Sourayan Mookerjea

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Dr. Sourayan Mookerjea is Associate Professor of theory and cultural studies and Director of the Intermedia Research Studio at the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta where he specializes in decolonizing theory, critical globalization studies, and intermedia research. His current projects include The Commons and the Convergence of Crises, an intermedia theory of the commons, RePublicU, a critical university studies collaboration, and Intersections of Sustainability, a collaborative research project on the politics of climate change. He is a participant in Arts and the Anthropocene, a social justice, research creation ColLab at the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. His commitment to practicing and producing scholarship on intermedia including his commitment to taking an approach to intermedia that foregrounds the commons creatively is at the cutting-edge of our concerns at the intersection of powerful discourses and creative practices.

Abstract: 

Utopian Circles of the Creative Economy: Subaltern Counter-environments of the Internet of Things

This paper intervenes in current debates regarding creative economies by interrogating the ideological fields of both creativity and economy as they are now being articulated through the stakes of climate change politics. I interrogate the rhetoric of creativity informing contemporary discourses proposing to scale up a low carbon creative circular economy built out information communication technologies and the so-called internet of things. I examine the mystification of information, technology, and the global social relations of production underpinning such utopian figures of creativity and the structural elision of the embodied politics of social reproduction from these economic models. The paper’s critique of these ideological fields proceeds through a theorization of what I term subaltern counterenvironments through which the body and the digital mediate memory and history. As such, subaltern counter-environments, I argue, characterize the creativity of the social reproductive, right to the city, survival strategies of the urban poor and of global migrants. This argument unfolds through a discussion of my research on the “environmentalism of the poor” in South Asia.

Talk Date 1: April, 27 9:00-10:30 Panel I (closed): Politicizing Creative Economy

Venue: University Senate Chamber

Talk Date 2 : April 28, 1:00-2:45 Public Panel I: Politicizing Creative Economy

Venue: Education Centre North Room 2-115