Conference on Capitalism

Friday, October 21, 2016


21st Annual Cultural Studies Conference

Studying capitalism is all the rage today. From the remarkable popular success of Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book to the burgeoning turn to capitalism in a variety of disciplines (such as the growth of research on it in history departments across the country; recent studies on the relationship between Islam and capitalism; the reanimation of Marxist sociology; and new ethnographies of labor and the global economy) and in culture (for example, Michael Moore’s documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, and Mohsin Hamid’s novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia), capitalism as an object of study has captured both scholarly and public attention.

The 2016 Cultural Studies conference proposes to seize on this growing interest in capitalism by bringing together the many scholars here, along with a few outside speakers, whose work touches on various aspects of economic life in capitalist societies to explore critical points of intersection among our research interests. Many of us study global capitalism in local contexts (where the “local” is defined both in terms of symbolic import, material dimensions, and lexical reach) and periods that have marked critical disjunctures or crises in capitalism (the Great Depression and its aftermath; neoliberalism as practiced since the 1980s around the globe; and most recently, the 2007-2008 financial crisis).

Presentations at the Cultural Studies conference will explore the political economy of cultural representations of capitalism; the intellectual, cultural, and political dimensions of accounting and control techniques in capitalist society; the creation and propagation of new narratives that justify particular production arrangements or reinforce powerful methods of social intervention; the role of the state in regulating capital flows and investments; local variations in the acceptance, instantiation, and resistance to global capital streams; and case studies of specific industries or corporations as they rise and fall, among other topics.

See our official Conference page for the conference schedule.