The thematic issue of Laboratorium “From tvorchestvo to creativnost: relations of production, networks of mobilization and realms of consumption”
The economization of creativity on which the neoliberal ideology is based has led a number of commentators to describe late-capitalism as being creatively destructive. The lure of creativity and the promise of success it implies have been entangled in the complex interfaces between neoliberalism and individuals in many places, including East Europe and Russia. For instance, the success of Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class generated a spike in cities marketing themselves for “sexiness” and investing in amenities able to attract the ”cool” crowd. The administrations of many Dullsvilles and depressed towns are lured by creative experts into the imaginary circle of cities visible on the world map and thus capable to attract investment. In today’s over-designed culture, masses of wannabes try to make their living by offering ever more innovative things and ideas. How do these tendencies problematize the traditional notions of creativity and creators? Is there a way to grasp both the continuities and discontinuities in the evolution of creativity? How can sociological skepticism, precautions stemming from urban research and aesthetic judgment, be put to use to describe all things creative (or what is left of them)? To what extent can creativity discourse, particularly that developing in East Europe and in Russia, take into account the fact that neoliberalism normatively constructs and interpolates individuals as entrepreneurial actors in every sphere of life? Are there in it traces of recognition that neoliberalism as a cultural logic readily makes the state the main mechanism for promoting economic rationality and prescribing to subjects how to behave as rational agents and consumers? Given that the transition period to market democracy in Russia arguably thoroughly institutionalized neoliberalism, is there any chance to see that “left-wing creativity has not ceased” (Therborn, 2007)?
Laboratorium's special issue on creativity welcomes papers in sociology, political sciences, literature, art theory, anthropology, social geography, and other disciplines that can provide insight into the production and consumption of creative work. Laboratorium will publish traditional academic papers of a theoretical and/or empirical nature of 8000–9000 words in length. The papers critically investigating various strands of creativity discourse, new policy initiatives, and examples of innovative local projects are particularly welcome.
Prospective contributors are invited to submit abstracts (500 words) to the editor, Elena Trubina (firstname.lastname@example.org), by January 1, 2011. Authors of abstracts selected for publication will be notified by January 15, 2012 and will be expected to submit full-length articles (in one of two languages) no later than April 1, 2012. Laboratorium will publish the papers that succeed in the peer-review process in one of its 2013 issues.
Institute for Social and Political Studies
Ural State University
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