Wednesday, 3 December 2008

CFP: Living Culture - Conference on Ethnographies of Culture (Leeds)

30 - 31 MARCH 2009
The Institute for Communications Studies (ICS) and the Media Industries Research Centre (MIRC) at The University of Leeds invites papers for a 1½-day conference.

Keynote speakers:
Professor Les Back (Professor, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London), author of The Art of Listening (2007) and New Ethnicities and Urban Culture: Racisms and Multiculture in Young Lives (1996)

Professor Georgina Born (Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Music, University of Cambridge), author of Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (2004) and Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (1995)

Conference theme:
The ever-increasing importance of the cultural to the social brings with it a vital need to investigate the processes implicated in contemporary meaning making, symbolic consumption, production and mediation. Recent scholarship from across the social sciences has sought to take up this challenge by examining the multifariousness of cultural materials-in-use, continuities and ruptures in the production/consumption of culture, the expanded purview of cultural policy and the effects of an expanding 'cultural economy'.

Through its careful attention to the irreducibility of human experience, ethnography has revealed an enduring ability to usefully intervene in debates within these arenas, making explorations into culture and cultural practice a quasi-specialism of ethnographic study. Yet how might 21st century ethnography better attune itself to the opportunities and challenges implied by attempts to understand contemporary culture and cultural experience 'from the inside'? Indeed, what limitations or boundaries are implied by efforts to study different cultural practices through ethnography and what might this mean for ethnography's contribution to social theory?

Contributions are invited from ethnographers willing to reflect on such questions and to share the methodological, substantive and theoretical insights gleaned, as well as the problems encountered, in the course of their own ethnographies of culture.

The conference should be of interest to scholars and particularly ethnographers from within sociology and social policy, media and communications studies, cultural studies, social/cultural anthropology and other allied disciplines.
Proposal deadline: abstracts (250 words max) should be sent, by Friday 16th January 2009, to the organising committee at: email: or mail to: Dr Eleri Pound, Living Cultures Conference, Institute of Communications Studies, 16 Clarendon Place, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Organising committee: Dr Mark Rimmer (convenor), Professor David Hesmondhalgh, Dr Chris Paterson, Dr Eleri Pound, Anna Zoellner, all of the Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds.

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