Talk at RUHR-UNIVERSITÄT BOCHUM December 8 2011 6pm

Join us in the streets: uprisings, riots, revolt and other square forms of organizing.

This paper examines how contemporary events are, perhaps, giving rise to new forms of participatory politics. Some of these events are recent, some emergent, and some unanticipated. They reach from the wave of public mobilisations in city squares; Tahrir, Syntagma, Madrid, Occupy Wall Street (Butler 2011) and #OccupyLSX to the use of new technologies and communications media; citizen journalism, counter-mapping, bespoke apps for organization and new activist groupings and projects (UfSO, The Paper). Topics of interest reach from the efforts to articulate rights on the part of diasporic settler groups in the UK and Germany (for example, taxi-drivers, sex-workers, and travelers in Southeast London: see Mathew 2005, Chatterton, Rees, Norman ESRC research in Leeds 2007-9); to the cultural turn of the political lobbies, from the Tea-Party in the US, the English Defense League in England, to the Bersih movement in Malaysia. These new forms – are they even new? what role do intellectual and cultural theorists possibly have, if any? – deserve attention since they occur in the context of austerity and after ten years of ‘war on terror’ – making it very interesting to see people work collectively in ways co-constitutive of better – democratic? – aspiration for change (Freire 1970, Escobar 2009). The discussion seeks to connect this emergent optimism and enthusiasm with the politics and representation of constituent groups from earlier cycles of struggle, considering vanguardism and Party politics, access issues, interests, and the critical question of comportment towards the Masses, the Rabble, the Mob, the Lumpen or the Racaille. Reference will be made to writings by Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Žižek, Susan Buck-Morss and Alain Badiou. Some preliminary materials and reading might be found here: – recent viewing of the Kassovitz film La Haine (1995) might also be helpful.
John Hutnyk is Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College and author of several books including The Rumour of Calcutta (1996); Critique of Exotica (2000); Bad Marxism: Capitalism and Cultural Studies (2004); and Diaspora and Hybridity (with R.Kaur and V.Kalra 2006).
venue detrasils: h1

Bochum 8.12.2011

Kurzfristig ist es uns noch gelungen einen weiteren Gast für unsere Veranstaltungsreihe im Wintersemester zu gewinnen. John Hutnyk wird am 08.12.2011 zum Thema Join us in the streets: uprisings, riots, revolt and other square forms of organizing sprechen. Weiter Informationen finden sich auf der Terminübersicht.