International Conference Examines Knowledge, Culture and Economy

KCS banner with text and indigenous design

Academics, policy makers and industry heads are gathering at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) this week for an international conference to investigate traditionally 'economic' issues by placing them in a broader social context.

The Knowledge/Culture /Economy International Conference will take place at the University of Western Sydney's Parramatta campus on 3-5 November.

The conference will bring together theorists and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds to assess the shifting roles of knowledge, culture and economy in contemporary and historical scenarios of globalisation.

Against the backdrop of some suggestions that the Powerhouse Museum' could move to Western Sydney and Premier Mike Baird's comments that too many of Sydney's cultural institutions are located in the city at the expense of the West, an invited external expert panel cultural will examine how to build local cultural infrastructure.

Chaired by Professor Deborah Stevenson from ICS, the panel will take place on Monday November 3 at 4.30pm and features:

  • David Borger, Western Sydney Director, Sydney Business Chamber
  • Chris Gibson, Professor of Human Geography, University of Wollongong
  • Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Parramatta Artists' Studios
  • Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, Cultural Ambassador for Western Sydney and Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

The conference will also hosts a wide range of national and international speakers to address traditionally 'economic' issues by putting them in broader social, cultural, institutional and historical contexts, including:

  • Aihwa Ong, University of California, Berkeley, 'Why Singapore Trumps Iceland: Gathering Genes in the Wild'. Professor Ong is currently investigating DNA research in Singapore and the emergence of a biomedical network in Asia.
  • Timothy Mitchell, Colombia University, 'Capitalising on the Economy'. Professor Mitchell will discuss how the birth of the economy is better understood in relation to a wider and earlier development, the rise of the large corporation. 
  • Katherine Gibson, ICS, 'Postcapitalist Practices of Commoning'. It is time rethink the possibilities for collective action, not only as a public with voice and vote, but as a community-without-essence in which making and sharing a commons is a living commitment. 
  • Jorge Knijnik, ICS, 'An Ethnographic Study of the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club Fandom Culture'. By using a qualitative ethnographic approach, with face to face interviews, participation in the RBB pre-matches marches, Dr Knijnik uncovers the special "meanings" associated with the fans' participation.
  • Donald McNeill, ICS,"Building a Tech Hub: Scenographic Practices in the Production of Sydney's 'Silicon Beach'". Professor McNeill provides a cultural economy reading of Sydney's 'Silicon Beach', and how internet entrepreneurs, technology investors, and policy-makers have worked in Sydney in recent years.