[csaa-forum] Tony Bennett masterclass in June

Scott.Brook Scott.Brook at canberra.edu.au
Wed Feb 1 13:08:51 CST 2012

Aesthetics, government, freedom
an advanced seminar with Tony Bennett (Institute for Culture and Society, UWS)

Place:  University of Canberra
Date:   10am - 5pm, Thursday, 7th June, 2012
Eligibility: Participation is limited to postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers (those who have been awarded a PhD in the last 5 years). Places are limited to twenty-five and the selection of participants will be based on an application process (see below).
Cost: There is no cost for attendance for accepted participants. Participants travelling from interstate will be eligible to apply for a limited number of travel bursaries.
Co-sponsored by: the University of Canberra / the Asian and Pacific Cultural Studies Network, Australian National University / the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, Australian National University

About the theme
In recent years the cultural theory of Pierre Bourdieu has gained traction in a number of fields that cross the humanities and social sciences, including cultural policy studies, media studies, and cultural sociology, and has been of major significance for projects in transnational cultural studies, including Asian and Pacific cultural studies. Bourdieu's sociology of aesthetic taste has proven particularly attractive to researchers seeking to link evidence-based accounts of cultural practices to the concerns of governmental agencies in the arts and culture sectors. Such studies have sought to empirically test Bourdieu's thesis on the role of aesthetic culture for social reproduction, and qualify the explanatory remit of Bourdieu's specific concepts, such as cultural capital and social field. Tony Bennett has been a key contributor to such an endeavour. Furthermore, in recent years Bennett has sought to bring Bourdieu's methodologies into dialogue with neighbouring approaches, such as Foucault's work on governmentality and more recent attempts to rethink the ways in which 'culture' and 'the social' have been materially made up and brought into relation with one another as historically distinct modes of governmental intervention.

About the seminar
The morning and early afternoon sessions will provide an advanced introduction to debates concerning the relations between aesthetics, government and freedom. Central to this discussion will be a focus on Tony Bennett's own work. In the morning session Tony Bennett will discuss some of his recently published articles that engage with Bourdieu's sociology of aesthetics, Foucault's perspectives on government and freedom, and Jacques Rancière's aesthetic regime of art. As preparation for this, participants will be provided with relevant background readings in advance. The format of the afternoon session will be an open discussion in which participants will have the opportunity to discuss the day's theme and relate it to their own current research projects. As preparation for this, participants are required to submit short written descriptions of their research which will be circulated to the group prior to the seminar.
Lunch and morning and afternoon tea will be provided.

Applications will be assessed with reference to the above eligibility criteria as well as the relevance of the seminar theme to the applicant's current research. In addition to the attached application form, applicants are required to submit a one page statement of their current research. All applicants will be notified promptly about their acceptance, including the availability of a bursary for interstate participants. All accepted participants will receive a reading pack and program six weeks prior to the seminar. Application forms can be downloaded here:
Applications are due Friday 9th March.

About the presenter
Tony Bennett is currently Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory and Research Director (Designate) at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. Previously he has held the positions of Professor of Sociology at the Open University where he was also a Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change, and Professor of Cultural Studies at Griffith University where he was also Director of the ARC Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy.
Professor Bennett's interests span a number of areas across the social sciences and humanities, with significant contributions to the fields of cultural policy, literary theory, cultural studies, cultural sociology, and museum studies. His most recent books include the coauthored study on cultural consumption in the UK Culture, Class, Distinction (2009), Critical Trajectories: Culture, Society, Intellectuals and Culture and Society: Collected Essays (2007), Pasts Beyond Memories: Evolution, Museums, Colonialism (2004), (edited with Patrick Joyce) Material Powers: Cultural Studies, History and the Material Turn (2010) and (edited with Chris Healy) Assembling Culture (2011).

Scott Brook
Assistant Professor of Writing
Faculty of Arts and Design
University of Canberra
scott.brook at canberra.edu.au

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