Posts from January 2012

Propaganda on the Socialist Periphery seminar

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Wednesday 8th February, 4 – 6pm
Westminster Forum, University of Westminster, 5th Floor, Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Power, reform and identity in Soviet Uzbek posters
Dr Elizabeth Waters, University of Westminster

Recent work on Soviet propaganda has looked both at the techniques used to convey political messages and the extent to which the USSR succeeded in controlling information and public opinion. Scholarship on Central Asia has examined the power of peripheral elites to influence centrally generated plans and of populations to resist communist change. Disagreement continues over whether the ‘Soviet project’ in the region was one of affirmative action or of colonial intent. This seminar looks at these issues in relation to Uzbekistan in the early decades of Soviet power and assesses the evidence on the character and impact of social, economic and political reforms that is provided by posters used in campaigns to promote women’s emancipation, cotton production and Uzbek identity.

Elizabeth Waters is Principal Lecturer in the Department of Modern and Applied Languages at the University of Westminster. Most of her previous research has been on Soviet social history in the 1920s. Recently she participated in a study of alcohol consumption in Kazakhstan. This seminar represents work-in-progress on her new project on Uzbek Soviet propaganda.

Hosted by the Contemporary China Centre. All welcome, but non-University of Westminster attendees please register at:

‘True Lies of War’ seminar, 1st February, 6-8

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Wednesday 1 February 2012, 6 pm – 8 pm,
Room 152, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

True Lies of War
Group for War and Culture Studies Seminar

Hongping Annie Nie, University of Oxford
“China’s War with Japan (1937-1945): A Study of Chinese History Textbooks”

Dr. Hongping Annie Nie (MA in Education, Calvin College, USA; Ph. D. in Cross-cultural Education, Biola University, USA) is currently Faculty Tutor of Chinese Politics at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She is also a core member of the Leverhulme funded China’s War with Japan Project, History Faculty, University of Oxford. Her research interests include moral/ideological education, mass communication, patriotism, and national memory. Among her publications are The Dilemma of Moral Education Curriculum in a Chinese Secondary School (University Press of America, 2007) and “On-line Gaming, Ideological Work, and Nationalism in China” (Journal of Contemporary China, forthcoming).

Celine Righi, London School of Economics
“Memory in post-Civil War Lebanon under artistic scrutiny: a space for individual and social autonomy in the public debate?”

Celine Righi completed a Master in Political Sciences at Science Po Lyon in 2000 and a Master in Social Psychology at Paris IX Dauphine University in 2001. After working for a think tank in Paris and Lyon in the field of social and economic development, Celine embarked in her PhD in 2008 at the Institute of Social Psychology at London School of Economics.

Entrance free. To reserve a place, please R.S.V.P. Dr Caroline Perret:

The London Reading Club

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A quick plug for the London Reading Club, a new blog for the book group attached to the MA Writing the City at the University of Westminster, which is run by our own Monica Germana. Check out posts that discuss London writings ranging from Virginia Woolf to Monica Ali here:

IMCC hosts London premier of An Ecology of Mind, Feb 27th

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An Ecology of Mind: A Film by Nora Bateson
Monday 27 February 2012, 18:30-22:00 pm
Old Cinema, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Tickets: £9.50; £3.50 (student/unwaged/Westminster staff)
Book your ticket from:

The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) at the University of Westminster is proud to host the London premier of Nora Bateson’s An Ecology of Mind: A Daughter’s Portrait of Gregory Bateson. The screening will be followed by an interdisciplinary panel and audience discussion with Nora Bateson, and will end with a wine reception in the Regent Street foyer.

Panel with Nora Bateson; Iain Boal (Birkbeck College); Jody Boehnert (Brighton University); Ranulph Glanville (American Society for Cybernetics); Peter Reason (Action Research); and Wendy Wheeler (London Metropolitan University). Chaired by Jon Goodbun (IMCC and Architecture, Westminster)

“Tell me a story” … of life, art and science, of systems and survival. Gregory Bateson’s way of thinking – seeing the world as relationships, connections and patterns – continues to influence and provoke new thinking about human social life, about ecology, technology, art, design and health. Nora Bateson, Gregory’s youngest daughter, introduces Bateson’s ideas to new audiences in her film An Ecology of Mind, using the metaphor of a relationship between father and daughter, and footage of Bateson’s talks.

Each screening, too, hosts a discussion between Nora and a wide range of people working in depth with Bateson’s ideas: artists, architects, action researchers, ecological activists, mental health practitioners, scientists, urban designers, cyberneticians. These screenings and discussions intend to show a way of thinking that crosses fields of knowledge and experience, one that can lead out of the ecological crisis and towards a more sound way of living.
Awards for the film:
Gold for Best Documentary, Spokane International Film Festival, 2011
Audience Award Winner, Best Documentary, Santa Cruz Film Festival, 2011
Winner, Media Ecology Association, John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis, 2011 

Event organised by Jon Goodbun (Westminster), Wallace Heim, Kevin Power (Centre for Action Research, Ashridge Business School) and Eva Bakkeslett

To book a ticket go to:

Ecologies of the Visual, Trondheim, 6-7 September – call for papers

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Call for papers: Ecologies of the Visual

The Third Visual Culture in Europe Meeting, Trondheim, 6-7 September 2012

Contributions are invited which address the relationship between ecology and visuality in the broadest sense. On the one hand several discourses have come to revolve around what Susan Sontag described in On Photography as an ecology of images, a perspective which raises both epistemological and ethical questions concerning our interactions with the image. On the other hand there are presently several indications of a pressing need for the field of visual culture studies to address what we might call the visualities of ecology, or the place of environmental issues in contemporary visual culture. Topics may include but are by no means limited to:

Images and Ethics // “Ecology” as a Metaphorical Nexus in Visual Studies // Visual Culture within and without the Ecology of Disciplines // Consumerism and Visual Culture/The Visual Culture of Consumerism // Climate Change in/and Visual Culture // The Rhetorics of Environmentalism in Media and/or Art // Apocalyptic Narratives in Visual Culture

To submit a proposal for a paper presentation, please email an abstract of approximately 200 words to the conference organisers, Nina Lager Vestberg ( and Øyvind Vågnes (, by 7 March 2012.

Landscape and Critical Agency, Fri 17 February

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Friday, 17th February 2012, 10.00am to 18.00pm, with drinks afterwards
Landscape and Critical Agency
University College London , Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

What agency does landscape possess, as a means of territorial organisation and creative production, to engage critically with the conditions that define the collective aspects of our environment?

Jill Desimini, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Professor Murray Fraser, UCL; Professor Matthew Gandy, UCL; Dr Jon Goodbun, University of Westminster; Professor Jonathan Hill, UCL; Jane Hutton, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Douglas Spencer, Architectural Association; Lisa Tilder, Ohio State University; Ed Wall, Kingston University; Tim Waterman, Writtle School of Design; Jane Wolff, University of Toronto; Dr Daniel Zarza, University of Alcala/Daniel Zarza Architects

REGISTRATION:  Attendance is free but spaces must be reserved in advance at

Cultures of Capitalism IV: Whitechapel Salon, Feb 16

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Thursday 16 February 2012, 7pm
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1
Price: £7.00 / £5.00 concessions (includes free glass of wine).

This season’s Whitechapel Salon organised by the IMCC in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery is on ‘Cultures of Capitalism’. Our fourth discussion focuses on future of education under contemporary capitalism, with guest participants Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism, Andrew McGettigan, author of the arts and humanities blog Critical Education, and Andrea Phillips, Reader in Fine Art Practice and Director of Research Studies, Goldsmiths. Chaired by Marquard Smith.

Book your ticket at:

Literature Research Seminars, Feb-March 2012

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A heads up on the line up of speakers and list of dates for this semester’s series of English Literature and Culture seminars. All will take place from 1.15-2.30pm on Wednesday lunchtimes in the University’s Regent Street building (room 359).

8th February 2012
Morgan Daniels (Queen Mary, London)
‘Satire and Childishness’

22nd February 2012
Anthony Paraskeva (University of Dundee)
”Wyndham Lewis, Cinema Hypnotism and the Frankfurt School’

7th March 2012
Matthew Taunton (Queen Mary, London)
‘Socialism, Literature and the Radiant Future: Before and After 1917’

21st March 2012
Aisling McKeown (Westminster)
‘Once Upon a Time in the West: Rural Idyll in Contemporary Irish Fiction and Film’

Further details at: