, and building aptitude from source code.

During the course we went to Unlike Us in Amsterdam — a conference about alternatives to social media monopolies. I met many interesting academic personalities from all over the world who were involved in critical research on social media. It made me aware of a lot of avant-garde and provocative art projects in the social media field.

The course’s critical approach to social media really inspired me and made me think differently. I particularly enjoyed the course in mediating the social, and the concepts of online and offline communities.

We also got the opportunity to collaborate with Mozilla developers, who helped us with coding and using our creative side to make interactive videos. I was inspired by their project Mozilla Popcorn, and in March went to a workshop held in the centre of London to learn more about the project. This was a fantastic opportunity to network.

My ultimate goal is to be a community manager, and also win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

I think prospective students need to get ready to manage their time really well, and be willing to take part in all the events that are on offer, not only at Goldsmiths, but in London as well.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

John McKieran

MA Culture Industry, 2010

Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: Business and sustainable innovation at the Open University
Current Job: Founder of Platform-7 – a micro events company that hosts live performances in everyday spaces

“I wanted to find an MA that made sense to what I was trying to discover. Of the three courses I looked at, I felt Goldsmiths was perfect for me and what I was thinking about.

I set off with a plan to mess up my own thinking in the first term, rebuild it in the second term, and find out something interesting in the third term. I was interested in the performer and audience, and what that audience was. But as I got into first term, I realised there was a third part, which was space – so I decided to focus on the relationship between audience, performer and space.

I had an absolutely fantastic time and met some amazing people who have become great friends since. The course took me on a journey that I was really wanting to go on. I was not really interested in grades, but more on comments, and talking to people and doing stuff.

The course has helped me to contextualize things better. It gave me a whole new set of thoughts, and opened up a whole different line of threads. I think the course makes you braver, so as not to be scared of not knowing.

What most people agree with who go to Goldsmiths is that it is like nowhere else. People think quite abstract at Goldsmiths, and you are always being challenged by what you think. People do not shut you down, but challenge their perception as well as your own.

Cumulatively, there were a lot of things that challenged my thoughts. I came across a lot of philosophy which I had never heard of before, and I learnt how to read it. Production of Space was a particularly important book to me, as well as Foucault’s Discipline and Punish - it is truly a fantastic piece of writing, and you cannot help change the way you think after reading it.

The course has influenced me hugely. At the end of the MA, I allowed myself three months to make a decision to see if Platform-7 was a viable idea. What I got out of my MA, was that it was viable. We now do big cemetery events around Remembrance week in November, which is likely to go national this year. The idea is to have fine art, poetry, contemporary dance, and classical music situated around a large cemetery in the evening,  with people walking though it and coming across these small pieces which are displayed and performed for one minute at a time, to inspire people to keep moving on.

This course is for people who want to be challenged, and also want to challenge themselves and question their own thinking – you just need to throw yourself into it.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Joel McKim

PhD Cultural Studies, 2007

PhD Project title: Memory Complex: Competing Visions for a Post-9/11 New York
Undergraduate degree and course: BA English at McGill University and MA Media Studies at Concordia University (both in Montreal, Quebec)
Previous job before you started the course: Senior Research Analyst at iPerceptions
Current Job: School of Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh

I was interested in the interdisciplinary openness of Goldsmiths, the college’s emphasis on the study of political and aesthetic theory, and its overall focus on issues of contemporary visual culture. The Centre for Cultural Studies appeared to foster creative research approaches, while also maintaining a high degree of scholarly rigour.

The college’s close connections to galleries, institutions and discussions across London also made the course very attractive.

It may sound somewhat grandiose, but the course helped me better conceptualise the large-scale patterns of cultural, political and economic change that are affecting our contemporary world. Goldsmiths does not shy away from addressing big societal issues and it encourages students to make meaningful links between subjects and disciplines that are often held at a distance in more conservative academic settings.

I was particularly inspired by Professor John Hutnyk’s reading group on Karl Marx, Professor Scott Lash’s seminar on cultural theory, and Professor Howard Caygill’s seminar on the history of contemporary thought. I also greatly enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow PhD students and the various reading groups and conferences we organised together.

The interdisciplinary research skills I gained at Goldsmiths helped me both obtain my current position teaching and researching at the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and work within it. I believe I was granted the fellowship because the faculty at Pittsburgh recognised that I brought an unusual perspective to architectural studies, one informed by political theory, cultural studies and contemporary philosophy.

For perspective students I would recommend being prepared to take advantage of all of the resources Goldsmiths offers that are of interest to you, regardless of what department they reside in. This can require having the courage to knock on a professor’s door or request to be enrolled in a seminar outside your home discipline. The many points of connection between departments at Goldsmiths is one of the college’s strengths.”

PhD description: (My PhD considers the intersection of memory, politics and aesthetics at five distinct architectural sites connected to the events of September 11. These sites range in size from the spontaneous memorials that surfaced in places like Union Square only hours after the attacks to the landscape urbanism project that is converting the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where the World Trade Center debris was deposited, into a public park and wetlands conservation area.  Drawing from architectural theory, political thought, and media and communication studies, I try to explore how memory functions given the scale of international conflict and urban reconstruction involved.)

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Junko Theresa Mikuriya

PhD Cultural Studies, 2010

PhD Project title: Intimations of Photography
Nationality: Japanese/ Taiwanese
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Honours French, University College London
Postgraduate degree and course: Maîtrise en lettres modernes, University of Paris IV – Sorbonne
Previous job: Photographer (fashion editorial/ album covers); Lecturer, School of Creative Media , City University of Hong Kong
Current Job: Lecturer in Photography, Department of History and Philosophy of Art, School of Arts, University of Kent

“I was working as professional photographer in Taiwan and although I had a successful career, there was a part of me which really missed academia. I was invited to teach as visiting artist at City University of Hong Kong. I had always wanted to do a PhD. However, like most people, it was a matter of financial costs and time, which had made it seem difficult and unrealistic after having finished my masters degree at the Sorbonne.

I chose Goldsmiths and CCS because of its excellent reputation, interdisciplinary approach, and also knowing that I would be working with the top scholars in the field. My project could not have happened elsewhere.

The whole atmosphere of CCS was stimulating and exciting. My classmates came from different disciplines. Within the peer group, there was a wide range of projects; we shared ideas and problems- – you get to know one another very closely. There was a real sense of camaraderie. I loved the fact that after the seminars, lectures and talks, the discussion often continued and eventually ended in the pub as the night went on!

There is the opportunity for students to organise conferences and workshops and to meet leading thinkers in their field- you can always discuss ideas with other staff who are very welcoming. There is an inspiring breadth of knowledge from staff members. Every year, students are asked to submit their written work to a summer panel. I found the experience amazing- although it was also terrifying! The annual summer panel was something to look forward to and it provided a wonderful opportunity for students at the end of the year to have three experts giving feedback; staff read your work so thoroughly and give such invaluable advice. It helps you to formulate your thoughts. This is very unique to CCS. I really appreciate the dedication of staff members who support and encourage students to pursue their individual projects.

You have to be very passionate about your research project even though it may be quite nebulous in the beginning. CCS enabled me to realise my project. I guess doing a PhD allows you to learn about yourself- and how far you can push yourself intellectually. Once you have done a PhD, anything is possible! You learn how to analyse various phenomena and discourse; you understand how your mind works.  The writing process is fascinating; it is intensely cerebral as well as physical. The experience opens up new possibilities regarding how you understand your being in the world. I really miss those years, even though there are always worries (financial pressure, being an overseas student, producing work) but to have that support and a critical voice is a great luxury.”

Theresa’s book ‘The Spell of Photography: A Philosophical History of Photography since Plato,’based upon her PhD research, will be published by IB Taurus in 2013.

Interviewed by Lee Mackinnon

___________

 

Paul Mills

MA Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy, 2011

Age: 26
Nationality: British
Undergraduate degree and course: French and German Studies at the University of Warwick
Previous job before MA: Researched and wrote educational modules about climate change
Current job: Journalist and filmmaker

“Postcolonial Studies provides a way of thinking that can be applied to a range of issues I am interested in, from domestic issues such as multiculturalism, to more anthropological studies on culture and identity, and wider phenomenons such as globalisation and neoliberalism. I felt the course would help me hone a set of theoretical tools that would give me more nuanced and complex understandings of the issues that interest me, whether at home or abroad.

I was intrigued by the approach of this course, that seemed more contemporary than certain more traditional anthropology or development courses in other universities that lead you through a history of the classic works of the discipline. Whilst studying highly theoretical perspectives on issues such as culture, globalisation, development, diasporic culture, subaltern studies and feminism, the Policy Lab encouraged us to bridge the gap between theory and action, discussing how these ideas affected us activists, writers and campaigners.

The course taught me to try and decenter myself from a trained way of thinking, critiquing our own identity and philosophy in order to understand how we got where we are. I think a key challenge is to try and understand the many different worlds that exist our Western one, which can be relevant whether thinking about history, religion, politics, development or philosophy. I ended up applying this approach to urban studies, where I studied how African cities, specifically Douala in Cameroon, have developed in different ways to our own and are generating new ways of living that should not be understood simply as failed or underdeveloped versions of our own cities.

Since the course I have become more confident in my understanding of certain key socio-political terms of our times. I have gained a criticality and set of perspectives which I will take with me whatever I do.

My advice to prospective students is to just do it! I felt it was a real privilege at this stage in my life to have the time to stop and think and read about issues I care about. I think it helps if you know what you are looking for; approaching the course through the lens of a particular issue you care about can make it easier to navigate way through what can sometimes be a dense and difficult theoretical jungle!”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Susan Schuppli

PhD Cultural Studies, 2009

PhD Project title: VOODOO SPACE: Event Machines & Media Entanglements
Nationality: Swiss-Canadian
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Visual Art at Simon Fraser University
Postgraduate degree and course: MFA Media Arts at University of California, San Diego
Previous job before PhD: Director/Curator of the OR Gallery ― Vancouver
Current Job: Projects coordinator and senior research fellow in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College

“It was always my life ambition to do a PHD. I was living in a somewhat isolated city in Canada, so I wanted to move somewhere that was a nexus ― a city where interesting people from around the world would move through on a daily basis ― this is what initially attracted me to London and consequently Goldsmiths.

Goldsmiths is very progressive. The way in which it tackles its objects of study is very innovative, and that was hugely important to me. The demand to think differently about the world is always present, and I do not think I would have had that at any other university.

As a researcher or artist, it is very easy to follow your own interests. But when you come into a programme of study, you have an encounter with people who insist that you engage with ideas that you might not have naturally encountered. And when you do, everything changes ― you are transformed by that. I can quite candidly say that I am a different person having spent my time here.

The programmes in the Centre for Cultural Studies and CRA (in which I was based) allow you to be promiscuous about your research project. Of course you need to be rigorous, but eccentricities of imagination are also always encouraged. The experience gave me a whole new set of tools for thinking.

In London I was also able to hear a lot of people speak whom I had only previously read, including Isabelle Stengers. Her work played an important part in my dissertation, so that was great for me.

With a shift in geography, come new opportunities to mobilise your work in other cities and other situations. Through Goldsmiths I met all kinds of people who created opportunities for me to develop artworks, projects and writing. I also went to lots of conferences and presented my work in the UK, Copenhagen, Zurich, Barcelona, Frankfurt and New York.

This is crucial to assessing your own work outside of the immediate context in which it was developed, to see if it can perform in the way you claim it can without relying upon the specifics of the environment in which it was developed to attain its legibility or coherence.

I think the programme at CCS really helped me enormously in terms of giving me a different vantage point to try out new ideas. A PhD never replaces the knowledge you already had, but begins to solve the problems you brought to it differently.

To do a meaningful PhD, you need to embark on that adventure with total commitment. It should never be a means to a job or merely continuation of studies. You have to take the risk that everything will change, and be open to the potential that the ways in which you previously thought about the world will fundamentally be transformed. You should never come out the same person as you went in.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

___________

 

Craig Smith

PhD Cultural Studies, 2007

PhD Project title: Structuring Interactivity; Space and Time in Relational Art
Nationality: American
Undergraduate degree and course: BFA (1996) from the University of Oklahoma
Postgraduate degree and course: MFA (1998) from the State University of New York at Buffalo
Current Job: Associate Professor at the College of Fine Arts, University of Florida

“I completed my MFA in photography and visual theory about five years before starting a PhD. During the non-academic time I began teaching as well as continuing to work as an artist. What I realized when I started teaching (in 2000 at NYU and Hofstra University) was that I did not know the background of the theoretical models ‘imported’ by post ’68 art practices (minimalism, conceptualism, performance, video, some photography, …), nor did I understand the etymology of the terms being ‘applied’ to art practices. That was my incentive to seek a post-graduate program in which I could continue to work as an artist and to utilize my background as an artist, as well as interest in teaching, in my research.

My first conversation with Scott Lash was about all of this. He shared his sort of wild-eyed optimism about what I was doing. I don’t think he confused me with a scientific scholar or analyst, etc… I think he thought I would make art as PhD. But what I liked about the CCS is that I could use art practice as an element, but not final outcome, of my PhD dissertation. So my wife and I moved to England (for her it was a return home) and I started the program at CCS. At that time there were about 45 students, maybe 15-20 at the seminars, and no one really knew what a ‘practice-led’ PhD meant or how it should be assessed. I decided immediately that I would write a thesis as thesis, the same as my colleagues. This helped me to move my practice away from ‘representation’ and into a materialization of some theoretical modeling.

I had a great group of colleagues at Goldsmiths. All of us attended the CCS seminars weekly as well as seminars in “contemporary thought’ every other week. It was through the discourse with these colleagues that the combination of practice/theory developed. I think this might happen in other places as well, but our balance between CCS seminars and other platforms available in the college was a tremendous influence.

The CCS faculty (Lash, Hutnyk, Verges) gave me my first opportunity to organize conferences and invite internationally recognized artists and theorists into a single forum for presentations and discussion. Couple this with the access to so many lectures at Goldsmiths or in London and the influence upon my own language, objectives, and aesthetics of presentation were profound. It was at Goldsmiths where I was able to sit at a table with Eric Alliez or Bruno Latour, or sit next to Stuart Hall at a dinner and be ‘schooled’ about the local. It’s a rich, deep, do – it – yourself environment. You have to be self-organized (that’s all of the vitalism influencing the pedagogy i think!!) – there are innumerable opportunities and global influences all on that skinny plot of land in New Cross – but you have to be on top of the scheduling and ask for the time with your supervisors, etc.

My PhD thesis looked at the spatial and temporal criteria or forms used in group, participatory, socially-engaged artworks. I created an artwork integrating computer aided audience engagement, sound, cardiovascular training equipment, and weight training equipment and presented/ performed this work during the Frieze and Scope art fairs. The artwork itself became my demonstration of the spatial and temporal criteria of relational artworks. The audience engagement and successive form production created in the performance itself provided me with examples of both ‘participation’ and ‘interactivity’ with artworks. The key objective of the thesis became the differences in kind between ‘participation’ and ‘interactivity’

I continue to teach, to exhibit artworks (live and installed), and write/record. I’m currently working on an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. with my colleague Colin Beatty. We are analysing the manipulation of market value and use-value in/of objects traded through the art market. We’ve created a corporate entity (“The Gun Club”) as well as a financial trust. Through the trust we purchase the weapons, disassemble them into their individual operating parts, and distribute these parts to individual ‘shareholders’ of the Gun Club. Exploring the systems of regulation, the networks of power, that not only are demonstrated by the firearm itself (and opinions of them) but also by government agencies is of key interest to Colin and I. I’m also working on a book for I.B. Tauris publishers (UK) that is on Relational Art. I’ll be looking at other artists rather than myself. It should be out in 2014.”

Interviewed by Leila Whitley

___________

 

Daisy Tam

PhD Cultural Studies, 2011

PhD Project title: A Taste of Ethics: Shifting from Lifestyle to a Way of Life
Nationality: Hong Kong
Undergraduate degree and course: BA Comparative Literature at University of Hong Kong
Postgraduate degree and course: MA Comparative Literature at University College London
Current Job: Research Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University

“I wanted to do my PhD in a human-sized department where people are committed to research, where both staff and students are involved, and not in a place where I would become anonymous. I changed disciplines from Comparative Literature to Cultural Studies as I wanted my research to be move beyond the text and to be more relevant to my environment.

CCS is a a great centre where not only the staff are committed, but also the students. The best thing about CCS is the people. Everyone’s project is interesting and inspiring, and people reach out to each other. I learned so much from my fellow students. No one seems to count the hours they put into organizing and attending activities – reading groups, workshops, conferences, talks, etc. Their interest drives their work, and that’s not something you find everywhere.

In addition to the academic life of the centre, one of the great things I loved about the PhD was the fieldwork. I sold apples at Borough Market for five years, and that was one of the highlights. I loved doing it and I wouldn’t have done it without the encouragement of my supervisor. Because I did, the whole thesis changed, and the whole way I saw London changed.

New CCS people – be brave, be open, be a pioneer in what you do, don’t be afraid and don’t stick to your comfort zone. Enjoy! I loved my time in the centre and hope that you will also find your own story to tell in the future…”

Interviewed by Leila Whitley

___________

 

Ashley Wong

MA Culture Industry, 2009

Age: 27
Nationality: Canadian
Undergraduate degree and course: BFA Digital Image/ Sound and the Fine Arts at Concordia University, Montreal
Previous job before MA: Project Manager, Videotage – Hong Kong’s media art organisation
Current Job: Digital Producer at Somewhat, a mobile-first creative agency based in Shoreditch and co-founder of DOXA, an international research collective

“I thought the MA course provided a good mix of theory and practice. It was experimental and merged a range of interests in cultural production that was cross-disciplinary.

I was actually accepted onto a Cultural Analysis course at the University of Amsterdam, but decided to choose this course at Goldsmiths because I felt it was more forward-thinking in its content and form, and more open to other kinds of practices beyond straight academia or exhibition making.

Studying at the onset of the recession provided me with new perspectives and allowed me to think critically about how the economy operates and the role of culture in society today.

During the course I particularly enjoyed reading and learning new areas of thought, which I didn’t know how to articulate in my own practice. The texts: ‘Immaterial Labour’ by Maurizio Lazzarato, ‘Capital and Language’ by Christian Marrazi, and ‘Craftsmen’ by Richard Sennett, really inspired me and challenged my thoughts.

I now understand my work better within a larger context of social practices, but I have come to realise it is not about following particular cultural trends, but rather collectively coming together with common ideas. My ideas of culture and practice are now much broader in relation to the global economy.

In the future I would like to start my own company or organisation that is self-sustaining and community led, between public and private that supports both research and practice/production. I feel for it to be effective, it must be global and use digital as a tool for knowledge production and distribution.

I would advise prospective students interested in this course to think long and hard about what they want to get out of it, and why they are doing the course. I also think it is important to visit the university and meet the professors to get a feel for the place beforehand.”

Interviewed by Claire Shaw

Blurbs

Drafting words for funding for PhDs – needing to describe why CCS is distinctive. First run:

The Centre for Cultural Studies works by mixing possibly incongruent constituencies – what this means is that we have, for more than ten years, been bringing what may at first seem like incommensurate groups together to debate and research creatively, in teams, workshops and symposia: for example we ran a series of research conferences pairing neuropsychologists and artists together to examine new modes of representing the brain and its functions, innovating the new area of neuro-aesthetics; also we brought both London City and Chinese Finance modellers together with artists to rethink the portrayal of high finance and money; following the same convergence model, in a series of 6 workshops in London, Berlin, Copenhagen and Gothenburg we brought immigration activists and theatre, film, music and medical practitioners together to re-imagine the border. We continue to develop new projects along such lines, most recently historians and the Maritime Museum Greenwich, the Museum of London Docklands and activists in social and housing campaigns along the eastern end of the Thames in London (eg., ‘Proletarianisation and the River’ event for Museum of London Docklands Sept 2013). Our mode of operation is to intersect and interrupt in creative ways the protocols of disciplinarity, so as to inspire new work. This has a successful; track record reflected in our theory-practice research student projects.

http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/centre-for-cultural-studies/

“GOD IS NOT DEAD!” 8.10.2012 Goldsmiths NAB LG02 Film and Q and A with the director and others

“GOD IS NOT DEAD!”

EUROPEAN/WORLD PREMIERE – Monday 8 October 2012 6:30

GOLDSMITHS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, CENTRE FOR CULTURAL STUDIES

THE FILM

Directed by young Turkish filmmaker Bahar Kılıç, “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” is a journey that cuts across the realms of music, politics and intercultural dialogue.

Shot in London, Berlin, Frankfurt and Istanbul, the documentary investigates European Muslims’ resistance against the epidemic of “Islamophobia” and their endeavour to transform the demonized visage of Islam in the West through music, creative expression, political activism and redefining the concept of “hybridity”.

The incredibly diverse stances, creative practices and routes of thinking displayed by the people in focus of “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” demonstrate a wealth that is unknown not only to the Western world who is prone to be infected by the virus of cultural exclusivist discourses but also to the Orient who’s suffering from amnesia.

“GOD IS NOT DEAD!” features exclusive interviews with and footage from Fun^Da^Mental and Aki Nawaz, The Kominas, Poetic Pilgrimage, Mecca2Medina, Mohammed Yahya, Nomadic Poet (The Planets), Quest Rah, Style Islam (Melih and Yeliz Kesmen), Sayfoudin (Germany) and Professor John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths, University of London).

THE EVENT

The European & World premiere of GOD IS NOT DEAD! will take place on October 8th, at Goldsmiths, University of London Centre for Cultural Studies.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A Session with the director, the creative staff and featured names.
The event is FREE OF CHARGE.

All free thinkers and “rebels with noble causes” are welcome to join us. New Academic Building LG02

(Goldsmiths NAB LG02 – that’s the big newish building on the hill behind the back field. Walk through the main building and up the path, and up the stairs beside the gym. In the door, and downstairs to the big auditorium. NAB LG02 New Academic Building LG02. See you there.)

http://www.gold.ac.uk/calendar/?id=5707

Contesting traditions, land and resources in Papua New Guinea – a talk by Peter Phipps 2 Nov 2012 Goldsmiths

CCS talk: Friday November 2 2012, 4pm Laurie Grove CR

Contesting traditions, land and resources in Papua New Guinea

Research into a Port Moresby festival celebrating the historic hiri trade between Papuans in the Moresby area and the Gulf quickly became much more complicated than anticipated. Ownership of the festival is contested between the city government and its newly-established tribal assembly, and a village which argues it is the true authority of the hiri legend and all associated activity. Going deeper, there’s much more at stake than rights to the legend: from the Motu-Koita villagers’ land rights in the city and surrounds, to the violent conflict over the latest capital influx and resource royalty bonanza which is transforming life in PNG.

 

Welcome notes Goldsmiths CCS – JH #newterm

 

a million urgent fiddles to do on the blog, website, ordering of books or some such, then meetings, campaigns, the fucking UKBA, new students, information emails, a student shafted by MET/UKBA, colleagues in disciplinary hearings in need of support, general chaos, and marking, lets not forget the marking, and the plagiarism cases than need to be – well, second offence really should get more than a book thrown at them – but then there is the welcome drinks, the welcome party, the welcome seminar, tutorial and photo opportunity. I lay myself down on New Cross Road and wait…

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