Vés enrere The UPF celebrates a seminar about austerity imaginaries in contemporary popular culture

The UPF celebrates a seminar about austerity imaginaries in contemporary popular culture



On Thursday 20th of June, the seminar Austerity imaginaries in contemporary popular culture took place at the Poblenou campus of the Pompeu Fabra University. The event was organised by the MEDIUM research group within the framework of the project Heroes of the Crisis: Narratives and social discourse in contemporary popular culture.

The main subject of the event was how the economic crisis after the ‘crash’ of 2008 has created a deepening of neoliberal discourses in three different countries: the UK, Ireland and Spain. These discourses focused on individual solutions to the recession based on entrepreneurship and self-help. To cope with the precarity and inequality that followed on the crisis, austerity and resilience have emerged as most feasible solutions. The event took place in the context of the research project Heroes of the crisis: narratives and social discourses in contemporary popular culture, a research that studies how the economic crisis was portrayed by the media and how austerity imaginaries in post-recession Spain were created.


The event started with a short welcome note by Mercè Oliva, Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the UPF. After this, the main guest speakers came up the stage and gave talks about two different subjects. The first guest speaker, Diane Negra, Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture from the University College Dublin, gave a lecture called The Corporatization of Affective Life in Post-Crash Ireland. The second guest speaker, Rebecca Bramall, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications from the London College of Communication, gave a lecture called From ‘tax avoiders’ to ‘hardworking taxpayers’: defining elites and ‘the people’ in the austerity conjuncture. In these lectures, both professors were very critical about corporate life, large companies, tax systems and celebrities, and both professors analysed how these actors operate on a global scale and how politics (left, right, populist) have responded to these actors.


After the break, the research project was further elucidated by several speakers. Lorena Gómez (UPF) talked about TV series and reality TV, Antonio José Planells de la Maza from the Tecnocampus Mataró and Victor Navarro-Remesal from CESAG about videogames and Cristina Sánchez (UPF) about advertising. Lastly, Audience responses to narratives of resilience and entrepreneurship in Spain were discussed by UPF Professors Mercè OlivaÓliver Pérez and Reinald Besalú.



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