Publications

The Occasional Papers, Institute for Culture and Society (tOPICS)

The latest tOPICS papers are:

New Books

Organization after Social Media

By Ned Rossiter and Geert Lovink

Organized networks are an alternative to the social media logic of weak links and their secretive economy of data mining. They put an end to freestyle friends, seeking forms of empowerment beyond the brief moment of joyful networking. This speculative manual calls for nothing less than social technologies based on enduring time. Analyzing contemporary practices of organization through networks as new institutional forms, organized networks provide an alternative to political parties, trade unions, NGOs, and traditional social movements. Dominant social media deliver remarkably little to advance decision-making within digital communication infrastructures. The world cries for action, not likes.

Organization after Social Media (opens in a new window) explores a range of social settings from arts and design, cultural politics, visual culture and creative industries, disorientated education and the crisis of pedagogy to media theory and activism. Lovink and Rossiter devise strategies of commitment to help claw ourselves out of the toxic morass of platform suffocation.

The World Cup Chronicles - 31 Days that Rocked Brazil

By Jorge Knijnik

Jorge Knijnik's wonderful new book, The World Cup Chronicles - 31 Days that Rocked Brazil (opens in a new window), is a unique and different look at the 2014 World Cup and its social, cultural, political and sporting impact on the people of Brazil.

The World Cup wasn't 'just' a football tournament for Brazilian people - even though it came to be defined by the infamous 7-1 semi-final result against eventual winners, Germany - but it was part of the national psyche and important social change, overlaid by what we now know as corrupt practices within world football which included those in power in football in Brazil over decades.

Knijnik's book looks at before, during and after the World Cup and discusses the much-vaunted 'legacy' issues to which FIFA has always pointed as being what they give back to a nation.

Museums, Power, Knowledge: Selected Essays

By Tony Bennett

Cover of Museums, Power, KnowledgeFew perspectives have invigorated the development of critical museum studies over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as Foucault’s account of the relations between knowledge and power and their role in processes of governing. Within this literature, Tony Bennett’s work stands out as having marked a series of strategic engagements with Foucault’s work to offer a critical genealogy of the public museum, offering an account of its nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century development that has been constantly alert to the politics of museums in the present.

Museums, Power, Knowledge (opens in a new window)brings together new research with a set of essays initially published in diverse contexts, making available for the first time the full range of Bennett’s critical museology. Ranging across natural history, anthropological art, geological and history museums and their precursors in earlier collecting institutions, and spanning the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries in discussing museum practices in Britain, Australia, the USA, France and Japan, it offers a compelling account of the shifting political logics of museums over the modern period.

As a collection that aims to bring together the ‘signature’ work of a museum theorist and historian whose work has long occupied a distinctive place in museum/society debates, Museums, Power, Knowledge will be of interest to researchers, teachers and students working in the fields of museum and heritage studies, cultural history, cultural studies and sociology, as well as museum professionals and museum visitors.

Media Anthropology for the Digital Age

By Anna Cristina Pertierra

Media Anthropology for the Digital Age coverThe field of anthropology took a long time to discover the significance of media in modern culture. In this important new book, Anna Pertierra tells the story of how a field - once firmly associated with the study of esoteric cultures - became a central part of the global study of media and communication. She recounts the rise of anthropological studies of media, the discovery of digital cultures, and the embrace of ethnographic methods by media scholars around the world. Bringing together longstanding debates in sociocultural anthropology with recent innovations in digital cultural research, this book explains how anthropology fits into the story and study of media in the contemporary world. It charts the mutual disinterest and subsequent love affair that has taken place between the fields of anthropology and media studies in order to understand how and why such a transformation has taken place. Moreover, the book shows how the theories and methods of anthropology offer valuable ways to study media from a ground-level perspective and to understand the human experience of media in the digital age.

Media Anthropology for the Digital Age (opens in a new window)will be of interest to students and scholars of media and communication, anthropology, and cultural studies, as well as anyone wanting to understand the use of anthropology across wider cultural debates.

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Book Giveaway

To mark 20 years since Princess Diana's death, ICS is giving away limited copies of Planet Diana: Cultural Studies and Global Mourning, edited by ICS researcher Prof. Ien Ang with contributions from ICS Adjunct Zoe Sofoulis. Email our office(opens in a new window) for a free copy of the book.

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Read the latest papers in tOPICS.