Sam Binkley – Happiness as Enterprise: A Meditation on Governmentality and Neoliberal Life

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 26th, 2012

Event Date: 26 June 2012
Room B18
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Department of Psychosocial Studies presents:

The MA Psychosocial Studies Annual Lecture

Professor Sam Binkley (Associate Professor of Sociology, Emerson College, Boston):  Happiness as Enterprise:  A Meditation on Governmentality and Neoliberal Life

Recent decades have seen an explosion of interest in the phenomenon of happiness spanning a range of popular media from self help books, popular psychology, new therapeutic practices and talk shows, spiritual mentoring, business management, education and relationship counseling.  At the center of this development is an influential new field of “positive psychology”, whose scientific and medical credential has placed the concern with happiness in a new position of professional respectability while opening it to up a wide range of institutional applications.  In settings as diverse as college education, business, military training, family, financial planning and in all facets of private existence, happiness has appeared as the object of a new technology of emotional self-optimization.  As such, happiness has come to define a rationality of government that extends the logic of economic neoliberalism into the sphere of emotional self-management, and into the very temporalities of every conduct.  As neoliberal governmentality, happiness induces subjects to engage their emotional lives in a spirit of enterprise, entrepreneurial endeavor and self-interested agency, within the horizon of an unfolding emotional telos.  Happiness becomes a potential for individual wellbeing for which we take responsibility, but one which we must free from the constraining habits of dependence and passivity that are the inherited legacy of welfarism and social government.  Combining theoretical argumentation, cultural analysis and historical explanation, this meditation provides a critical engagement with the field of governmentality studies which, it is argued, suffers from a deductive, deterministic and top-down model of power.  The reading of happiness allows us to rethink governmentality research in a manner more sensitive to the mundane practices and everyday tasks of governmental conduct, and the unique and specific temporalities these practices imply.

Professor Binkley’s research considers the historical and social production of subjectivity in the context of contemporary lifestyle culture, employing theoretical frameworks derived from Pierre Bourdieu, Norbert Elias, Michel Foucault and others.  He has undertaken varied inquiries into such phenomena as lifestyle movements of the 1970s, contemporary anti-consumerist movements, consumer cultures under Cuban socialism, the temporality of neo-liberalism and contemporary therapeutic culture, all with an eye toward the fashioning of reflexive subjectivity through lifestyle choice.  His recent monograph, Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s (Duke University Press, 2007), examines the role of holistic discourse in the shaping of reflexive subjectivity, and its ultimate influence on lifestyle branding.  He serves as co-editor of the journal Foucault Studies, and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Consumer Culture, Time and Society, Cultural Studies, Rethinking Marxism, The European Journal of Cultural Studies and the Journal for Cultural Research.  He is currently working on a new book on neoliberalism, therapeutic culture, and the contemporary concern with subjective happiness.

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Where are we now? MSc Development Studies Alumni Talks

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 23rd, 2012

Event Date: 23 June 2012
Room B33
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, Bloomsbury
London WC1E 7HX

Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies presents:

Where are we now? MSc Development Studies Alumni Talks

This afternoon event is an opportunity to hear MSc Development Studies alumni working in the development sector talk about their work since graduating from Birkbeck College and to hear their analysis of where their organisation and/or Development is likely to be after 2015.

June 23rd Birkbeck College. Talks 2 to 4 pm. Wine reception 4 to 5 pm.

Speakers:

Laura Padoan, UNHCR External Relations Associate.

Ashley Aarons, Assistant Coordinator at DCED.

Mairi MacRae, Rescue-UK.

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Introduction by Dr Karen Wells (Birkbeck).

Mairi MacRae (Rescue-UK)

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Laura Padoan (UNHCR External Relations Associate)

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Ashley Aarons (Assistant Coordinator at DCED)

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Law on Trial 2012: Crime, Order and Justice

in Academic Service - Archive, conference by on June 22nd, 2012

Law on Trial 2012

Event Date: 18-22  June 2012 

Birkbeck, University of London

Malet Street

London WC1E 7HX

Law on Trial 2012: 18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Monday 18th June 2012

Unsafe Law: Public Health, Human Rights and the Legal Response to HIV – Professor Matthew Weait (Birkbeck)

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Tuesday 19th June 2012

Protesting in a time of cuts: a clampdown on civil liberties?Kat Craig (Christian Khan Solicitors) and Owen Greenhall (Garden Court Chambers)

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Wednesday 20th June 2012

Reading the riots – Professor Tim Newburn, (Criminology and Social Policy, LSE)

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Thursday 21st June 2012

Spinning the Crisis: Riots, Politics and Parenting – Professor John Pitts (University of Bedfordshire)

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Friday 22nd June 2012

Empowerment as Resistance: Critical Praxis in an Age of IncarcerationSimon Fulford  (Khulisa UK) and Amanda Nelmes (LEAP Confronting Conflict)

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Critical Theory Summer School 2012 – Friday Debate II

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 22nd, 2012


Event Date: 22 June 2012

Room B33
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities presents:

Critical Theory Summer School 2012 – Friday Debate II

Roundtable debate summing up and discussing themes from the second week of the course with speakers:

Etienne Balibar, Drucilla Cornell, Costas Douzinas (Chair)

Debate:

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Empowerment as Resistance: Critical Praxis in an Age of Incarceration

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 22nd, 2012


Event Date: 22 June 2012
Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Law on Trial 2012: 18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Empowerment as Resistance: Critical Praxis in an Age of Incarceration

The London Riots in 2011 showed that stereotypes that criminalise youth are not helpful in unravelling the tension at the heart of the difficult social phenomenon of violence. However, there are nearly 90,000 people currently in prisons in the UK, and around 10,000 of them are between the ages of 18 and 20. The focus on dealing with criminality is not on crime prevention or creating positive opportunities, but on incarceration. With this in mind:

What are the biggest shortcomings of the present incarceration system with regard to rehabilitation, and what would be the effect of remedying these shortcomings?
How can NGOs and community organisations help bring about structural change?
Are there best-practice models that cities in the UK can use to model change in the criminal justice system, particularly with regard to youth empowerment?

This panel aims to address the above questions, among others, in assessing the inadequacies of the current method of administering criminal justice in the UK as well as prospects for the future.

Birkbeck speaker: Eddie Bruce-Jones, Co-ordinator of the International Independent Commission on the Death of Oury Jalloh

Guest speakers: Simon Fulford  from Khulisa UK and Amanda Nelmes from LEAP Confronting Conflict.

Introduction by Eddie Bruce-Jones (Birkbeck)

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Simon Fulford  (Khulisa UK)

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Amanda Nelmes (LEAP Confronting Conflict)

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Spinning the Crisis: Riots, Politics and Parenting

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 21st, 2012

Event Date: 21 June 2012
Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Law on Trial 2012: 18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Spinning the Crisis: Riots, Politics and Parenting

Despite clear evidence that young people affiliated to youth gangs consituted only around 10% of the people known by the police to have been involved in the August 2011, subsequent policy, outlined in Ending Gang and Youth Violence (Home Office, 2012) is predicated on a purported causal chain which links poor parenting, youth gangs and public disorder. In this presentation John Pitts interrogates the assumptions and the evidence upon which current policy is based and suggests an alternative account of events rooted in an understanding of the aetiology of the gang-affected neighbourhood and the predicament of the families within it. The paper draws upon recent research undertaken in three London boroughs and a Northern English conurbation and a seminar series which considered the developmental and mental health effects of living in gang affected neighbourhoods.

Birkbeck speaker: Paul Turnbull, Co-Director of Institute for Criminal Policy Research

Guest speaker: John Pitts is Vauxhall Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Bedfordshire. He has worked as a school teacher; a street and club-based youth worker; a group worker in a Young Offender Institution and as a consultant on youth crime and youth justice to the police and youth justice and legal professionals in the UK, mainland Europe, the Russian Federation and China. In the recent years he has acted as a consultant and researcher on violent youth gangs to local authorities, police forces and ‘think tanks’, and as an ‘expert witness’. He is a member of the Home Office Gang Strategy Expert Advisory Group.

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Introduction by Paul Turnbull (Birkbeck, Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research).

 

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Talk by Professor John Pitts (University of Bedfordshire)

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Reading the riots

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 20th, 2012

Event Date: 20 June 2012
Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Law on Trial 2012: 18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Reading the riots

Are last year’s riots best seen as a protest against the police?
Did they reflect anger at public spending cuts, and the growing inequality that these are bringing?
Or was the looting and vandalism simply opportunistic behaviour on the part of criminal gangs?
Professor Tim Newburn led a major research inquiry into these issues, the ‘Reading the Riots’ study, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, and undertaken in partnership with the Guardian. The research involved interviews with hundreds of people who participated in the disorder.
Tim Newburn will present key findings from the study. He will describe the anger and frustration felt by those who were involved in the disorder, in part a product of the unfair and discourteous treatment they feel they suffer at the hands of the police, but also reflecting the disillusionment many feel at the social and economic changes which leave them increasingly disconnected from mainstream society. Rioters identified a range of political grievances, but at heart of their complaints was a pervasive sense of injustice. For some this was economic – the lack of money, jobs or opportunity. For others it was more broadly social – how they felt they were treated compared with others. Some of the looting was simply opportunistic, but the role of gangs in the riots has been significantly overstated by the government.

Introduction by  Professor Mike Hough (Birkbeck, Co-Director of Institute for Criminal Policy Research)

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Guest speaker: Professor Tim Newburn, (Criminology and Social Policy, LSE)

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Proust Among the Nations – from Dreyfus to the Middle East

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 19th, 2012

Event Date: 19 June 2012
Room 421,
Birkbeck College, University of London,
London WC1E 7HX.

 

The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism
in partnership with Birkbeck Institute of Humanities

presents:

Proust Among the Nations – from Dreyfus to the Middle East

A roundtable  discussion with

  • Professor Jacqueline Rose, Queen Mary, University of London;
  • Professor Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading;
  • Professor David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London;
  • Dr Ingrid Wassenaar, author of  ‘Proustian Passions’

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has become one of the most enduring and it seems intractable problems of our time. In her new book, Proust among the Nations, Jacqueline Rose uses psychoanalysis, literature, and politics to reveal the conflict as a distinctly Western problem.
Re-examining the Dreyfus affair through the lens of Marcel Proust in dialogue with Freud, Rose offers a new perspective on the rise of Jewish nationalism and the subsequent creation of Israel. Taking the writings of Beckett and Genet, and writers, artists and filmmakers from the Middle East, she traces the shifting dynamic of memory and identity between Europe and Palestine and proposes new ways to think about the political struggle and violence in the Middle East.

This round-table explores and interrogates Jacqueline Rose’s provocative thesis from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Jacqueline Rose -  Proust among the Nations

Proust Among the Nations: From Dreyfus to the Middle East (Carpenter Lectures)

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The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

“The relationship between antisemitism and other forms of racism and exclusion is not only a historical question. It is an urgent issue for today.” Professor David Feldman, Director.

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism was established by the Pears Foundation and is based at Birkbeck, University of London. It is a centre of innovative research and teaching, contributing to discussion and policy formation on antisemitism as well as other forms of racial prejudice and intolerance. It is both independent and inclusive.

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Introductions by Professor Antony Bale (Birkbeck) .

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Dr Ingrid Wassenaar (author of ‘Proustian Passions‘)

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Professor Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading)

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Professor David Feldman (Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck)

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Professor Jacqueline Rose (Queen Mary, University of London)

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Protesting in a time of cuts: a clampdown on civil liberties?

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 19th, 2012

Event Date: 19 June 2012
 Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Law on Trial 2012: 18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Protesting in a time of cuts: a clampdown on civil liberties?

As the Government implements its ‘austerity measures’ and cuts continue to bite, more people than ever are taking to the streets to voice their discontent. This rise in popular protest has seen a simultaneous increase in coercive policing tactics. The State is seeking to justify this in the context of the 2011 summer riots, and alleged violent protest during student demonstrations against fees. This discussion will seek to explore the validity of those arguments, and consider how the State may respond to two major public order events on the horizon, namely the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, focusing on recent developments in the law and the rights of protesters.

Birkbeck  Speaker:  Professor Bill Bowring, International Secretary of the Haldane Society

Guest Speakers: Kat Craig is Vice-Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, and a solicitor in the Actions against the Police and Public Law departments at Christian Khan Solicitors. She represented Lois Austin in Austin v UK, the test case on kettling protesters and is co-author of ‘The Protest Handbook‘, published by Bloomsbury Press.

Owen Greenhall is an Executive Committee member of the Haldane Society, a pupil barrister at Garden Court Chambers, and former member of the Climate Camp legal team. He has a strong interest and experience in protesters’ rights, including both civil and public law challenges to the policing of demonstrations. He is the author of the chapter on occupations in ‘The Protest Handbook‘.

Introduction by Professor Bill Bowring (Birkbeck)

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Kat Craig (Christian Khan Solicitors)

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Owen Greenhall (Garden Court Chambers)

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Matthew Weait – Unsafe Law: Public Health, Human Rights and the Legal Response to HIV

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2012

Event Date: 18 June 2012
Beveridge Hall
University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

Law on Trial 2012:  18 June – 22 June 2012

CRIME, ORDER AND JUSTICE

Are effective justice and the fairness of the criminal process always in tension? This year’s Law on Trial will address this question, which has been brought into sharp focus by events such as G20 protests, and the riots of August 2011. Sessions will consider tactics used in the policing of protest, including ‘kettling’, two sessions on the riots in the UK and gang culture, and the use of stop and search and anti-terrorism powers. We shall also examine punitive responses to HIV and AIDS.

Law on Trial provides a platform on which academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists can present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system and its relationship to society and economy.

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Professor Matthew Weait (Birkbeck)
Unsafe Law: Public Health, Human Rights and the Legal Response to HIV

Three decades after the first cases of AIDS were identified, more than thirty million people globally are living with HIV. Despite being first and foremost a public health issue, HIV and AIDS have been constructed as legal problem to which – at least in part – punitive and coercive laws can provide a solution. In this lecture, Matthew Weait will explore the dangers and absurdities of this, and how the use of such laws has had a negative impact both on prevention efforts and on the lives of people with HIV. Reflecting on more than a decade of scholarship, research and policy involvement at a national and international level, he will argue in favour of a harm reduction approach to the use of law, and that unsafe law can, and must, be made safer if the world is respond effectively to the virus.

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Introduction by Professor David S. Latchman (Master of Birkbeck) .

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Vote of Thanks by Professor Jane Anderson (British HIV Association)

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