CFP 2017 CSAA Conference: ‘Cultures of Capitalism’

December 6-8 2017
Massey University, Wellington Campus
Aotearoa/New Zealand


Keynote Speakers: Professor Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland), Professor Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges), Professor Jeremy Gilbert (University of East London), Professor Wendy Larner (University of Victoria, Wellington).


Culture is increasingly positioned in economic and political discourse as the solution for ailing communities, industries, and cities. In a global environment riven by climate change, war, and migrations, we are told that communities with the right culture will adapt and sustain while others will be left behind. Labour and manufacturing have undergone radical shifts due to post-industrialisation, with knowledge economy paradigms creating new cultures of work and working identities. Culture is also increasingly valourised in urban planning and municipal infrastructure as key to revitalising city economies through creativity and social participation. Transformations in labour and its value are also linked to the reification of racialised, sexualized, and classed populations and their management through technologies of capital. How labour is valued contributes to an affective economy of precarity and risk that is differentially distributed throughout society.


The 2017 Cultural Studies Association of Australasia conference will focus on the work that cultures do in constructing, contesting, and constituting capitalism. We seek to critically examine the role of culture in both enabling and articulating new capitalist formations. While culture has been situated as the opiate through which economic dominance is propagated (for instance in the culture industries critique), new capitalist formations indicate the multiple and heterogeneous ways in which culture/s can mediate contemporary economic conditions. In doing so, we seek to return to one of the key concerns of early cultural studies: to make sense of the mutually-determining relation between culture and its capitalist context. If, following Stuart Hall, we understand ‘culture’ as the production of meaning through language and representation, what are the modes of communication through which capitalism/s are created? How are capitalism/s materialised in different spaces? How is it embodied in different identities and communities? What is the role of economy in shaping the possibilities for culture? What is the role of Cultural Studies as critical praxis in the present economic time?


Papers are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
.         The cultural politics of neoliberalism
·         Precarious and/or immaterial labour
·         Digital capitalism
·         Capitalist affects
·         Trump, Brexit and the resurgence of capitalist nationalisms
·         Capitalism, culture and technology
·         The cultural and creative industries
·         Capitalism, culture and sustainability
·         Cultures of surveillance and war
·         Cultural identity and globalisation
·         Cultural resistance and activism
·         Productive and unproductive cultures
·         Base, superstructure and mediation
·         Formal and real subsumption of culture
·         Representations of capitalism, class and markets
·         Political economies of online, digital and social media
·         Anticapitalist, Socialist, Anarchist and Communist cultures
·         Racial capitalism
·         Critical theory, Cultural Marxism and Cultural Studies


The conference also accepts papers that fall within the general disciplinary area of Cultural Studies.


If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please send a 250 word abstract with your name, e-mail address and affiliation to by August 1 2017. Any other enquires regarding the event should also be addressed to


Organising Committee: Nicholas Holm (Massey University), Sy Taffel (Massey University), Holly Randell-Moon (University of Otago)
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