Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean, who holds the Donald R. Harter ’39 Professorship of the Humanities and Social Sciences, recently delivered two invited talks in Lithuania as part of the Congress on Public Spaces, “a series of three interdisciplinary events dedicated to exploring changes in democratic participation,” according to the organizer’s website.
The first event, held on Sept. 29 in the city of Kaunas, focused on the role of the museum in a network society. Dean’s talk, “A View from the Side: The Natural History Museum,” discussed the ongoing project, “The Natural History Museum,” of the art collective, Not An Alternative, which was discussed during last year’s Fisher Center series.
During the second event, a conference titled “Industries of Crisis, Aesthetics of Dissent,” Dean delivered a presentation, “Communicative Capitalism and Class Struggle.” She explored the intersection of class and “communicative capitalism,” a concept at the heart of Dean’s research for the past two decades. “Communicative capitalism” designates the merger of capitalism and democracy in networked communications.
The Congress’s third event, in which Dean also participated, took the form of a workshop held at the Centre for Civil Education, part of the house of the President of Lithuania.
Dean is the author or editor of 12 books including “Blog Theory,” “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies,” “The Communist Horizon,” and most recently “Crowds and Party,” which continues her work on communicative capitalism. In this recent work, she demonstrates the inevitable inequality that networked communications generate. She argues that the revolts of the past decade are examples of the new face of the class struggle under the conditions of communicative capitalism.
Earlier in September, she delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Media and Communication, held at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, in Lisbon, Portugal.