Seeking scholars of British, North American and European political cultures for a proposed series of workshops.
In the context of a bid for funding to resource an international network, I would be pleased to hear from anyone working in the fields of modern or contemporary history, literary, theatre or other media studies, or theorists of culture and/or politics, for whom the interaction of 'cultural forms' (from theatrical or novelistic genres to newspapers, newsreels, TV formats and the internet) with 'political processes' (whether the life of political assemblies, electoral campaigns, policy debates, upheavals, revolutions and crises...) is of interest.
Some further notes and issues are indicated below:
Proposal for a Research Network: Cultural Form and Political Process; Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives.
Period of Activity: Phase 1, c.2008; Phase 2, c.2009.
Chronological Scope: Phase 1, 1780-1830; Phase 2, 1700-2000.
Geographical Scope: Phase 1, France, United Kingdom, USA; Phase 2, Europe, North America, potentially any other areas.
Do changes in the form of cultural representation influence the representation, and hence also the substance, of political processes?
When politics occurs through the manipulation of codes concerning belonging, identity, enmity, individual and collective goals and desires, how does the representation of such codes in drama, literature and other media structure the playing-out of political conflicts?
Can shifts in cultural production that have their own logics – from the emergence of the sentimental stage in the late eighteenth century, to the feuilleton journalism that followed the mechanical press in the mid-nineteenth, and all the innovations of the 20th century – also be seen as key ingredients in changes in the understanding of political processes?
How far can the priorities and emphases set within a realm of cultural production be determining of concrete political conflicts? Does political language ‘follow’ the innovations of culture, and if so, how closely? If it does not, where are the critical disjunctures? Are representations of human motivation through political and cultural ‘frames’ always driven in parallel, or do the different goals of these processes necessitate a dislocation at the heart of public representational practice?
It is hoped, following a successful bid outcome, to host a series of transatlantic workshops through 2008-09, culminating in a major interdisciplinary conference. Selected papers from the workshops will be published as thematic volumes.
SSHLS, Univ. of Portsmouth
Milldam, Portsmouth, PO1 3AS, UK
+44 2392 842204 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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