Open to the public?


From June 17 till June 18 the CHCI Annual Meeting took place in the nice surroundings of the Academiegebouw in Utrecht under the title: “Open to the public? The expanding culture of the Humanities”.

Following questions where adressed:
– How should the Humanities adapt to the rise of new media and the democratization of culture?
– What is the role of aesthetics in a culture of entertainment events?
– How do shifting borders and migration shape cultural participation?

Rosi Braidotti in her presentation focused on the end of postmodernism and the importance of body- and biopolitics. She referred to the end of the linguistic turn and a shift to “Immaterial elements being qualified as labour.”
She also discussed three ways in which the concept of biopower has evolved:
– biocitizenship: we are responsible
– biopower as the result of an intervention
– neovitalist: biopower as a starting point for a reflection on the politics of life.

Ien Ang focused on the position of cultural studies in the academic world. She criticizes cultural studies for becoming a discipline in itself with an overspecialized terminology (problem of academic literacy). She made a case for cultural research that is more embedded in society but that also invests in theory.

Philomena Essed talked about race, gender and identity in everyday life. She criticizes the corporatisation of the acedemic world, its managment discourse and the pressure to publicise. She is developping a new pedagogy, one in which students start from their own identities to reflect on race and gender.

Tony Bennet is performing a research on the relation between cultural taste and social class in Great Britain. Starting from a critique of bourdieu he focuses on ‘broad’ cultural participation, multiple identities and different classes that have different cultural preferences at the same time.