The work of Jim McGuigan

Friday 1 December 2017, 10:45-6pm
Northampton Suite, University Building, City, University of London, Northampton Square EC1V 0HB
Free but please register here:

Speakers include: 
Stuart Allan (Professor of Journalism and Communication, Cardiff University)
Ros Brunt (Research Fellow in Media Studies, Sheffield Hallam University) 
Kate Lacey (Professor of Media History & Theory, University of Sussex) 
Jim McGuigan (Emeritus Professor of Cultural Analysis, Loughborough University) 
Angela McRobbie (Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths) 
Toby Miller (Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, Murdoch University) 
Graham Murdock (Professor of Culture and Economy, Loughborough University) 
Deborah Philips (Professor of Literature and Cultural History, University of Brighton) 
Tom Steele (Senior Honorary Research Fellow, University of Glasgow) 
Nick Stevenson (Reader, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham)
Chris Rojek (Professor of Sociology, City University London) 
Garry Whannel (Emeritus Professor of Media Cultures, University of Bedfordshire)

2017 is the 25 year anniversary of the publication of Cultural Populism by Jim McGuigan. Insisting that we foreground the relationship between culture and the economy, and avoid idealist forms of analysis which reproduce the celebratory norms of corporate culture, it created a considerable stir in cultural studies and reinvigorated debates over how we understand the relationship between culture, politics, power and capitalism. Cultural Populism identified themes that he has continued to work on since then with Cool Capitalism and Neoliberal Culture, marking the beginning of what would be a formidable contribution to cultural studies.

This one-day seminar will reflect on Jim McGuigan’s contribution to the field, on the development of cultural studies since the intervention of Cultural Populism, and the meanings of populism and commercialism in relation to contemporary culture. In an age of Brexit, Trump, social media and consumer citizenship, what progress have we made towards the kind of ‘critical populism’ that McGuigan argued for – and what other approaches and tools are needed?

10:45   Arrival

11:00    Welcome: Marie Moran and Jo Littler

11:15   Panel 1: Revisiting Cultural Populism
Ros Brunt, ‘Class and Television’
Tom Steele, ‘Before Culture was Popular’
Deborah Philips, ‘In Defence of Reading “Trash”’
Garry Whannel, ‘Is it “the economy, stupid”? Economic relations and cultural
studies: some reflections on Jim McGuigan’s Cultural Populism’

12:45    Lunch

14:00   Panel 2: Mediating populism now
Kate Lacey, ‘Echo Chambers and the Cultural Politics of Listening’
Stuart Allan, ‘Picturing Populism, Fabricating Fakery, Imagining Ideology’
Graham Murdock, ‘Digital Populism, Digital Feudalism’

15:15   Break

15:30   Panel 3: Politics and Populism
Angela McRobbie, ‘Arendt to Gilroy and the populism of the new /alt right’ 
Nick Stevenson, ‘Renewing Marxist Critique? Radical Humanism and Neoliberal Culture’
Chris Rojek, 'Cultural Populism and "Unity Through Difference":  Go Whistle’
Toby Miller via digital link

16:45   Jim McGuigan:  Response

Register here:
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