The Third ACS Institute 2015: Precarious Futures in Bloemfontein, South Africa

The Association for Cultural Studies (ACS) is delighted to announce the third  ACS Institute, which will be held from 7-12 December 2015 at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The theme of the 2015 Institute is “Precarious Futures.”

The ACS Institute will be a forum for critical discussions of important perspectives on cultural studies today.  Our theme is intended to forge productive and provocative conversations about how cultural studies might help to chart less precarious and more equitable futures. As a field that has, since its inception, been centrally concerned with the relationship between culture and power, cultural studies can offer unique perspectives on precariousness as not only an endemic experience of contemporary life, but as a state increasingly anticipated for human and non-human planetary futures. This Institute will provide a sustained opportunity for critical reflection on the cultural, economic and political trajectories that point to, or might alter, such futures.

The Institute will provide an intense and rewarding pedagogical experience for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers (established scholars are also welcome) who will have the opportunity to spend the week learning from lectures and seminars delivered by five keynote speakers and a faculty staff of leading cultural studies scholars from around the world.  The following keynote speakers have been confirmed:

  • Jean Comaroff (Harvard University, USA)
  • John Erni (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
  • Jo Littler (City University London, UK)
  • Zethu Matebeni (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Handel Wright (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Following on the great successes of the previous ACS Institutes — 2011 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and 2013 at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (Austria) — the 2015 edition of the Institute will bring together people from a wide range of disciplines to explore what it means to conduct cultural studies. We invite and encourage participation from researchers who work in disciplines such as cultural studies, film studies, media studies, cultural sociology, cultural anthropology, literary theory and criticism, discourse analysis, new literacy studies, educational studies, rhetorical criticism, and so forth.

Those interested in participating are invited to take notice of the above mentioned dates. Email inquiries can be addressed to either Helene Strauss (2015 ACS Institute Organizer, strausshj@ufs.ac.za) or Gil Rodman (ACS Chair, gbrodman@mindspring.com).   Practical information about registration and a full list of Institute keynotes and faculty will be disseminated in due course.

European Journal of Cultural Studies panel discussion at Crossroads 2014

Room: Sopraano

Time: Thursday July 3, 15.45

Panelists:

Mila Steele, publisher at Sage Publications (and former publishing editor of ECS)

Pertti Alasuutari, University of Tampere, Finland

Ann Gray, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Joke Hermes, Inholland University, The Netherlands

 Started in Tampere in 1996, with the first issue out in 1998, the teen-aged European Journal of Cultural Studies (ECS) has become a key outlet of scholarship in this cross-disciplinary field. The panel members, former publishing editor of ECS at Sage and the three founding editors discuss the past, present and future of cultural studies through the ‘lens’ of the history of ECS. It will draw on recollections of the editors as well as on the increasingly available ‘big data’ collected on how the journal is used. Key questions will be: how has cultural studies changed over the years in terms of the scholarship, geographical spread, topics and themes covered? What inferences can be made from the way readers use ECS by looking at the list of most-read and most-cited articles? Looking towards the future: how will journal publishing (in cross-disciplinary fields such as cultural studies) be affected by open access publishing? This will be an informal event, in which the participation of all present is invited! Snacks and wine will be served towards the end of the session.

Updates for participants

This post is a version of the email just sent to all registered participants on June 5th.

SESSION PROGRAM: The first draft of the session program PDF is ready and online:
http://www.cultstud.org/wordpress/?page_id=128

There will be changes, but we will try to keep everyone in the alphabetical session slot indicated or at least the same day so that you will not have to worry about the date of your presentation. Please contact us in case of any questions arising from the program.

ABSTRACT BOOK: The abstract book will be online 23 June as a downloadable PDF file here:
http://www.cultstud.org/wordpress/?page_id=132. There will be free WiFi on venue so you can either browse the file online or download it to your preferred device. Those who have ordered a paper version can collect their copy at the registration desk. All participants will get the conference program including the sessions, presenters and other important information together with the name badge at the registration desk.

BOOK EXCHANGE: You can bring along a book or a journal (in good condition) of cultural studies that you’d want to exchange to another. We will organize a table next to the book exhibition hall where you can leave yours and collect one you would prefer.

WEDNESDAY WALKS: Some of our local colleagues have volunteered to show around Tampere from their own perspective. On Wednesday you can participate on one of these short walks after the academic program. The themes include: counterculture, soundscape, immigration, the history of “red” Tampere ect. You can sign up on your preferred walk at the registration desk where there will be more information. Please remember the group sizes are limited.

FREE BUS PASS: The name badge you will get from the conference registration desk will serve as a free bus pass in the local bus transport during 1-4 July. (Tampereen joukkoliikenne, http://joukkoliikenne.tampere.fi/en/home.html).

THE STUART HALL PROJECT: We just got a copy of John Akomfrah’s documentary. We will have a screening on Monday 30th, just before the get-together party, at Tampere University.

DON’T FORGET: Tampere is by two beautiful lakes and there are a lot of possibilities to go to sauna and swimming by the lake. So don’t forget your bathing suits! Especially if you are participating in the Viikinsaari cruise on Thursday. We have also collected recommendations on what to do in Tampere (sights, eating, shopping) here: http://www.cultstud.org/wordpress/?page_id=134, so you can plan ahead.

Kaisa Ruohonen starts as assistant

Kaisa Ruohonen, a masters student of media culture at the University of Tampere, is our new conference assistant from 7th April onwards, continuing the work of Jussi Kumpulainen. Kaisa will be assisting the organizing committee with communications and helping out with all general organization. Welcome aboard, Kaisa! And a big thank you to Jussi!