How did we get here?

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Special extended session (5:30-8:30) on the radical history of our times with several special guest speakers:

Natasha Nkonde and Deborah Grayson who are researching the radical history of the Greater London Council in the 1980s, Andy Beckett who writes for the Guardian and is the author of two acclaimed major studies of the politics and culture of the 70s and 80s (When the Lights Went Out and Promised You a Miracle) and John Medhurst, author of That Option No Longer Exists, will join us for an extended panel discussion.

This session will start at 5:30 with a discussion with Andy Beckett talking about his historical work and the importance of understanding our recent past

(don’t worry if you are a regular attender who can only make it at 6:30 – we’ll understand!)

6:30-7:30 Deborah, Natasha and John will be talking about their research,

7:30-8:30 Jeremy will offer some observations on how we can use some key theoretical concepts to illuminate the issues under discussion, along the lines of:

How did we get into this mess? Rising inequality, climate catastrophe, miserable youth and a culture which can’t innovate: it’s hard to believe that until some time in the 80s, people actually believed the world was getting better.  Can Cultural Studies help us to understand how we got here? It can and it will.

In this session we’ll bring together many of the ideas from the previous weeks, and the previous term, to see how they can help answer this questions. We’ll be looking at some classic Cultural Studies text such as Sturt Hall et. al’s Policing the Crisis published in 1978 (which starts off analysing newspaper reports about muggings, and ends up basically predicting Thatcherism before anyone else could see it coming), and asking if culture in 2016 is still stuck in ‘the long 1990s’.

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