Jan. 3rd, 2013

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Institute of American Studies, King’s College London, Strand Campus
Spring Term Research Seminar
K4U.12; 5-6.30pm

30th January
Joanna Zylinska, Professor of New Media and Communications, Goldsmiths
‘Facebook to Facebook: Being Private, Going Public and the Ethics of Mediation’
This paper will examine the ethical implications of the mediated cultural subject. Drawing on the material from her latest book, Life After New Media (co-written with Sarah Kember), Zylinska outlines ‘an ethics of mediation’, asking whom does ethical responsibility concern if we are all supposedly ‘becoming Facebook’ (no matter whether we are ‘on’ it or not)?

27th February
Caroline Bassett, Reader in Media and Film, Sussex University
‘The Philosopher, the Socialite, the Engineers, and the Spy: 'Cybercultural' debates in 1964’
Cyberculture is said to have been invented sometime in the 1980s, but in New York in 1964, an unlikely group of including computer scientists, engineers, philosophers, NAACP representatives, feminists, civil rights activists, government workers, Labor leaders, entrepreneurs, and at least one spy, assembled in New York City to debate 'cybercultural revolution' - and in particular the leisure society and the future of work. Amongst them was Hannah Arendt. This paper returns to the debate via interviews with the organizer and via Arendt's work on leisure. Exploring this nexus the intention is to supplement histories of digital culture focussing on the West Coast and Silicon Valley and the counter-culture by exploring the early responses of organized labour and critical thinkers to the prospect of a digital society.

13th March
Toby Miller, Professor of Cultural Industries, City University
‘Blow Up the US Humanities’
Miller will discuss his new book Blow Up the Humanities, arguing that there are now two humanities within US academia. One is the venerable, powerful humanities of private universities; the other is the humanities of state schools, which focus mainly on job prospects. There is a class division between the two--both in terms of faculty research and student background--and it must end. The book examines scholarly publishing as well as media and cultural studies to show how these two humanities must merge in order to survive and succeed in producing an aware and concerned citizenry.

27th March
Paul Smith, Professor of Cultural Studies, George Mason, Washington DC
‘Flowback: America, Neoliberalism and the End of Globalization’
At its beginnings globalisation was often described in terms of its 'flows'—of capital, commodities, people, etc. The vectors of those flows have all changed now that the neoliberal system is in deep crisis. This paper describes some of those changes and tackles some of the political-economic and cultural questions that America is now confronted with as a result of them.


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