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Wrestling with the Angels: Exploring Stuart Hall's Theoretical Legacy

Wrestling with the Angels:
Exploring Stuart Hall's Theoretical Legacy

25 - 27 February 2016

Technische Universität Dortmund
Internationales Begegnungszentrum

Stuart Hall, who passed away in February 2014, was one of the founding figures of what is known today as ‘Cultural Studies’ and long-time director of the renowned Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. Besides that, he was a central figure of the British New Left, founding editor of the journal New Left Review, and one of England’s most charismatic public intellectuals.

Crucially, for Hall, intellectual practice was a politics, and questions of culture were political questions. His was a thinking that was questioning, flexible and open-ended, regularly moving across disciplinary boundaries and synthesizing different theoretical outlooks. It was rigorously contextual, extremely attentive to complexity, dedicated to the concrete, activist, committed and practical, and driven by a curiosity that constantly led unto new (and frequently largely uncharted) theoretical terrain. The subjects covered by Hall’s work include topics as diverse as popular culture and mass media, representation and signifying practices, subcultures, questions of power, ideology and resistance, ‘race’ and ethnicity, globalisation, multiculturalism and diaspora, cultural and personal identity, Thatcherism, New Labour, and neoliberalism.

This conference takes Hall’s recent death as an occasion to explore the legacy of his highly influential and multi-faceted work. For this, it takes its cue from Hall himself, who once said that theoretical work meant ‘wrestling with the angels’ and that the only theory worth having was the one one had to fight and struggle with. This, precisely, is what this conference aims to do: to engage with, examine, use, question, criticise, develop and transform Hall’s many concepts and ideas.


Thursday, 25 February 2016

15.00 - 15.30 Welcome Addresses

15.30 - 16.30 Panel 1: Ethnicity
Mark Schmitt (Dortmund):
"'The whites have become black': Responses to the English Riots of 2011, Critical Whiteness Studies and the Trouble with 'New Ethnicities'"

J. Jesse Ramírez (Frankfurt/Main): "Do Black and Brown Lives Matter? Thinking Contemporary Chicano/a-BlackRelations in California with Stuart Hall"

16.30 - 17.00 Coffee Break

17.00 - 18.00 Panel 2: Ethnicity
Praveen Sewgobind (Leiden): "Meandericity Meets Cultural Hegemony – A Critical Elaboration of Hall'sLegacy"

Ibrahim Wani (Mumbai): "(Re)-articulating Identities in Kashmir: From Marginal Objects to New Subjectivities of Self Representation and Identity Articulations"

18.15 - 19.30 Keynote 1:

Catherine Hall (University College London): "Thinking about 'Race', Thinking about History"

Conference Warming

Friday, 26 February 2016

9.00 - 10.15 Keynote 2:

David Morley (Goldsmiths College, London): "What Is This 'British' in British Cultural Studies?"

10.15 - 10.45 Coffee Break

10.45 - 11.45 Panel 3: Negotiating Marxism

Maria Backhouse (Freiburg): "Social Criticism without Guarantees: Stuart Hall’s Inspirational Re-reading of Marx"

Jens Kastner (Wien): "Nation-state and Consensus: Stuart Hall's Approach as Mediation"

11.45 - 13.15 Lunch Break

13.15 - 14.30 Keynote 3:

Gregor McLennan (Bristol): "Reading for the Best Hall: Theorizing, Articulating, Mediating"

14.30 - 14.45 Coffee Break

14.45 - 15.45 Panel 4: Art

Isabel Guzzardo Tamargo (Puerto Rico): "'Twice Diasporized': Caribbean History as Construction and Repetition in Film"

Ingrid von Rosenberg (Berlin/Dresden): "Stuart Hall and Black British Art"

15.45 - 16.15 Coffee Break

16.15 - 17.15 Panel 5: Media

Dagmar Brunow (Växjö): "Stuart Hall and Memory Studies"

Cyprian Piskurek (Dortmund): "Mediated Thugs: A Re-evaluation of Stuart Hall's Work on Football Hooliganism"

17.15 - 17.30 Coffee Break

17.30 - 18.45 Keynote 4:

Nina Power (University of Roehampton, London): "Why the 21st Century Needs Stuart Hall"

Conference Dinner

Saturday, 27 February 2016

9.00 - 10.00 Panel 6: Theory and Method
Jürgen Kramer (Dortmund): "A Particular Mode of Analysis: Re-reading Policing the Crisis" 

Jonathan Cahana (Aarhus): "Wrestling with the Archons: Gnosticism as a Critical Theory of Culture"

10.00 - 10.30 Coffee Break

10.30 - 11.45 Keynote 5:

Michael Rustin (University of East London): "Stuart Hall: Historian of the Present?"

11.45 - 13.00 Lunch Break

13.00 - 14.00 Panel 7: Power and Resistance
Simone Beate Borgstede (Lüneburg): "Stuart Hall, Gramsci and Social Struggles: Two Case Studies"
Georgia Christinidis (Rostock): "Stuart Hall: Between Co-Optation and Resistance"

14.00 - 14.30 Coffee Break

14.30 - 15.30 Panel 8: Power and Resistance
Florian Cord (Leipzig): "Stuart Hall, Politics and the Political"
Gerold Sedlmayr (Dortmund): "Stuart Hall, the University and the (Self-)Conception of the Scholar Today"



Prof. Dr. Gerold Sedlmayr
Tel.: 0231 755-2909