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UAL Research Online

Culture and economy after austerity

Bramall, Rebecca (2015) Culture and economy after austerity. In: 2015 Durham Geography Distinguished International Visitor Conference: Geographies of Austerity, 14-15th May 2015, Durham University.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Bramall, Rebecca

There has been a significant shift in recent years towards new modes of engaging with the economic. The emergent field of cultural economy seeks to elaborate the role that culture plays in constructing the economic, reworking the economy as a ‘cultural artifact’ and ‘the pursuit of prosperity’ as a ‘cultural performance’ (Amin and Thrift, 2002: xii). More recently, Lawrence Grossberg has urged the humanities to begin ‘rescuing economies from economists’ (2010), while Mark Hayward has foregrounded cultural studies’ attempts to ‘destabilize’ the category of the economic (Hayward, 2010: 288).

In this context, the financial crisis of 2007-8 and the ensuing ‘age of austerity’ represent an opportunity to evidence and to elaborate these new approaches to the economic. Austerity is an expedient label for certain economic policies, but it can also be recognized as a discursive object (Clarke and Newman, 2012; Bramall, 2013), as ‘everyday crisis narrative’ (Stanley, 2014) and as structure of feeling or ‘atmosphere’ (Anderson, 2009; Hitchen, 2013). If austerity provides an occasion to rethink ‘economy’, it also describes a context in which ‘culture’ has been repurposed: conceptualizations of culture – of what is and what it is for – have played a significant role in austerity discourse, and in shaping the frames, narratives, and rhetoric of political and critical debate.

Through an assessment of my own and others’ research, this paper offers some provisional reflections on the particular and more general challenges that the analysis of the ‘economic’ in ‘austerity’ presents for cultural studies and cognate disciplines.

Official Website: https://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/news/futureevents/?id=24230&eventno=24230
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Cultural studies Cultural economy
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 15 May 2015
Event Location: Durham University
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 16:16
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2015 16:16
Item ID: 8271
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8271

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