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Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Start of Industry In Theory!

Sarah Lill and myself, Guy Mankowski, are honoured to be taking over the great work of the Objects In Theory group with a new postgraduate reading group this year. And we've chosen the title 'Industry in Theory'.

It's an informal (possibly wine-fulled) reading group held monthly for PGR students and members of staff at Northumbria University. We'll meet once a month on a Friday afternoon and we are keen to bring together students from across the across and social sciences to take part. The group will be followed by a customary trip to the Carriage pub over the road. 

In the session we will employ a critical theory alongside a range of literary and nonliterary primary sources. In short, we hope to apply a theoretical reading to a particular "text". The word "text" is used in the loosest possible sense- previous groups have included short stories, poetry, film and other types of media, art work, pictures etc and we are keen to encourage this diversity!

For this academic year the theoretical texts all broadly relate to the theme of 'industry'.

If you would like to present, this involves choosing your theory from the list provided (or another related theory if you strongly wish!) and picking some type of text or primary source. The presenter will initiate the discussion and chair it although the majority of the thinking will be done collaborately with everyone offering their own opinions.

Below is a list of dates we have planned, as well as key themes and theories for your persual. Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved- either by commenting below or emailing us at

Dates of Sessions -

(All held 4-6pm in Lipman 121)

Friday 26 October
Friday 23 November
Friday 14 December
Friday 25 January
Friday 22 February
Friday 22 March
Friday 10 May

Key themes –
  • The City (Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire)
  • Conformity and Subculture (Judith Butler, Hebdige)
  • Commerce (Marxist theories)
  • Society and culture (Rivkin and Ryan The Politics of Culture, Bourdieu)
  • The Sublime (Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke)
  • Power (Foucault)
  • Ownership (Marx, John Locke, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham)
  • Book History/Typography (Zwicker, McKenzie, McKiterick, Cambridge History of The Book)
  • Construction / Architecture
  • Warfare (psychoanalytic causes, Klein and Fornari) or evolutionary (Pinker).
  • Labour (Marx & Engels, Adam Smith, David Ricardo)

Theories –
  • Karl Marx, Capital: Critique of Political Economy.
  • Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish.
  • Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
  • Judith Butler, ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution’ in Gender Trouble: Feminisma dn the Subversion of Identity.
  • Immanuel Kant, Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?
  • Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.
  • Johannes Gutenberg, influence of the ’42-line Bible’.

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