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Daily Archives: October 31st, 2009

AUTONOMIST EVENTS

Antonio Negri

Antonio Negri

NEW YORK

Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis on the Politics of Oil
On Tuesday NOVEMBER 10th at 6:30PM

Join Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis as they discuss big oil’s cultural and political violence with Peter Maass, contributing editor at The New York Times Magazine and the author of the recently published Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil.

The event is moderated by Ashley Dawson, Associate Professor of English, The Graduate Center, CUNY.  The event will take place at the Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave btwn 34th and 35th (The Skylight Room, 9100)

Ariel Salleh on Eco-Sufficiency with Silvia Federici
On Wednesday, November 11th at 7:00PM, ARIEL SALLEH will be presenting on a feminist and ecologically integrated politics of the commons, themes central to her recently edited volume, Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice: Women Write Political Ecology (Pluto Press, 2009).  She will be introduced by and in dialogue with SILVIA FEDERICI. The event takes place at Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen Street, NYC 10002).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

 
 

Capitalism

Capitalism

WHITHER FINANCIALISED CAPITALISM?

 

International Conference
One Year on from the Panic of 2008:
WHITHER FINANCIALISED CAPITALISM?
Saturday 7 November 2009, 9 am to 6 pm, SOAS (Rooms G2 and G3), London

09.00-09.45 Registration and Coffee

09.45-12.15: Welcome Addresses and Opening Plenary: Financialised Capitalism and the International Crisis
* Gérard Duménil, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris: Neoliberalism adrift: Perspectives for the coming decades
* Gary Dymski, University of California Center Sacramento: Reimagining finance in a post-crisis world of neoliberal design mechanisms?
* Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS, London: Will the crisis change the course of financialisation?

12.15-13.15 Lunch

13.15-15.30 Parallel Sessions

Contemporary Finance, Regulation and the Real Economy
* Malcolm Sawyer, Leeds University Business School Re-structuring the financial sector to reduce the burdens imposed on the economy
* Jan Toporowski, SOAS, London: Institutional investors and forced indebtedness: The theory of capital market inflation revisited
* Paulo L dos Santos, SOAS, London: The distinctive content of consumption debt – Varieties of Financialisation
* Engelbert Stockhammer, Vienna University of Economics and Business: The finance-dominated accumulation regime, income distribution and the present crisis
* Trevor Evans, Berlin School of Economics: Limits of finance-led capitalism
* Claude Serfati, University of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines: From securitisation to fictitious capital : a political economy of the financial crisis

15.30-15.45 Coffee

15.45-18.00 Plenary
The Social Costs and Implications of Financialisation
* Karel Williams and Ismail Erturk, CRESC, Manchester: Regulatory closure, city elites and the politics of banking reform
* Andrew Leyshon, University of Nottingham: Financialisation ‘off-plan’: Domesticating financial futures and the
displacement of UK buy-to-let
* Robin Blackburn, University of Essex

For more information, contact rmf@soas.ac.uk, or visit http://www.soas.ac.uk/events/event54441.html
 ___________
Jeff Powell
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
University of London
+44 (0)7817184435

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

DeadwingWORK, PLAY & BOREDOM

Call for Papers on ‘Work, Play & Boredom’ for an ephemera Conference at University of St. Andrews, 5-7 May 2010. Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2010.

In recent years, play has become an abiding concern in the popular business literature and a crucial aspect of organizational culture. While managerial interest in play has certainly been with us for some time, there is a sense that organizations are becoming ever-more receptive to incorporating fun and frivolity into everyday working life. Team-building exercises, simulation games, puzzle-solving activities, office parties, themed dress-down days, and colourful, aesthetically-stimulating workplaces are notable examples of this trend. Through play, employees are encouraged to express themselves and their capabilities, thus enhancing job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment. Play also serves to unleash an untapped creative potential in management thinking that will supposedly result in innovative product design, imaginative marketing strategies and, ultimately, superior organizational performance. Play, it seems, is a very serious business indeed.

But this has not always been the case. Until very recently, play was seen as the antithesis of work. Classical industrial theory, for examples, hinges on a fundamental distinction between waged labour and recreation. Play at work is thought to pose a threat not only to labour discipline, but also to the very basis of the wage bargain: in exchange for a day’s pay, workers are expected to leave their pleasures at home. Given this context, we can well understand Adorno’s (1978: 228) comment that the purposeless play of children – completely detached from selling one’s labour to earn a living – unconsciously rehearses the ‘right life’. But play no longer holds the promise of life after capitalism, as it once did for Adorno; today, the ‘unreality of games’ is fully incorporated within the reality of  
organizations. When employees are urged to reach out to their ‘inner child’ (Miller, 1997: 255), it becomes clear that the traditional boundary between work and play is in the process of being demolished.

A certain utopianism underpins contemporary debates about play at work, evoking the pre-Lapsarian ideal of a happy life without hard work. In this respect, organizations seem to have taken notice of Burke’s (1971: 47) compelling vision of paradise: ‘My formula for utopia is simple: it is a community in which everyone plays at work and works at play. Anything less would fail to satisfy me for long’. But such idealism is not necessarily desirable. For while play promises to relieve the monotony and boredom of work, it is intimately connected to new forms of management control: it is part of the panoply of techniques that seek to align the personal desires of workers with bottom-line corporate objectives. We should not be surprised, then, when an overbearing emphasis on fun in the workplace leads to cynicism, alienation, and resentment from employees (Fleming, 2005).

While play at work has been extensively discussed in the popular and academic literature, the role of boredom in organisations has been somewhat neglected. It seems that boredom is destined to share the fate of other ‘negative emotions’, such as anger and contempt, which have generally been silenced in organization studies (Pelzer 2005). But boredom remains an important part of organisational life. As Walter Benjamin (1999: 105) observes, ‘we are bored when we don’t know what we are waiting for’. Boredom thus contains a sense of anticipation, even promise: ‘Boredom is the threshold to great deeds’ (ibid.). Since capitalism is preoccupied with fun and games, perhaps it is boredom rather than play that now serves unconsciously to rehearse the ‘right life’ in contemporary times.

This ephemera conference and special issue ask its participants to explore the interrelated themes of work, play, and boredom alongside an exploration of the cultural and political context out of which they have emerged.

Possible topics include:
–    The politics of play
–    Play and reality
–    Anthropology of play
–    Play and utopia
–    The boredom of play
–    Boredom as resistance
–    Identity and authenticity when played
–    The blurring of work and play
–    Playfulness at work
–    Creativity and play
–    Experience economy
–    Management games
–    Cultures of fun
–    Play and pedagogy
–    Seriousness and indifference
–    Foolishness and fooling around
–    Tedium and repetition
–    Humour, jokes, and cynicism
–    Childishness and management
–    Invention and innovation through play
–    Organizing spontaneity

The best papers of the conference will be published in a special issue of ephemera.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Professor Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Author of many books, including his recent Power at Play: The Relationship between Play, Work and Governance (2009, Palgrave Macmillan).

Professor René ten Bos, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His many books include Fashion and Utopia in Management Thinking (John Benjamins, 2000).

Dates and Location:

5-7 May 2010 at School of Management, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.

Deadline, Conference Website, and Further Information:

The deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2010. The abstracts should be submitted as a Word document to Martyna Sliwa at martyna.sliwa@newcastle.ac.uk  The conference fee has not been set yet, as it is dependent on the number of participants, but will be kept to a minimum. PhD candidates pay a reduced fee.

Further information about the conference can be found on the conference website: http://www.ephemeraweb.org/conference With queries, you can also contact one of the conference organizers: Bent Meier Sørensen (bem.lpf@cbs.dk), Lena Olaison (lo.lpf@cbs.dk), Martyna Sliwa (martyna.sliwa@ncl.ac.uk), Nick Butler (nick.butler@st-andrews.ac.uk), Stephen Dunne (s.dunne@le.ac.uk), Sverre Spoelstra (sverre.spoelstra@fek.lu.se).

References:

Adorno, T. (1978) Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. London and New York: Verso.
Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press.
Burke, R. (1971) ‘“Work” and “play”’, Ethics, 82(1): 33-47.
Fleming, P. (2005) ‘Workers’ playtime? Boundaries and cynicism in a “culture of fun” programme’, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 41(3): 285-303.
Miller, J. (1997) ‘All work and no play may be harming your business’, Management Development Review, 10(6/7): 254-255.
Pelzer, P. (2005) ‘Contempt and organization: Present in practice – Ignored by research?’ Organization Studies, 26(8): 1217-1227.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Deadwing

Deadwing

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

ModernismMODERNISM AFTER POSTMODERNISM

The Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London presents:

Modernism After Postmodernism: Is there a future beyond capitalist realism?
November 11th 2009
2:00pm – 5:00pm
UEL Docklands Campus
Room EB.1.01
(First floor, main building, turn left upon entering the main square after leaving Cyprus DLR, Cyprus DLR is literally situated at the campus)
Free, All welcome

Has the idea of ‘postmodernism’ left any legacy but that of a generalised capitulation to the demands of liberal capitalism? What can contemporary urbanism learn from the era of unabashed ‘militant modernism’? Is the most controversial living philosopher, Alain Badiou, with his radical re-conceptualisation of Truth, Event and Subject, to be understood as advocating a neo-modernist programme, or something quite different? Can there be any progressive radicalism that does not ultimately embrace the revolutionising logic of modernism?

Speakers:

Mark Fisher
Capitalist Realism, or the Political-Economic Logic Of Postmodernism
Mark Fisher teaches at UEL, the City Lit and Goldsmiths and is the author of Capitalist Realism (Zer0, 2009)

Nina Power
Is Badiou a Modernist?
Nina Power is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University and the author of One-Dimensional Woman (Zer0, 2009)

Owen Hatherley
They Are Rebuilding The City, Always: Regeneration now and its post-war predecessors
Owen Hatherley is a freelance writer, a researcher at Birkbeck and author of Militant Modernism (Zer0 2009)

Jeremy Gilbert
New Times Again: Legacies of Left Postmodernism
Jeremy Gilbert teaches at UEL and is the author of Anticapitalism and Culture (Berg 2008)

Here is something I wrote on Postmodernism and Education:

Rikowski, G. (2008) Postmodern Dereliction in the Face of Neoliberal Education Policy, 27th April, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Postmodern%20Dereliction%20in%20the%20Face%20of%20Neoliberal%20Education%20Policy

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk