2011 – Emerging Publics

An international conference of the Instituto de Ciencias Sociais  – the London-Brasilla Conference (Universidade de Brasilia / Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Thursday 9th June 2011, Goldsmiths, University of London

EMERGING PUBLICS combines buzzwods of the day like “emerging nations”, “emerging markets” with the idea of the coming public.  It asks what will be the new publics as partly driven by the emerging world: China, India, Africa and Latin America.  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 more localized and more global (than the classical national public sphere) at the same time. These new publics may be driven by something like what Paul Krugman’s regional economies of scale.  But the new economies of scale that this event will address are also social and cultural and surely political. And 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, Delhi or Mexico City 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 involve 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 urbanism?  Indeed what kind of the political we need for the XXI Centurty?


10:00 -11:30am Emerging Modernities
Chair: Chris Berry
Speaker: Wang Hui (Tsinghua University)
Discussant: Michael Dutton

11:30-11:45am Break

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

1:15-2:30pm catered lunch for participants

2:30-4:15pm Emerging Media
Chair: Sanjay Seth
Speaker: Ravi Sundaram (Sarai-CSDS Delhi)
Discussant: Scott Lash

4:15-4:45pm break

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

Free and open to the “publics”

If you want further information or reserved a place contact the organiser:

Francisco Carballo: cup01fc@gold.ac.uk

This event is organised by the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths and The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford. Additional support comes from the Economic and Social Research Council, Goldsmiths’ Graduate School and the following departments: Sociology, Visual Cultures, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London.


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