Professor Angela McRobbie: ‘Unpacking the Politics of the Creative Economy’ (Oct 31, 2013)

Unpacking the Politics of the Creative Economy: Hipsters as the Flaneurs of Neoliberal Times

A lecture by Professor Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths University of London) given at Concordia University on October 31, 2013. Organized by Dr Norma Rantisi (Geography, Planning and Environment) and Dr Matt Soar (Communication Studies).

This lecture draws from the first chapter of Be Creative? (forthcoming) and it offers a series of reflections on creativity as a dispositif of contemporary governmentality which ‘captures’ as a play for power, young working class and lower middle class desires for self-expressive work. These desires can also be construed as dimensions of ‘labour struggle’ or lines of flight emanating from the home and inter-generational relations. The lectures re-works both Birmingham CCCS subcultural theory, and the Italian Opera theorists’ notion of ‘refusal of work’, pinpointing the ‘hipster’ figure as indicative of the full capitalisation and consequent de-politicisation of ‘youth culture’.

Camera and editing: Deb vanSlet

BIOGRAPHY: Angela McRobbie began her academic career in the mid 1970s at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham under the directorship of Stuart Hall. Her thesis on Jackie magazine was published, re-printed and translated into several languages. She is the author of books and articles on young women and popular culture, youth culture, the working lives of UK fashion designers, the sociology of the new creative economy, and feminist theory in the context of contemporary neoliberalism. Her most recent journal article is titled ‘Feminism, the Family and the New ‘Mediated’ Maternalism’. She published The Aftermath of Feminism in 2008,(the German edition, published in 2010, is a best seller) and she is currently completing Be Creative? Making a Living in the New Culture Industries (Polity 2014). McRobbie is a participant in the £5m AHRC CREAte Grant: she is investigating copyright and IP issues for young fashion designers in Berlin, Milan, Paris and London. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour and the Guardian newspaper. McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths University of London.

SPONSORS: Adventures in Research-Creation (ARC); Canada Research Chair in Feminist Media Studies; Canada Research Chair in Game Studies & Design; Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies; Department of Communication Studies; Department of Geography, Planning & Environment; GEOGRADs; “Media and Urban Life” Research Project; Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies; “Place-based Determinants of Creativity” Research Project; Rae Staseson: The Land Project; Simone de Beauvoir Institute; Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, McGill University; UQAM Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF)