CULTURES OF CAPITALISM


CULTURAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALASIA 2017 CONFERENCE

MASSEY UNIVERSITY, WELLINGTON
6-8 DECEMBER


Culture is increasingly positioned in economic and political discourse as the solution for ailing communities, industries, and cities. In a global environment riven by climate change, war, and migrations, we are told that communities with the right culture will adapt and sustain while others will be left behind. Labour and manufacturing have undergone radical shifts due to post-industrialisation, with knowledge economy paradigms creating new cultures of work and working identities. Culture is also increasingly valourised in urban planning and municipal infrastructure as key to revitalising city economies through creativity and social participation. Transformations in labour and its value are also linked to the reification of racialised, sexualized, and classed populations and their management through technologies of capital. How labour is valued contributes to an affective economy of precarity and risk that is differentially distributed throughout society.

The 2017 Cultural Studies Association of Australasia conference will focus on the work that cultures do in constructing, contesting, and constituting capitalism. We seek to critically examine the role of culture in both enabling and articulating new capitalist formations. While culture has been situated as the opiate through which economic dominance is propagated (for instance in the culture industries critique), new capitalist formations indicate the multiple and heterogeneous ways in which culture/s can mediate contemporary economic conditions. In doing so, we seek to return to one of the key concerns of early cultural studies: to make sense of the mutually-determining relation between culture and its capitalist context. If, following Stuart Hall, we understand ‘culture’ as the production of meaning through language and representation, what are the modes ofcommunication through which capitalism/s are created? How are capitalism/s materialised in different spaces? How is it embodied in different identities and communities? What is the role of the economy in shaping the possibilities for culture? What is the role of Cultural Studies as critical praxis in the present economic time?


Call For Papers

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

PATRICIA HILL-COLLINS

Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Author of Black Feminist Thought, Black Sexual Politics and On Intellectual Activism


JODI DEAN

Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Author of Crowds and Party, Blog Theory and Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies


JEREMY GILBERT

Professor of Cultural and Political Theory at the University of East London. Author of Capitalism and Culture and Common Ground.

WENDY LARNER

Provost at Victoria University Wellington.