Vision traditionally occupies the height of the sensorial hierarchy. The sense of clarity and purity conveyed by vision, allows it to be explicitly associated with truth and knowledge. The law has always relied on vision and representation, from eye-witnesses to photography, to imagery and emblems. The law and its normative gaze can be understood as that which decrees what is permitted to be and become visible and what is not. Indeed, even if law’s perspectival view is bound to be betrayed by the realities of perception, it is nonetheless productive of real effects on the world.
This first title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ asks how we can develop new theoretical approaches to law and seeing that go beyond a simple critique of the legal pretension to truth. This volume aims to understand how law might see and unsee, and how in its turn is seen and unseen. It explores devices and practices of visibility, the evolution of iconology and iconography, and the relation between the gaze of the law and the blindness of justice. The contributions, all radically interdisciplinary, are drawn from photography, legal theory, philosophy, and poetry.Book Details
Evaluating skills and knowledge capture lies at the cutting edge of contemporary higher education where there is a drive towards increasing evaluation of classroom performance and use of digital technologies in pedagogy. Developing Educators for the Digital Age is a book that provides a narrative account of teacher development geared towards the further usage of technologies (including iPads, MOOCs and whiteboards) in the classroom presented via the histories and observation of a diverse group of teachers engaged in the multiple dimensions of their profession.
Drawing on the insights of a variety of educational theories and approaches (including TPACK) it presents a practical framework for capturing knowledge in action of these English language teachers – in their own voices – indicating how such methods, processes and experiences shed light more widely on related contexts within HE and may be transferable to other situations.
This book will be of interest to the growing body of scholars interested in TPACK theory, or communities of practice theory and more widely anyone concerned with how new pedagogical skills and knowledge with technology may be incorporated in better practice and concrete instances of teaching.Book Details
Spectacle 2.0 recasts Debord's theory of spectacle within the frame of 21st century digital capitalism. It offers a reassessment of Debord’s original notion of Spectacle from the late 1960s, of its posterior revisitation in the 1990s, and it presents a reinterpretation of the concept within the scenario of contemporary informational capitalism and more specifically of digital and media labour. It is argued that the Spectacle 2.0 form operates as the interactive network that links through one singular (but contradictory) language and various imaginaries, uniting diverse productive contexts such as logistics, finance, new media and urbanism. Spectacle 2.0 thus colonizes most spheres of social life by processes of commodification, exploitation and reification. Diverse contributors consider the topic within the book’s two main sections: Part I conceptualizes and historicizes the Spectacle in the context of informational capitalism; contributions in Part II offer empirical cases that historicise the Spectacle in relation to the present (and recent past) showing how a Spectacle 2.0 approach can illuminate and deconstruct specific aspects of contemporary social reality. All contributions included in this book rework the category of the Spectacle to present a stimulating compendium of theoretical critical literature in the fields of media and labour studies. In the era of the gig-economy, highly mediated content and President Trump, Debord’s concept is arguably more relevant than ever.Book Details
The United States presents the greatest source of global geo-political violence and instability. Guided by the radical political economy tradition, this book offers an analysis of the USA’s historical impulse to weaponize communication technologies.
Scott Timcke explores the foundations of this impulse and how the militarization of digital society creates structural injustices and social inequalities. He analyses how new digital communication technologies support American paramountcy and conditions for worldwide capital accumulation. Identifying selected features of contemporary American society, Capital, State, Empire undertakes a materialist critique of this digital society and of the New American Way of War. At the same time it demonstrates how the American security state represses activists—such as Black Lives Matter—who resist this emerging security leviathan. The book also critiques the digital positivism behind the algorithmic regulation used to control labour and further diminish prospects for human flourishing for the ‘99%’.
Capital, State, Empire contributes to a broader understanding of the dynamics of global capitalism and political power in the early 21st century.Book Details
The objective of this book is to outline how a radically democratic politics can be reinvigorated in theory and practice through the use of the internet. The author argues that politics in its proper sense can be distinguished from anti-politics by analyzing the configuration of public space, subjectivity, participation, and conflict. Each of these terrains can be configured in a more or less political manner, though the contemporary status quo heavily skews them towards anti-political configuration.
Using this understanding of what exactly politics entails, this book considers how the internet can both help and hinder efforts to move each area in a more political direction. By explicitly interpreting contemporary theories of the political in terms of the internet, this analysis avoids the twin traps of both technological determinism and technological cynicism.
Raising awareness of what the word ‘politics’ means, the author develops theoretical work by Arendt, Rancière, Žižek and Mouffe to present a clear and coherent view of how in theory, politics can be digitized and alternatively how the internet can be deployed in the service of trulydemocratic politics.Book Details
In recent years research into creative labour and cultural work has usually addressed the politics of production in these fields, but the sociotechnical and aesthetic dimensions of collaborative creative work have been somewhat overlooked.
This book aims to address this gap. Through case studies that range from TV showrunning to independent publishing, from the film industry to social media platforms such as Tumblr and Wattpad, this collection develops a critical understanding of the integral role collaboration plays in contemporary media and culture. It draws attention to diverse kinds of creative collaboration afforded via the intermediation of digital platforms and networked publics. It considers how these are incorporated into emergent market paradigms and investigates the complicated forms of subjectivity that develop as a consequence. But it also acknowledges historical continuities, not least in terms of the continued exploitation of ‘support personnel’ and of resulting artistic conflicts but also of alternative models that resist the precarious nature of contemporary cultural work.
Finally, this volume attempts to situate creative collaboration in broader social and economic contexts, where the experience and outcomes of such work have proved more problematic than the rich potential of their promise would lead us to expect.
The Editors: James Graham is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, Middlesex University, London. Alessandro Gandini is Lecturer in Digital Media Management and Innovation in the Department of Digital Humanities, Kings College, London.Book Details
Knowledge in the Age of Digital Capitalism proposes a new critical theory concerning the functioning of capitalism and how we consider knowledge and information. This ambitious book systematically and lucidly introduces contemporary phenomena into the framework of cognitive materialism to address some of the great themes of the social sciences: knowledge, exploitation and social class in an account of capitalismâs totality in the present day. Author Mariano Zukerfeld reinvigorates materialist study of communications, presenting a typology of knowledge to explain the underlying material forms of information, intellectual property and cognitive work in contemporary societies. Using current examples the book also examines concerns such as free labour and the pivotal role of intellectual property. The book offers nothing less than an introduction to the theory of cognitive materialism and an account of the entirety of the digital (or knowledge) capitalism of our time.Book Details
The naval leader has taken centre stage in traditional naval histories. However, while the historical narrative has been fairly consistent the development of various navies has been accompanied by assumptions, challenges and competing visions of the social characteristics of naval leaders and of their function. Whilst leadership has been a constant theme in historical studies, it has not been scrutinised as a phenomenon in its own right. This book examines the critical period in Europe between 1700 -1850, when political, economic and cultural shifts were bringing about a new understanding of the individual and of society. Bringing together context with a focus on naval leadership as a phenomenon is at the heart of this book, a unique collaborative venture between British, French and Spanish scholars. As globalisation develops in the twenty-first century the significance of navies looks set to increase. This volume of essays aims to place naval leadership in its historical context.
An electronic version of this book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched. KU is a collaborative initiative designed to make high quality books Open Access for the public good. The Open Access ISBN for this book is 978-1-911534-76-1. More information about the initiative and details about KU’s Open Access programme can be found at www.knowledgeunlatched.orgBook Details
This book contributes to the foundations of a critical theory of communication as shaped by the forces of digital capitalism. One of the world's leading theorists of digital media Professor Christian Fuchs explores how the thought of some of the Frankfurt School’s key thinkers can be deployed for critically understanding media in the age of the Internet. Five essays that form the heart of this book review aspects of the works of Georg Lukács, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Axel Honneth and Jürgen Habermas and apply them as elements of a critical theory of communication's foundations. The approach taken starts from Georg Lukács Ontology of Social Being, draws on the work of the Frankfurt School thinkers, and sets them into dialogue with the Cultural Materialism of Raymond Williams.
Critical Theory of Communication offers a vital set of new insights on how communication operates in the age of information, digital media and social media, arguing that we need to transcend the communication theory of Habermas by establishing a dialectical and cultural-materialist critical theory of communication.
It is the first title in a major new book series 'Critical Digital and Social Media Studies' published by the University of Westminster Press.
The story of the (now restored) Regent Street Cinema is the fourth volume exploring the University of Westminster's long and diverse history. This multi-authored volume tells its history from architectural, educational, legal and cinematic perspectives and is richly illustrated throughout with images from the University of Westminster archive.
A print paperback can be purchased direct from the University of Westminster for £20 following this link: www.westminster.ac.uk/historybooks
Staff, students and alumni can claim a 20% discount on this price.
Will be part of the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer-to-peer. This book asks what is peer-to-peer (P2P)? Why is it so important to building a commons-centric future? And how could this happen? Using a political economy framework this book discusses various cases exemplifying P2P commons-orientated value models. This book aims to critically intervene through proposals for a commons transition strategy. In this way it illustrates how state, market and civil society can build more inclusive and sustainable institutions.
The Blitz Companion offers a unique overview of a century of aerial warfare, its impact on cities and the people who lived in them. It tells the story of aerial warfare from the earliest bombing raids and premonitions through to the NATO bombings during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and subsequent bombings in the aftermath of 9/11. The book focuses on air raids precautions, evacuation and preparations for total war, and resilience, both of citizens and of cities. The legacies of air raids, from reconstruction to commemoration, are also discussed. Uniquely accessible, comparative and broad in scope this book draws key conclusions about civilian experience in the twentieth century.
Will be part of the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
Current Big Data practices are largely guided by deliberations concerning their efficiency and optimization. Yet this book highlights that the capacity for gathering, analysing, and utilising vast amounts of digital (user) data raise significant ethical issues. Annika Richterich provides a systematic contemporary overview of the field of critical data studies that reflects on practices of digital data collection and analysis. It assesses in detail one Big Data research area: biomedical studies, focused on epidemiological surveillance asking if data ownership can be reclaimed by citizens from being simply an assertion of a conception of rights to (user) data that is defined by technological domination. She argues data literacy and discourse ethics may contain solutions as well as a critique.
Will be part of the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
What is ‘social capital’? The enormous positivity surrounding the term conceals the instrumental economic rationality underpinning the notion as corporations silently sell consumer data for profit. Status chasing is just one aspect of a process of transforming qualitative aspects of social interactions into quantifiable metrics for easier processing, prediction, and behavioural shaping.
A work of critical media studies, Social Capital examines this idea within the new ‘network spectacle’ of digital capitalism via the ideas of Marx, Veblen, Debord, Baudrillard and Deleuze. Explaining how such phenomena as online narcissism and aggression arise, Faucher offers a new theoretical understanding of how the spectacularization of online activity perfectly aligns with the value system of neoliberalism and its data worship.
Will be part of the Law and the Senses series
Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy. It is the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal and for this reason disciplined and moralised. Yet it is indissolubly tied to knowledge. Taste explores law using the sense as a category able to open up directions away from legal certainties and a tool with which to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. The book also explores topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed via the legal and sociocultural normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.
Understandings of freedom are often discussed in moral, theological, legal and political terms, but they are not often set in a historical perspective, and they are even more rarely considered within their specific language context. From Homeric poems to contemporary works, the author traces the words that express the various notions of freedom in Classical Greek, Latin, and medieval and modern European idioms. Examining Plato, Aristotle, Luther, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, and Foucault among others, this theoretical mapping shows old and new boundaries of the horizon of freedom. The book suggests the possibility of transcending them on the basis of a different theorization of human interactions, which constructs individual and collective subjects as processes rather than entities.