Full programme for 3rd May Club Critical Theory Pre-Election Special with Jeremy Gilbert

CCT_3rdMay

Where is the Common Ground? Making Local Activism Work in Southend

3rd May, 2015 at 8pm

Free entry

Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea

www.railywayhotelsos.co.uk

The General Election on May 7th is occurring against a backdrop of relentless austerity, food poverty, tax evasion and scapegoating of groups without access to the mainstream media that marginalizes them.

Is there an alternative to this politics of despair, and if so, is collective activism the answer? Is Essex man Russell Brand right when he tells us that the system is broken and what we accept as ‘common sense’ has been imposed on us? On one hand, events in Greece and Spain show that collective responses to inequality are working. On the other hand, there is the anti-European, anti-immigration stance of populists like UKIP and Le Front National in France, whose appeal seems to resonate with the mythologized ‘man in the street’.

This pre-election CCT special event explores alternative ways of thinking critically about our everyday political lives and considers the effectiveness of collective activism. We’ll discuss what can be done at the local level to make a difference and what kind of differences ‘we’ want by first thinking about who ‘we’ are – a collective political force or fragmented individual consumers?

We ask you to contemplate the idea of the common ground and critically explore related concepts like neoliberalism, individuality, crowds, publics, multiplicities, collectivity, and of course, democracy.

Programme

8pm start

Introduction by Andrew Branch

8.10pm

Tony D. Sampson (author of Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks): Crowds, Publics and Desire.

8.30pm

Giles Tofield (Director of The Cultural Engine): Finding Common Ground – Southend.

8.50pm

Q&A Chaired by Andrew Branch followed by break for drinks

9.20pm

Special guest speaker Professor Jeremy Gilbert (author of Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in the Age of Individualism): The Common Ground

10pm

Discussion chaired by Andrew Branch

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About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, due 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK, a co-founder of Club Critical Theory and Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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