Emerging Publics: A Geo-Critical Forum 9.6.2011

A one day conference. Speakers include: Wang Hui, Achille Mbembe, Saskia
Sassen, Ravi Sundaram

Emerging Publics combines buzzwords of the day like ’emerging nations’ and
’emerging markets’ with the idea of the public. It asks what will be the
new publics as partly driven by the emerging world: China, India and
Africa. It asks what can we hope for after the destruction of the classic
public sphere – one framed by Keynes and Habermas. This classic public has
been largely decimated by some 2-3 decades of reigning neo-liberalism.
There has been very little response to the global finance crisis, the bank
and possible sovereign debt defaults in the wake of 2008. There probably
is no going back now to the classic public sphere. Instead we need to ask
what are the possibilities for new publics, perhaps both more localized,
and more global (than the classical national public sphere). These new
publics may be driven by something like Paul Krugman’s regional economies
of scale. The new economies of scale that this event will address are also
social, cultural and surely political. They are increasingly driven by
what is other to the West. These emerging publics are also a question of
the ‘pirate modernity’ of spaces in, say, Lagos and Mumbai, in which
software and politics is cycled and recycled, in which another urbanism is
emerging in the context of grassroots politics, NGOs, the arts. Today’s
emerging publics operate in the context of massive Chinese foreign primary
goods purchase and infrastructure investment. They are a question of
Chinese (and German) ‘sovereign surplus’ overload. And where there is
sovereign surplus, there is Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. These
emerging publics – from the BRICs, Africa and the Middle East – have
massive implications for what we in the West and the UK are encountering.
What kind of community, what kind of public can be constructed in Britain
in the wake of thirty years of neo-liberalism? What kind of art, what kind
of media are at stake in this pirate modernity of also the battles between
neo-liberalism’s monopoly copyright and the new public goods of a
networked ‘copyleft’? What new kind of political economy is at stake in
this? What sort of new critique of political economy? What kind of cities
and what kind of urbanism? Indeed what kind of politics do we need for the
twenty-first Century?


10 -11:30 AM.
Emerging Modernities. Chair: Chris Berry; Speaker: Wang Hui (Tsinghua
University); Discussant: Michael Dutton

11:30-11:45 AM break

11:45 AM-1:15PM
Emerging Geo-Politics. Chair: Les Back; Speaker: Achille Mbembe (WISER
Institute/Duke University); Discussant: Irit Rogoff

1:15-2:30 PM
Lunch Break

2:30-4:00 PM
Emerging Media. Chair: Sanjay Seth; Speaker: Ravi Sundaram (Sarai-CSDS
Delhi); Discussant: Scott Lash

4:15-4:45 PM. break

4:45-6:15 PM
Emerging Urbanisms. Chair: Michael Keith (Oxford); Speaker: Saskia Sassen
(LSE); Discussant: Abdoumaliq Simone

Event Information

Location: Lecture Theatre (Room 002), New Academic Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
Cost: Free, all welcome, but please register via email: cup01fc@gold.acuk
Department: Centre for Cultural Studies
Time: 9 June 2011, 10:00 – 18:30