Publics and Counterpublics: Iain McKenzie

Topics in Critical Thought is returning to OSE with a series of eight seminars taking place across June and September.

This session is on Michael Warner’s classic work Publics and Counterpublics (2002). Facilitated by Iain McKenzie.

In the first of these two sessions on publics and counterpublics we will start by reading extracts from Michael Warner’s classic essay, ‘Publics and Counterpublics’ (an abridged version of the title essay that opens his book of the same name). After some scene setting remarks about where this text sits within discussions of the public sphere, we will then collectively examine how he understands both of these terms and the relation between them. Although not a major theme of Warner’s text, it is hoped that the discussion will consider the importance of both public and counterpublics to contemporary art practice.

You can read the text here (recommended pages: pp.49-57 and p.76-end).

This short course is designed to offer an introduction to critical thought in general and provide a series of engaging talks and discussions related to topics of contemporary concern to critical theorists. Members of the Centre for Critical Thought at the University of Kent deliver the sessions alongside selected guests.

Free, no booking required.

You don’t have to have a background in theory to attend these seminars. And you can choose to come to only one, two or more of the sessions.

Accessibility info
Due to factors beyond our control, this event is inaccessible to those with limited mobility. We can record parts of the session if there is a demand. Please send an email to if you are interested.