3rd ACS Institute — 7-12 December 2015

The formal announcement of the keynote lineup for the next ACS Institute is below. But I want to add an extra plug for the event. To be sure, as ACS Chair, I’m a little biased. That said, I’ve been a part of the first two Institutes — in Ghent and in Klagenfurt — and they were two of the most inspiring and enjoyable scholarly gatherings I’ve ever been a part of. It’s a smaller scale event than a typical conference, and the sense of community is stronger than is the case at most conferences as well. If you have any interest in cultural studies, and can find a way to be in Bloemfontein next December, I’d strongly encourage you to do so.


The Association for Cultural Studies (ACS) is delighted to announce the third ACS Institute, which will be held from 7-12 December 2015 at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The theme of the 2015 Institute is “Precarious Futures.”

The ACS Institute will be a forum for critical discussions of important perspectives on cultural studies today. Our theme is intended to forge productive and provocative conversations about how cultural studies might help to chart less precarious and more equitable futures. As a field that has, since its inception, been centrally concerned with the relationship between culture and power, cultural studies can offer unique perspectives on precariousness as not only an endemic experience of contemporary life, but as a state increasingly anticipated for human and non-human planetary futures. This Institute will provide a sustained opportunity for critical reflection on the cultural, economic and political trajectories that point to, or might alter, such futures.

The Institute will provide an intense and rewarding pedagogical experience for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers (established scholars are also welcome) who will have the opportunity to spend the week learning from lectures and seminars delivered by five keynote speakers and a faculty staff of leading cultural studies scholars from around the world. The following keynote speakers have been confirmed:

  • Jean Comaroff (Harvard University, USA)
  • John Erni (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
  • Jo Littler (City University London, UK)
  • Zethu Matebeni (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Handel Wright (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Following on the great successes of the previous ACS Institutes — 2011 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and 2013 at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (Austria) — the 2015 edition of the Institute will bring together people from a wide range of disciplines to explore what it means to conduct cultural studies. We invite and encourage participation from researchers who work in disciplines such as cultural studies, film studies, media studies, cultural sociology, cultural anthropology, literary theory and criticism, discourse analysis, new literacy studies, educational studies, rhetorical criticism, and so forth.

Those interested in participating are invited to take notice of the above mentioned dates. Email inquiries can be addressed to either Helene Strauss (2015 ACS Institute Organizer, strausshj@ufs.ac.za) or Gil Rodman (ACS Chair, gbrodman@mindspring.com). Practical information about registration and a full list of Institute keynotes and faculty will be disseminated in due course.

The Association of Cultural Studies is the premiere international association of cultural studies and hosts the biennial Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference.

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