Contributors listed in alphabetical order by last name, presentation title, summary of presentation, and short biog.
Mr Anthony Barnett
1968 was a radically left moment that initiated a long period of right-wing domination politically. 2018 is a radically right moment that will start a period of left-wing transformation
I am a 68er who embraced the importance of human rights and co-ordinated Charter 88 - the campaign for constitutional reform in the UK that influenced New Labour - but not enough! I co-founded openDemocracy in 2001. My latest book is The Lure of Greatness, England's Brexit & America's Trump
Dr Penny Bernstock
Towards a strategy for tackling gentrification in East London
In 1968 East London was experiencing de-industrialisation and population flight. When Ruth Glass predicted that London was at risk of gentrification it was hard to imagine that this would happen in East London. By 1980 London Docklands was at the centre of a battle for land and land use that fuelled the displacement of working class communities. The London Docklands Development Corporation was established to implement a market led approach to regeneration that was hostile to local needs and local accountability. There was a mobilisation of local interests including trade unions, church groups, community groups, local authorities and supported by GLC funded organisations such as the Docklands Forum, who were able to undertake research to challenge the approach. These groups won the ideological battle with London Docklands synonymous with how not to do regeneration. Paradoxically the slow exodus of working class communities has persisted. Roll forward 20 years and Ken Livingstone and Tony Blair set out a very different vision for another part of East London predicated on utilising a mega event in the Lower Lea Valley and underpinned by a commitment to inclusive growth in direct opposition to the approach applied in London Docklands.
Five years after the games it is becoming clear that rather than promoting inclusive growth it is accelerating the gentrification of the area, with substantial house price rises and displacement of local communities. Resistance to the emerging legacy is evident but it is more fractured. Policy makers are working with good intentions around inclusion in terms of employment and housing, however, the tools that are being used are limited and will not create sustainable futures for working class communities. What is needed is a mobilisation and strengthening of groups to imagine and advocate a genuinely inclusive future.
Penny Bernstock was previously Director of the Centre for East London Studies at UEL and Reader in urban regeneration at the University of East London, she has always lived and worked in East London. She has published extensively on affordable housing, urban regeneration, the legacy of London 2012 and worked with SPLASH(South Poplar and Limehouse Action for Secure Housing) She previously worked at Docklands forum and works with Citizens UK, Newham Olympic Committee.
Prof. Shane Blackman
Youth Misrepresentation and Agency
In this short presentation I will offer some biographical reflection on being supervised by Phil Cohen as a PhD research student and how his concern for practice and theory influenced the development of youth studies and my own research trajectory. I shall focus on a key issue for the May Day Manifesto 1968 that of Misrepresentation, but in the contemporary context of tabloid press accusations and negative labelling of young adults in British society. I will introduce material and analysis from my two recent studies focused on Youth Marginality in Britain: contemporary studies of austerity, followed by an attempt to reintroduce agency in to Subcultural studies through development of C. Wright Mills ideas to focus on the Subcultural Imagination.
Shane Blackman is a Professor of Cultural Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. I was an ESRC PhD scholarship student at the Institute of Education. I was supervised by Professor Basil Bernstein, and Professor Phil Cohen. My Examiners were: Professor Laurie Taylor and Professor David Downes. My first academic appointment was on a feminist action-based research project: Girls and Occupational Choice ESRC with Lynne Chisholm, Janet Holland and Tuula Gordon. My books include Youth: positions and oppositions - style, sexuality and schooling; The Subcultural Imagination: Theory, Research and Reflexivity in Contemporary Youth Cultures, and Youth Marginality in Britain: contemporary studies of austerity. Shane is an editor of the Journal of Youth Studies and YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Research and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. His work on youth subcultures, ‘underclass’ and female youth culture, features in UK Sociology A-Level syllabi.
Dr Anna Bull
Holding institutions accountable: staff sexual misconduct in higher education
The 1752 Group is an activist and lobby organisation formed to address the issue of staff sexul misconduct towards students in higher education. The issue of sexual exploitation of students by academic staff is usually silenced and hidden, but it calls into question the apparent success of women in higher education and draws attention to the enduring inequalities that are associated with gender and other characteristics that make students vulnerable to this form of abuse.
In this talk I draw on ongoing research and activism on this topic to ask to what extent are higher education institutions being held accountable for the abuses of power that go on within them, and to what extent (if at all) feminist activists have managed to dismantle the structures of patriarchal authority that these institutions uphold and represent.
Dr Anna Bull is a Senior Lecturer in sociology at the University of Portsmouth, and co-founder of The 1752 Group, a research and lobby organisation working to address staff sexual misconduct in higher education. Her research interests include class and gender inequalities in classical music education; and staff sexual misconduct in higher education. Anna has published in leading sociology and music education journals, and is co-editor with Kim Allen of a special issue of Sociological Research Online into ‘character education’ in the UK. She worked with the National Union of Students on their recent report Power in the Academy: staff sexual misconduct in UK higher education. Her monograph Class, control, and classical music, looking at cultures of class and gender among young middle class classical musicians in the south of England, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.
The problem of generations (again)
In the recent past we have witnessed glimpses of the generations through the window of representation and mass voting. The UK Brexit referendum was heavily impacted by the voting behaviour and engagement of both the youth and senior citizens. Trump’s election produced a wave of campus and street protests in which sections of youth played critically important roles. Next came the snap General Election in the UK, with a major mobilisation of the young in the UK who turned out to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile the crisis of social care intensifies as the ageing population wend their way through an austerity damaged social welfare system. Social anxieties are mobilised once more.
The concept of generation still appears to offer something, albeit with limits, as a resource for thinking through our generational travails. How have we arrived at this juncture? How can we rethink the problem of generations to support our reimagining of the future?
Judith Burnett is engaged with the practice of sociology in communities and organisations to bring about positive social change. Judith's substantive research area is in the problem of generations, in particular with concepts of power, identity, learning and exchange. She is interested in intergenerational justice and the long term sustainability of social and economic arrangements. She works as a coach and a researcher.
Prof. Andrew Calcutt
Former record producer turned journalist and polemicist, pioneering online editor, 'hackademic' and poet.
Dr Mike Duggan
Mike is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Cultures the Department of Digital Humanities, Kings College London. He is interested in the complex intersections that unfold between digital technologies and cultural practices in everyday life. He has a PhD in cultural geography, which examined everyday mapping practices in the digital age. Currently his research interests are focused on everyday mapping practices, digital mapping technologies, sharing mobilities and applications of digital ethnography.
Dr Darren Ellis
This is not required as I am part of a panel
Darren Ellis is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of Psychosocial Theory and Practice at the University of East London. His research on the social psychology of emotion and affect has ventured into a number of contexts, for example, in counselling practices, surveillance studies, police research and experiences of social media use. Presently, Darren is working with colleagues across the UK to develop a new psychosocial method concerned with empathies. He is the co-author (with Ian Tucker) of The Social Psychology of Emotion (Sage, 2015) and co-editor of Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Darren also worked with Phil on a project when he was a truant from a secondary school in Hackney about 35 years ago 🙂
Dr Jonathan Gardner
The (brown)fields beneath: mega-scale urban change, archaeology, and heritage
What role can the material-traces of the past play in situations of rapidly changing urban development? Mega-projects in London, such as the transformation of the docklands and the Olympics in Stratford, are often framed as unproblematic ‘regeneration’ of former industrial areas, and hence, often ignore the complex and complicated heritages linked to these landscapes and their populations, past and present. This presentation challenges such narratives, and explores how archaeological investigation and archival analysis can trouble simplistic discourses of ‘industrial wasteland’ or ‘brownfield’ that are often presented by developers (and sometimes local and central government) in such places. I argue that, in using such methods, we can demonstrate radical and hidden histories that remain beneath the surface and in the archive, and that knowledge and dissemination of alternative visions of the past - as ‘heritage’ or otherwise - can act as a powerful challenge to those redevelopment projects which employ selective and simplistic visions of the past to gain legitimacy.
Jonathan Gardner is a Teaching Fellow in Heritage and Museum Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. His doctorate considered the archaeological traces of ‘mega events’ (such as the Great Exhibition and Stratford site of the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games). Previously, he completed an MA in Cultural Heritage at UCL, following an undergraduate degree in Archaeology . He worked for four years as a commercial field archaeologist in London excavating urban sites on large projects like the 2012 Olympic Park and Thameslink at London Bridge. He is especially interested in how visions of the past, present and future intersect on large projects, and how the material traces of the past are used to legitimise or challenge development. His current research examines large-scale anthropogenic landscape transformation, including mining, infrastructure construction, reclamation and dumping, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.
Dr Anthony Gunter
How’s Life in London? leisure, pleasure, and dangerous realities ‘on Road’.
UK rap group the London Posse’s song and video “How’s Life in London” paints a funny yet still menacing picture of Black British street culture in the early 1990s. The direct influences – musical styles, dress wear, speech patterns – of Jamaica and urban Black America are also clearly in evidence. Almost two decades later, London rapper Giggs’ track and video “Hustle On” (2010) presents a much darker subterranean world, inhabited by Black British urban youth, characterised by violent crime. Presently, Britain’s urban ‘Road cultures’ (Gunter, 2008) are even more renowned for the creation of their own unique aesthetics, fashions, and styles as evidenced by the musical forms of “grime” and “road rap”. Drawing upon empirical data gleaned from twenty years of ethnographic youth research undertaken in East London, this chapter explores the themes of: leisure, pleasure, identity, as well as risk and danger ‘on Road’.
Anthony Gunter is a Principal Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of East London. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of youth cultures and transitions, race/ethnicity and crime, and ethnography. He is the author of ‘Growing up Bad: Black Youth, Road Culture & Badness in an East London Neighbourhood’ (Tufnell Press, 2010), and ‘Race, Gangs and Youth Violence: Policy, Prevention and Policing (Policy Press, 2017). During the past 20 years he has undertaken a number of ethnographic research projects in East London exploring youth lifestyles and (alternative) transitions, serious youth violence, policing and community-led Third and Statutory Sector responses. Prior to his career in academia Anthony worked for over 14 years in both South and East London, within a variety of community settings, as a detached community and youth worker and Project / Area Manager.
Prof. Jonathan Hardy
Introductory remarks as chair of workshop session.
Jonathan Hardy is Professor of Media and Communications at the University of East London and leads the MA Media and Communication Industries. He is active in the Media Reform Coalition and is Secretary of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom. He writes and comments
on media industries, media and advertising, communications regulation, and international media systems. His books include Critical Political Economy of the Media (2014), Cross-Media Promotion (2010) and Western Media Systems (2008). He is co-editor of the fourth edition of The Advertising Handbook (2018) and the third edition in 2009. He is series editor of Routledge Critical Advertising Studies, is a member of the editorial boards of Digital Journalism (Taylor and Francis), Political Economy of Communication and TripleC. He is Principal Investigator for the Branded Content Research Network, a project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The network seeks to bring together academic researchers, industry, trade unions and civil
society interests to explore the practices and implications of branded content, native advertising
and the convergence of media and marketing communications.
Dr Anders Høg Hansen
Revolution for a quid? Activism and intergenerational memory in Copenhagen
At a busy corner in a rustic neighbourhood of Copenhagen 4 young people sell their newspaper 'Revolution' - for a quid. A recent newspaper article paint a picture of a general low of activism in Denmark. I meet them (10 sept) to engage further in a reflection on their work, and their immediate and more distant pasts of influence. They are all in their 20s, new to Copenhagen, coming from the country side of Denmark with Danish parents and grandparents - 1st generation immigrants, they note jokingly.
A few days later (13 Sept) I meet a young newly elected municipal politician of Kurdish-Turkish decent, a part of a new generation of prominent public intellectuals or voices - with parents coming from elsewhere. 'I am no victim, I am here to win, not to survive', she noted in a wellknown bloggers short 'identity politics exposures' program, a Palestinian-Dane taking people for a car ride to debate a current theme.
The presentation unfolds history and contemporary activist politics around Copenhagen, through a personal and intergenerational focus, reflecting upon the tensions between the presently lived and the passed-on, the legacy of '68, their 'reminiscence bumps' and their future horizons.
Anders Høg Hansen is senior lecturer in media and communication studies at School of Art and Communication at Malmö University (earlier obtaining an MA and PhD in cultural studies from UEL and Nottingham Trent). In Malmö he is contributing mainly to its MA program in Communication for Development, while researching migration and conflict memories, intergenerational memory and representation, and art and social change. He was recently involved in the movement Women Making History, a part of the Living Archives project (forthcoming article in Crossings, Intellect) and have edited the volume Memory on Trial (with Hemer and Tufte) and written a monograph on Bob Dylan and the 1960s, the latter in Danish.
Ms Patricia Holland
The sit-in at Hornsey College of Art
This presentation will be based on a film about the 1968 sit-in at Hornsey College of Art which I made at the time in collaboration with the participants. The presentation will compare the experience of the participants with contemporary forms of digital activism and argue that the differences are significant -particularly in relation to space and temporality. It will consider the film as archive, and as itself part of the action.
Patricia Holland is a writer, lecturer and researcher. For a number of years she worked as a television editor and independent filmmaker. She has published widely in the fields of photography, television and visual culture. She lectures pat-time at Bournemouth University.
Prof. Robert Hollands
Politics and the Youth Question
The presentation explores the political dimensions of the youth question (tying into the conference theme of May 68) specifically with reference to my 1980s work on youth training, a study I conducted into the UK student occupation in 2010, and through looking at the generational aspect of my most recent research on alternative artist spaces from the late 60s until the present day.
Robert Hollands is a Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University and is the author of The Long Transition: Class, Culture and Youth Training (1990) and co-author of Urban Nightscapes: Youth Culture, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power (2003). His most recent research project, 'Urban Cultural Movements and the Struggle for Alternative Creative Spaces' was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (2015-17).
Ms Debbie Kent
Tearing up the Map
Since 2013 the Demolition Project has been enabling people to take an imaginative wrecking ball to eyesores, carbuncles, politically loaded spaces and sites of personal trauma, leaving holes in cities including London, Moscow, Leicester and Manchester.
Inspired by Bakhunin's proclamation that the passion for destruction is also a creative passion, and by a sense of people's bewilderment and powerlessness in the face of planning decisions, the Demolition Project invites ordinary people to reshape their city by tearing up the map, literally. Using a large street map, anyone who participates can demolish anything they want – buildings, streets, entire areas – by cutting it off the map with a scalpel; the only rule is that they must provide their reason for doing so in exchange. The project generates both alternative maps – maps made of holes, word-maps of memories, emotions and ideas – and also conversations around why and how people would like to remake their city. The presentation will discuss some of this continuing research and the unexpected responses that have been emerging.
Debbie Kent is half of the Demolition Project, a collaboration with Russian artist Alisa Oleva. Together we explore mapping, walking and urban life, developing frameworks and strategies for thinking about the city and its relationship with us in ways that can be more (or less) participatory and performative. One way is through walking as an artistic strategy, to suggest alternative views of and approaches to moving through the city; another is by using tasks and instructions to provoke ideas, start conversations and open up possibilities for the imagination. The Demolition Project has made work in London, Moscow, Berlin, Belgrade, Vilnius, Manchester and Ekaterinburg, and will be inviting people in Leeds to reimagine their city at Compass festival in November. Debbie is also researching the soundscapes of intensive urban development in the Royal Docks area for a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London.
Mrs Jina Lee
I am researching the establishment of New Malden in South-West London around Joseonjok (Chinese-Korean) people, conducting an in-depth examination of the lives of the Joseonjok residents. The community has been refusing to be recorded or shown in society due to their illegal status, moving from place to place for economic and political reasons. Me as an artist, at the same time, ethnographic researcher, art especially drawing rather than sounds / video recording, became an ideal method to do hidden/prohibited research and to map around them.
At this conference, I would like to share a tool that I created for recording: a process that I named the talkingmap. Through the example of talkingmap, it is to show how the act of drawing enabled me to make interviewees feel more secure in terms of privacy and trust, and how my drawing paper become a two-way interactive platform.
Jina Lee is an artist and researcher studying PhD at University of Arts London. Lee's artwork and research is concerned with the collapse of territorial boundaries between social, political and geographical space. These are elements which, she believes, are increasingly in a state of fluidity and a perpetually simultaneous movement of emigration. Lee’s work asks, exactly how do people experience this movement, and how can this invisible collapsing boundary be visualized? Lee’s observations and findings, made through various modes of drawing, seek to open the possibility for unsuspected interactions of experience and knowledge in relation to geopolitical and cultural boundary issues.
Dr Ben Little
Introducing "Rethinking the Youth Question"
Is a lecturer in media and cultural politics at UEA. He is also part of the Soundings editorial collective and was series editor of the Radical Future ebook series. His co-authored book (with Jane Arthurs) Russell Brand: Comedy, celebrity, politics came out in 2016.
Dr Aura Lounasmaa
Taking stories: politics of voice and representation in the Calais Jungle
In 2016 a group of academics and students taught a university course in the Calais Jungle. Having been betrayed and misrepresented in the media, the refugee residents of the camp treated all newcomers: journalists, researchers and volunteers with suspicion. While teaching the course and speaking to students about their life stories, and what had lead them to the Jungle, it became evident that students wished these stories to be heard nevertheless. The result was a book, co-authored by 22 students who at some point were residents in the Calais Jungle. In the 'Voices from the Jungle' the stories were told in authors' own words, and then translated, written down, edited, divided into sections, selected, and presented as true voices. The researcher was erased, but does this translate into a self-representation without power imbalances?
Dr Aura Lounasmaa is a lecturer in the Social Sciences, teaching on the foundations programme and in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London. She coordinates the Erasmus+ funded Open Learning Initiative course for refugees and asylum seekers. She was also a member of teaching staff on award-winning Life Stories in the Jungle short course in the Calais refugee camp. Aura's PhD research is on Moroccan women's NGO activism. In it she examined the activism and discursive strategies of rights-based and faith-based women's organisations in Morocco. Her current research interests include ethics and methodologies of refugee activism and education.
Prof. Robert MacDonald
'A New Crisis in Youth Transitions? Underemployment and Precarity as the New Youth Condition'
In this short talk I will suggest that we are in the midst of a crisis in the relationship between education and economy; a crisis that has gone largely unremarked in UK politics and policy debates. It is a crisis that is most visible in the youth phase, as young adults make extended transitions through further and higher education courses to an economy that appears to possess insufficient places for the new cohorts of the well-qualified. Youth policy in the UK has been preoccupied with exhorting working-class young people to 'raise their aspirations' in order to avoid the risk of becoming 'NEET'. This is 'voodoo sociology' that misrecognises the deep and long-term causes of youth's economic marginalisation; processes that have resulted in the widespread precarity and underemployment of even the most aspiring and qualified young adults.
Robert MacDonald is currently Professor of Education and Social Justice at Huddersfield University. He also holds Visiting Professorships at Monash University, Aalborg University and the University of Bristol and a Visiting Fellowship at Nottingham University. He is Editor in Chief (joint) of the Journal of Youth Studies.
He previously worked and studied at the universities of Durham and York, and was Professor of Sociology at Teesside University from 2002-2017, where he worked with colleagues to develop the Teesside Studies of Youth Transitions and Social Exclusion. He has researched and written widely about young people, youth, unemployment, work, poverty, crime, class, inequality and the significance of place. He is currently working on research about: youth, inequality and youth policy; about young adults and the ‘gig economy’; about precarity, generation and class; and on comparative studies of youth in the UK and the MENA (Middle East and North African) countries.
Mr Kenan Malik
How can we understand the legacy, and the myths and realities, of 1968 against the background of the legacy, and the myths and realities, of 1989?
Kenan Malik is a writer lecturer and broadcaster, and a columnist for the Observer and the International New York Times. His books include From Fatwa to Jihad: How the World Changed From The Satanic Verses to Charlie Hebdo and The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics.
Dr Caspar Melville
Jazz dream or Drill nightmare? Two views of London's contemporary black music ecology
What is the current state of black music in the capital? Two very different narratives dominate the headlines: London is in the grip an epidemic of knife and gun violence glorified in and driven by the abrasive sounds of South London Drill, "the violent soundtrack at the heart of London's gangland" (The Sun); or, London is in the midst of an unprecedented jazz renaissance, "one of it headiest yet" (New York Times), a boom of Afro-diasporic musical creativity which is bringing young black Londoners, male and female, onto the bandstand and back to the jazz club. What does a juxtaposition of these two musical genres, and the discourses, of, on the one hand multicultural creativity and integration, and, on the other, social disintegration, tell us about the state of "creative London" in 2018?
Caspar Melville convenes the MA in Global Creative & Cultural Industries at SOAS, university of London. He is a former music journalist, executive editor at openDemocracy.net and editor of New Humanist Magazine. His latest book, a social history of London's black music cultures, is forthcoming from Manchester University Press, and he is a researcher on the AHRC-funded Bass Culture project, the first major academic analysis of the impact of Jamaican music in the UK.
Mr Samer Mustafa
Amplifying voices from European border-zones
Please refer to Marta Welander's summary of presentation. We will be presenting as a duo.
Samer Saifeddin Abdulkarim Mustafa is a field coordinator and researcher for Refugee Rights Europe (RRE), whilst also studying at college in London. He also founded the refugee support group Hopetowns only a few weeks after arriving in the UK in 2016. Prior to this, he was a Calais camp resident, a community leader and a volunteer.
Mr Orson Nava
‘Can’t Wait Till This Day’s Ours’ Grime Music, Urban Space, and Creative Innovation.
Focussing on Grime music producer MC Nyja, one of the case studies in my PhD film project ‘Multicology?’, my talk examines some of the processes of spatial regulation, countermapping and collective commercial enterprise that characterise East London’s underground Grime music scene as a micro creative industries sector.
Orson Nava is a graduate of the Northern Media School and The National Film and Television School and has a background directing dramas and documentaries for the BBC, C4 and ITV and music videos for record labels including Polydor, EMI and Island Records. He and has taught Media, Film Studies and Creative Industries modules at both undergraduate and MA level at The University of East London, Middlesex University, Sheffield Hallam University, and Central Film School and run numerous participatory video projects with young people around the UK. Orson is currently completing a full time funded PhD at the University Of East London focussing on Race, Innovation and the Creative Industries lead regeneration of East London, and is a visiting fellow at the Centre For Research On Migration, Refugees and Belonging.
Prof. Mica Nava
The Counterculture, the Women's Liberation Movement and Alternative Living
The women's liberation movement was a critical part of the ‘long 1968’ – albeit often overlooked, even today. Yet Stuart Hall said that the most enduring and profound legacy of that conjuncture was feminism. This paper will look at the consolidation of the women’s movement at the interface of the radical left, the sexual revolution, black power and the counterculture. Probably its most innovative and utopian political contribution was to insist on the personal as political and on changing the way we lived – on experience and the minutiae of everyday life – as well as challenging existing ways of theorising gender difference. The origins of feminist identity politics lie here, but its current global mainstream #MeToo formation is very different from the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s.
Mica Nava is emeritus professor of cultural studies at the University of East London. Recent publications include Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference (2007), 'Sometimes Antagonistic, Sometimes Ardently Sympathetic: Contradictory Responses to Migrants on Postwar Britain' (2014) and 'Sexual Harassment, #MeToo and Feminism' (2018). `Her relevant articles for this presentation are 'The Family: A Critique of Certain Features' (1972) and 'From Utopian to Scientific Feminism? Critical Analyses of the Family' (1983). All are available at uel.academia.edu/MicaNava
Prof. Anoop Nayak
White Lines: Young People, Conviviality and Conflict in 'Left-Behind' Places
This paper explores young people's forms of attachment and belonging in 'post-Brexit' Britain. Using mobile methods and urban ethnography the study investigates how the live-wires of race come to be ‘charged’ in daily events, happenings and forms of urban territoriality enacted through the local landscape. The role of populist far-Right groups and the particular histories and geographies of neighbourhoods are investigated. Critical to this is the diversity of youth experiences and the ways in which white lines of territoriality are contingently created, crossed-over and re-inscribed through routine habits and actions. Through focusing on young people’s micro-geographies the study exposes the role of race, class and whiteness in ‘left-behind’ post-industrial places.
This paper explores the new geographies of racism in 'post-Brexit' Britain.
Dr Darren Nixon
Working Class Masculinity in Crisis?
This presentation explores the idea of working-class masculinity in crisis. Firstly, I outline the idea of 'redundant masculinities' prompted by the long-run decline of 'men's jobs' in industry, the decline of the male breadwinner, and the cultural values and practices associated with both. I then move on to explore younger working class men's experiences in contemporary education and work. Those with few qualifications and those who lack family support appear particularly disadvantaged and struggle to navigate ‘flexible jobs’, 'poor work' and the dreaded dole office. I briefly reflect on the way the ‘problem’ of working-class male youth has been represented before concluding by asking whether the labour market and social changes social facing working-class men might serve to open up space for new, reconstructed, hybrid or more 'inclusive' masculine identities and/or the extent to which young working class men reproduce more orthodox or traditional versions of working-class masculinity.
Dr Darren Nixon is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Sociology Joints at Leeds Beckett University. His research interests focus on the impact of de-industrialisation and the growth of the 'service economy' on formations of gender and class and particularly working class men. He is co-author (with Keith Grint) of The Sociology of Work (2015) and most recently, 'Yearning to Labour? Working-class Men in Post-industrial Britain (2018). Dr Nixon is Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and sits on the editorial board of the BSA journal Work, Employment & Society.
Dr Daisy Payling
Silence and solidarity: gay men and the left in 1980s Sheffield
In the 1980s Sheffield’s politics was dominated by a labour movement broadly sympathetic to the concerns of gay people. Yet members of the labour movement, many of whom had come of age at a time when and in a place where homosexuality was tolerated as long as it was unarticulated and discreet, held the view that sexuality was a private and individual concern and not an issue for collective politics. This paper traces Sheffield’s gay activism through the 1980s when many gay activists took their politics out of the traditional sphere and into social or pastoral causes. Not always appreciated by the wider left, the development of gay discos and counselling services was inherently political. In those spaces Sheffield’s gay community was formed, and with it came a solidarity that was based on shared subjectivity, and only later recognised by the wider left in Sheffield.
Daisy Payling completed her PhD on grassroots activism and local government in 1980s Sheffield at the University of Birmingham in 2015. Her thesis explores Sheffield City Council’s new urban left project and the points of and limits to solidarity experienced by activists involved in different movements in the city. She is currently attempting to turn this work into a book. Since 2015 Daisy has also researched the history of public health surveys in Britain since 1945 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is now working as a Research Fellow at the University of Essex, researching journalism and women’s health from 1960 to 1990.
Ms Sol Perez-Martinez
1970s Urban trails: Mapping as a First Step Towards Civic Action
After years of urban unrest and public discontent with planning policies, in 1968 the government asked A.M. Skeffington to lead an enquiry for the improvement of public participation in planning. A year later, the Skeffington report ignited the debate and encouraged built environment professionals and community activists to create their own approaches to widen involvement in urban issues. One of the methods proposed was the 'Urban Trail'. Trails were locally-designed self-guided routes to learn about an urban area. Usually implemented through a map, they had the benefit of being low cost and high yield (Goodey, 1975). With community knowledge at the centre of the trails, they developed awareness of the local environment and became a key resource for a critical urban pedagogy. By 1975 there were more than 200 urban trails, making local mapping an accessible first step for environmental action. Could urban trails be useful for civic action today?
Sol Perez Matinez, is an architect, researcher and educator. Before living in London, Sol lectured at the Universidad Catolica de Chile and ran an architectural practice where she and her firm partners developed projects for both private clients and the Chilean government. Their last public building was a school which encouraged her research about education, environment and engagement. Sol holds a professional degree in architecture, a master’s in architecture and a master’s in architectural history. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Institute of Education, UCL while also working as an architectural consultant in Chile and the UK. www.solperezmartinez.com
Prof. Ann Phoenix
Intersections of gender and ethnicity in Helsinki schools
This talk focuses on masculinities in 12-15-year-old boys to consider which themes are recognisable from a 1968 vantage point and which seem new. It draws on a study of boys in three Helsinki schools to consider the intersections of masculinities and racialization in a country that is newly imaging itself as multi-ethnic, but with a long history of thinking of itself as gender equal (despite recognition of male violence against women at home). It shows that boys have strong narratives of equality and of commitment to the status quo in gendered and racialized power differentials. The talk suggests that the resulting contradictions open possible spaces for change in ways that the contradictions produced by mass movements in the post 1968 era were both hopeful and produced seismic social changes.
Ann Phoenix is Professor of Psychosocial Studies at the Thomas Coram Researxch Unit, Department of Social Science UCL Institute of Education. From 2016-2018 she was the Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor in Studies on Contemporary Society.
After 68: Political memory and the legacy of counter culture - discussion panel
The events of '68 resurrected the possibilty of revolutionary politics, with a strongly libertarian complexion. Exciting at the time, this has proved to be a two-edged sword (with rear edge unfortunatly the sharper). The libertarian impulse rejuvenated the neo-liberal Right even more than it did the Left, with results visible in Brexit and Trump: the Right are stealing the insurrectional initiative.
While preparing to participate in this conference, it occurred to me that this year sees another equally momentous anniversary, the end of World War One in November 1918. I couldn't help but notice that 1968 is the exact mid-point of a century 1918-2018: is there any significance in that? What was happening during that century was Social Democracy. It arrived slowly, tragically, haltingly to dominate the Western World out of the chaotic aftermath of WWI, which had completely overthrown the 19th century liberal order. It wasn’t always called by that name: it appeared, still does, as Christian Democracy, as the US New Deal, as the Welfare State and even as ‘wet’ Conservatism in Britain. One can plausibly argue that 1968 marked the peak of Western social democracy and the rebirth of its libertarian nemesis, neoliberalism.
Mrs Anne Querrien
From the revolution project to the line of escape practice
After Marx and Lenin revolution appeared as the conquest of the state apparatus by a strong avant garde to accelerate capitalistic development and produce communist paradise. URSS, China and new independant nations like Cuba, Algeria, Latin America, Africa, have failed in this program and have used repression against thier citizens as well as the so called old democracies.
Democracy, equality, liberty cannot be found plainly anywhere. But they can be experienced in the steet, or locally in endless conversations with anybody as we had in 68. Democracy is a situated desire, a personal and political desire, a collective desire, a practice of everydaylife in different fields of expression: art, politics, collective life, as we did and do still in general assemblies. Revolution is a new way in life created by everybody in his or her own framework.
Then revolution meets in very concrete manners all methods used by capitalism, which is briefly universal money plus accumulation device, to submit vivid desires to its service. Compromises with those forces are made by those who prefer their small advantages from the past to the uncertainty of a new world to build together.
Those compromises are made by power forces through the invention of new words, and a compulsory vocabulary, creating images to believe in, strongly anchored in the past.
The revolutionary positions standing on singular features are minority movements building different, but transversally linked, places apart capitalistic main stream, searching to nest speficic ecologies. Networks of local experiments, gathering of opponents to capitalist finance, are the new forms of transversal resistance.
Chimeres journal was created in 1986 by Felix Guattari, and Multites in 2000 by friends of Deleuze, Guattari and Negri. Those are places to think about our experience of revolution, and the experiences from others. Lines of flight in Thousands of Plateus have become lines of escape in our new context, less open in all directions but attempt to build places of resistance and creation.
The constituant power is no longer the state power, but the power to make, in tiny, or large, situations, a power from the bottom, a power blossoming from emergency.
Prof. Nora Räthzel
Politicising Biographies: The forming of transnational subjectivities as insiders outside
We take our own life stories as points of departure to look at the ways in which women were politicized in Argentina and West Germany (our respective countries of origin), focusing on similarities and differences in our politicization processes. Methodologically, we want to contribute to ways of re-thinking Feminist methodologies by experimenting with a form of analysis in which we are alternately the subject and the object of our research process. We suggest that the 68 movement provided subject positions for living alternative normalities as an ‘insider-outside’, for those who belonged to normalized groups in their respective societies, but for different reasons could not identify with the dominant normalities offered to them. At the same time, the dominant male instrumentality of the movement estranged (some) women and allowed them a kind of distanced engagement that, perhaps paradoxically, provided a basis for sustaining their subjectivities through transformative experiences of defeat.
Nora Räthzel is Senior Professor at the University of Umeå, Sweden. Her main research areas are environmental labour studies, trade unions and the environment, working conditions in transnational corporations and gender and ethnic relations in the everyday. Her latest publications are: ‘You must aim high’ - ‘No, I never felt like a woman’: women and men making sense of non-standard trajectories into higher education (With Ana González Ramos) Transnational Corporations from the Standpoint of Workers. Palgrave 2014. With Diana Mulinari and Aina Tollefsen (authors) and Trade unions in the Green Economy. Working for the Environment. Routledge/Earthscan 2013, with David Uzzell, (editors and authors).
Dr Catherine Rottenberg
The Limits of Neoliberal Feminism
In this talk, I will address the #MeToo movement and celebrity culture, while linking them both to the rise of neoliberal feminism. I will also explore the current feminist landscape, particularly in Britain and the US, which consists of a number of interesting trends that overlap and inform as well as push back one against another. Finally, I will suggest that we may well be at a crossroads with respect to gender politics in the Anglo-American world and offer some thoughts about how we might continue reclaiming feminism as a social justice movement.
Catherine Rottenberg is currently a 2016-18 Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow in the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths, and a Senior Lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. She is the author of Performing Americanness (2008), the editor of Black Harlem and the Jewish Lower East Side ( 2013), and her new book The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism is forthcoming in September 2018.
Prof. Michael Rustin
Contribution to final round table
I will be responding to what has taken place earlier in the day's discussions.
I was a contributor to the May Day Manifesto in 1967 and 1968. and more recently to After Neo-Liberalism - the Kilburn Manifesto , published free-on- line and in book form in 2015. I was a founding editor of Soundings (with Stuart Hall and Doreen Massey.) Soundings now has a programmatic post-Kilburn Manifesto series called Soundings Futures. I have been at the University of East London in Sociology/Social Sciences since 1964, and have also worked for many years at the Tavistock Clinic, teaching psychoanalytic studies.
Prof. Lynne Segal
The Cradle of Feminism
Women's Liberation was the immediate, most confident and enduring beneficiary of the spirit of the Sixties.
The spirit of the Sixties was gave birth to feminism. Men were the platform speakers, but women were there, slowly beginning to think collectively. In the USA, women crossed class and race barriers, involved in voter registration & black civil rights struggles, witnessing the strength of Black women. And strength was needed if women were to withstand the heckling some received if they dared to speak at public meetings, yet some persevered. 1968 was the year that the US movement staged its first widely reported protest (at the Miss America pageant). It was the year Adrienne Rich wrote her poem, ‘Planetarium’: ‘A woman in the shape of a monster/a monster in the shape of a woman/ the skies are full of them. WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE – WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR MEN!’ was another banner unfurled in the USA in 1968. So while we women’s liberation did break with aspects of Sixties politics, it is right to see continuities – in the stress on culture, direct action and the building of networks of solidarity over party building. Moreover, behind the braggadocio, some Sixties men were soon receptive to the feminists in their midst, while the iconic women’s liberation symbol itself, that clenched fist inside the female symbol, underscored our origins of within, quite as much as against, that confrontational Sixties spirit.
Mr Ashwani Sharma
Fugitive Aesthetics: Race, Black Study and the Crisis of the University
The university is in crisis. The neoliberalisation of HE is leading to the marginalisation, particularly in post-1992 universities, of the critical study of race, multiculture and globalism unless operating within the market logic of vocationalism and employability. The recent demands by UK students to ‘decolonise the curriculum’, ‘why is my professor white?’ and for Black Studies courses, are a symptom of the failures of the post-68 project of anti-racism and postcolonialism as developed for example in cultural studies and sociology in the university.
This ‘institutional crisis’ is leading to the emergence of alternative, independent organisations and interventions such as reading and study groups, art projects, digital activism, developments in urban music, fashion and publishing. These self-organised black/poc/female/queer-led initiatives are addressing the theoretical, social, political, aesthetic and subjective complexities of identity and culture from outside and at the edges of HE and cultural institutions.
Drawing upon Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s ideas of ‘black study’ and the ‘undercommons’, my experience of teaching at UEL and participation in various study and art groups/projects, I consider the political significance of these developments in relation to the utopian spirit of 68.
Ashwani Sharma is currently Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London (UEL). He teaches, researches and has published in the areas of race, poetics, contemporary visual culture, music, postcolonialism, radical publishing, the university and pedagogy, urban, screen and popular culture. He is a member of the Centre for Cultural Studies Research (CCSR) at UEL, and is a co-editor of the Radical Cultural Studies series, Rowman & Littlefield International. He is presently completing a book on race, time and aesthetics (Bloomsbury). He is the founding co-editor of the journal darkmatter http://www.darkmatter101.org/. He is also the co-editor of Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of Asian Dance Music (Zed) and a member of the Black Study Group (London). He is developing an archival project 'Must We Burn Croydon' http://burncroydon.tumblr.com/. and co-edits the literary zine Southern Discomfort http://southerndiscomfortzine.wordpress.com/, where he writes poetry.
Dr Debra Shaw
Pychogeography was developed by the Situationist International in the 1960s as a method for disorienting habitual maps of the city; to both demonstrate the hierarchical structures of urban space and show how they could be disrupted in the service of challenging the power relations of everyday life. The technique was to ‘drift’ through the city, often using absurd devices like following a map for a completely different city, resulting in a new awareness of how space can be imagined. My contribution to the panel will explore the new psychogeographies that have emerged in the twenty-first century ‘posturban’ environment. Practices like parkour and urbex (urban exploration) are forms of misbehaviour that defy the way that urban planning attempts to restrain bodies in the city in the service of tourism and corporate restructuring. What kinds of politics emerge from these practices and how do they challenge the meaning of inhabitation in the contemporary city?
Debra Benita Shaw is a Reader in Cultural Theory at the University of East London where she is also co-director of the Centre for Cultural Studies Research. She is the author of Technoculture: The Key Concepts (2008), Posthuman Urbanism: Mapping Bodies in Contemporary City Space (2018) and co-editor (with Maggie Humm) of Radical Space: Exploring Politics & Practice (2016). She has published widely in subjects ranging from the iconography of the space suit to the politics of glitch art. A new edition of her first book, Women, Science & Fiction (2000) will be published by Palgrave in 2020.
Dr Emma Spruce
Situated memory and the Sexual Politics of Neighbourhood Change
This presentation will draw on ethnographic work exploring the past, present, and future of LGBTQ life in Brixton. I will discuss the way that LGBTQ memorialisation and practices of LGBTQ (un)remembering trouble simplistic accounts that suture LGBTQ flourishing to urban development, pointing instead to a more complex relationship between LGBTQ people and neighbourhood change. Memorialisation of the LGBTQ past emerges in my account both as part of gentrification’s ideological scaffolding, but also as a technique through which neoliberal patterns of urban development are resisted. The presentation will therefore argue that memorialising the LGBTQ past has a crucial role in the contemporary politics of place-making.
Emma Spruce is a Teaching Fellow in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. Her research explores the intersections of sexual geography, narrative studies, feminist theory, and queer theory. Emma’s work interrogates the spatial and social imaginaries constituted through narratives about changing sexual worlds, focusing in particular on progress narratives about LGBT inclusion, and their amenability to racist and classist exclusions.
Prof. Valerie Walkerdine
Deep mapping the landscapes of class in growing up fe/male 1968 to 2018
1968 was such an iconic year for coming of age: from revolt to self discovery all seemed open for young people. But we might also remember that this was not long after Ken Loach's iconic film, Cathy come Home, which told a different story - one of poverty and homelessness.
In this presentation, I reflect not only on that moment and what it made possible, but also the ways in which the landscapes of class shaped growing up fe/male from then until the present. To illustrate this, I use case studies from my own and others' research, some of which tracks families and their daughters across most of this time period, as well as visiting working class young men in industrial and de-industrialised landscapes.
Valerie Walkerdine is Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and has been researching and writing about class and gender for many years.
Conference web support and graphic design
John Wallett was sixteen in 1968 and remembers sneaking Schoolkids OZ into his school sixth-form after a cultural day-trip to London. He studied fine art at Goldsmiths in the ‘70s. From the ‘80s, he worked in East London in community arts and education, local publishing and community media. Since then his day job has been graphic and web design working mainly for arts and education, community groups and campaigns. From 2013 to 2016 he set up and managed the Livingmaps seminar publicity and events bookings, and was design lead in the first three years of the Livingmaps SE20 project bids including 'Our East 20' and 'Groundbreakers'. With Debbie Humphrey he also provides ad hoc web support for the journal City-Analysis ( http://www.city-analysis.net ). This year he has been Creative Partner on an AHRC funded knowledge exchange project ‘Energy in Store’ with Kings College, the Science Museum and Aura Films, exploring the engagements between epistemic communities: amateur researchers, industrial heritage experts, curators and conservators, accessing large hidden collections of stored artefacts. He is a director and co-founder of Livingmaps Network and of ‘Moving Image’, a popup community cinema project in East Anglia. He is currently involved in setting up an artists printmaking collective.
Ms Marta Welander
Amplifying voices from European border-zones
Based on Refugee Rights Europe's experience conducting extensive field research with displaced people across Europe, this presentation will address the respective advantages and shortcomings of conducting research-based human rights campaigning work. It will invite the audience to reflect on the various risks - both practical and ethical - which tend to arise when interviewing individuals in unsafe border-zones characterised by violence and legal limbo. The presentation will moreover address the importance of research design when seeking to overturn existing knowledge-power relations without undermining the 'trustworthiness' of the research outputs.
Marta Welander is a PhD candidate and visiting lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Westminster, where she researches European border violence in the context of the contemporary 'refugee crisis'. Marta is moreover the executive director of the non-governmental human rights organisation Refugee Rights Europe. Under her leadership, the organisation has conducted extensive field research in refugee camps and settlements across Europe, interviewing and surveying more than 4,000 refugees and displaced people since February 2016. Marta holds an MA in Human Rights & Democratic Governance from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights (EIUC), and an MA in International Relations from King’s College London. Prior to that, she obtained a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Arabic from the University of Westminster.
Prof. Garry Whannel
Garry Whannel was Professor of Media Cultures (1999-2015) and is now Emeritus Professor, at the University of Bedfordshire. He was the co-author of The Trojan Horse: The Growth of Commercial Sponsorship (with Deborah Philips), Bloomsbury, 2013)
Understanding the Olympics (with John Horne), Routledge 2016 – 2nd edition; and Understanding Sport (with John Horne, Alan Tomlinson, and Kath Woodward), Routledge 2012. He has been writing and researching on media, sport and popular culture for forty years and is currently working on the history of political comedy.
Dr Alison Winch
Digital Capitalism, Generation and Patriarchy
Mainstream media like to focus on the Instagram figure of the white, female, middle class, millennial whose apparent narcissism becomes a lightning rod for conjunctural anxieties around digital capitalism, sexuality and generation. But what if we switch the focus to the millennial who owns Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg?
We are seeing an intensification in the use of the term patriarchy in online and offline contexts. Partly due to the breakdown in the postfeminist sexual contract (Angela McRobbie) as a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent implementation of austerity, patriarchy as a ‘struggle concept’ (Maria Mies) has amplified in contemporary feminisms. Although this concept never went away (see bell hooks, Kimberle Crenshaw, Dorothy E. Roberts) it holds a specific resonance today in the global north.
Rather than recognising neoliberalism to be post-patriarchal or symptomatic of a breakdown of the patriarchal order, this paper argues that neoliberal digital capitalism is configured through profoundly racialised, patriarchal structures. In particular the founder-owners of platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, are the richest people in the world and wield considerable power on a global scale. This paper examines the founders of Google and Facebook, and develops work (Safiya Umoja Noble) that argues that these men, and the people they hire, create technologies that reflect their world view. This in turn impacts on the young people who use them.
Alison Winch is a Media Studies lecturer at the University of East Anglia. Her book is Girlfriends and Postfeminist Sisterhood (Palgrave 2013). She is working with Ben Little on The New Patriarchs of Digital Capitalism due out next year. She is also a poet and her debut collection is forthcoming with Penned in the Margins in 2019.
For the past three years or more a number of artists, writers, architects and others have been excavating the radical impulses evident in the 20th century history of the much-maligned county of Essex: alternative communities, self-build settlements, model industrial villages, New Towns, punk music, Christian Socialist and feminist outposts from east London re-imagining the estuary landscape and its possibilities. This has been organised by the Focal Point Gallery in Southend, which has now published a book based on the project: Radical Essex (June 2018). Ken Worpole will reflect on some of the lessons learned on the relationship between politics, religious idealism and the necessary ethical responsibilities of those involved in engaging with social change.
Ken Worpole is an independent researcher and the author of many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. Over the post decade he has focused on the history and landscape of Essex, collaborating with photographer Jason Orton on two books, 350 Miles: An Essex Journey (2005) and The New English Landscape (2013). He is also a contributor to Radical Essex (2018).