The Meaning of the Monarchy

Recorded Live at the Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston, London, on May 3rd 2023

Anthony Barnett, Founder of Charter 88 and open Democracy, author of many books including Taking Control: Humanity and America after Trump and the Pandemic and The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and Trump’s America

Laura Clancy, Lecturer in Media, Lancaster University. Author of Running the Family Firm: how the royal family manages its image and our money and the forthcoming What is the Monarchy For?

Introductory Course Spring 2023

Culture, Power, and Politics spring programme this year is in collaboration with Photobook Café in Shoreditch, East London

Dates: (Tuesday) April 4, 11, 18, 25. May 2, 9.

Location: 4 Leonard Circus, London EC2A 4DQ.

Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm

Booking by Eventbrite: see

Culture, Power and Politics evolved out of two parallel projects that started in 2015. Debra Benita Shaw was teaching a free course on cultural studies and cultural theory at squatted and co-operative spaces in London; Jeremy Gilbert was teaching a very similar course for an audience mostly of activists from various social movements and political organisations. 

Debbie and Jeremy are colleagues at the University of East London where they are members of the Centre for Research into Social Change and Justice.

In part one of Culture, Power, and Politics this year, Debbie and Katharina Uhe will host a series of seminars exploring the politics and practice of visual and digital cultures. Sessions are relaxed and interactive and oriented towards challenging received ideas about the world and how it is represented in our image saturated culture. Everyone is welcome and no prior expertise is expected or required. If you want to do some reading, we will be happy to recommend books and online sources for further discussion. Photobook Café is a community café, gallery and photobook library inspired by love of photobooks and traditional darkroom practice, serving excellent coffee, soft drinks, and craft beers.

Part two of Culture, Power & Politics, hosted by Jeremy, will be at Ridley Road Market Bar in May/June/July. 

Spring Programme

April 4

Debra Benita Shaw: Seeing is (Maybe?) Not Believing

Nineteenth century scientists believed that photography could represent the truth of the world but we now understand the power of images to represent damaging and divisive ideologies. Many photographers in the 20th and 21st centuries have made work that challenges the correspondence between ideas and visual experience.  How do we learn to see and what is the relationship between power and representation?

April 11

Debra Benita Shaw: Realism, Modernity and The Image

In this session, we will examine 20th century ideas that changed how art was made and understood. How did photography affect and influence artists working in other media? How did new ideas about the composition of social structures impact forms of representation? What is the relationship between science, art and reality?

April 18

Debra Benita Shaw: Art in Space

We only have to think about the positioning of statues and the way that they govern ideas about the use of space to appreciate that the positioning of art is never innocent but is bound up with power structures and social hierarchies. This session will examine the complex and contested relationship between art and architecture. Who are buildings for and how does art both challenge and confirm how space is used and understood?

April 25

Adam Wiseman: Photography, Power & Community

Continuing our discussion of art and architecture, Adam will discuss alternative methods for mapping history, architecture and the everyday, through critical and fragmented glimpses of place and performative processes. ‘Tlatelolco Disproved’ is both a choreographed urban landscape and a portrait of a community. Documented with photographs and video it was created with the collaboration of over 100 neighbours of the Chihuahua building of the Nonoalco Tlatelolco residential complex. Tlatelolco Desmentido examins the unpredictable nature of community and how it develops independent of political and commercial master plans.

May 2

Katharina Uhe in conversation with Open School East Associates Jamie Lee, Emily Stapleton Jefferies and Leon Claws: Coding, Sensing and Perception 

In this session the Open School East Associates Jamie, Emily and Leon will be in conversation with Katharina. Together they will reflect on their ‘Forest of Things’ exhibition that draws on their practical engagement with microcontrollers. This session will be asking the question of how technologies are enabling us to sense and respond to our environment. Can we program perception and if yes what are its wider implication on visual culture. 

May 9

Antigoni Memou: Images and Counter-Images of Migration

This session will examine the ways in which the ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe has been experienced and represented through or asimage(s) since 2015 and will consider the ways in which some of these images have been used to reinforce stereotypes of migrant people. Are there any counter-images, images that critique and resist such stereotyping, by challenging, critiquing, or subverting dominant visual narratives of migration? Can they function as active sites for the creation of a ‘disobedient gaze’ in pro-migration activism?


Debra Benita Shaw 

Dr. Debra Benita Shaw is a Reader in Cultural Theory in the Department of Architecture and Visual Arts. She teaches cultural theory to artists studying at postgraduate level and writes about urban cultures, the cultural effects of technological change and science fiction.

Antigoni Memou 

Dr Antigoni Memou is senior lecturer in Visual Theories at the Department of Architecture and Visual Arts and course leader of BA Photography at University of East London. 

Adam Wiseman 

Mexico City, 1970. As a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York and a former printer at Magnum Photos, Adam Wiseman’s career has been marked by his relationship to photojournalism. His subjects are clearly interposed with an understanding of image as something between document and intersubjectivity.  

Wiseman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London. He divides his time between Mexico City and London giving lectures, workshops and developing new work.  

Katharina Uhe 

Katharina Uhe is a researcher in Advanced Practices at Goldsmiths University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Digital Media at the University of Amsterdam. Katharina’s research interest focuses on the philosophies and imaginaries that are circulating around the materiality, place, role, and effect of the visual image in a digital landscape. Through an appropriation of different practices and the speculative, she allows her research to propose new forms of encounter with the visual image. 

Woke Capitalism

This is the last in the ‘This Conjuncture’ series of seminars hosted by the journal New Formations in Autumn 2021.

Corporate ‘wokeness’ puts positive messages deriving from radical politics to work in the interests of consumer capitalism. Join Rosalind Gill, Akane Kanai, and Francesca Sobande, who will develop an analysis of ‘woke capitalism’ beyond the reductive charge of selling out.


Rosalind Gill is Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at City, University of London. She is the author, co-author or editor of many books and articles, including Gender and the Media (2015) and Creative Hubs in Question: Place, Space and Work in the Creative Economy (2019, co-edited with Andy Pratt and Tarek Virani).

Akane Kanai is Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at Monash University. She is the author of Gender and Relatability in Digital Culture: Managing Affect, Intimacy and Value (2018). Ros and Akane’s article ‘Woke? Affect, neoliberalism, marginalised identities and consumer culture’ was published as a contribution to This Conjuncture.

Francesca Sobande is Lecturer in Digital Media Studies at Cardiff University. She is the author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (2020) and co-editor, with Akwugo Emejulu, of To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe (2019).

This Conjuncture: Perspectives from Mexico

with Gabriela Méndez Cota and Benjamín Arditi

The electoral success of Mexico’s leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the MORENA coalition has given rise to both optimism and concern. While aspects of the agenda have proved transformative, Obrador is seen to have mishandled the pandemic and action on climate breakdown has been inadequate. Join Gabriela Méndez Cota and Benjamín Arditi for an assessment of recent political mobilizations in Mexico, drawing on conjunctural analysis and continental political thought.


Gabriela Méndez Cota is Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México. She is the author of Disrupting Maize: Food, Biotechnology and Nationalism in Contemporary Mexico (2016). Gabriela’s article ‘Policing the environmental conjuncture: structural violence in Mexico and the National Assembly of the Environmentally Affected’ was published as a contribution to This Conjuncture.

Benjamín Arditi is Professor of Political Theory at the National University of Mexico. Amongst other works, he is the author of Politics on the Edges of Liberalism: Difference, Populism, Revolution, Agitation(2012).

This Conjuncture – Digital Patriarchy

Patriarchy in the digital conjuncture

Digital platforms create new opportunities to express misogyny in increasingly extreme ways, intersect with the structures of patriarchy sustained in everyday life. In the form of misogynistic ‘rationalism’, these ideas also permeate the culture of Silicon Valley. Join Sarah Banet-Weiser, Ben Little and Alison Winch to discuss networked misogyny and male victimhood in the context of the growing power and influence of digital platforms.


Sarah Banet-Weiser is Distinguished Professor of Communication and Director of the Annenberg Centre for Collaborative Communication. Her books include Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture (2012), and Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny(2018).

Ben Little is Lecturer in Media and Cultural Politics at the University of East Anglia. He is the co-author of The New Patriarchs of Digital Capitalism (2021) and Russell Brand: Comedy, Celebrity and Politics (2016, with Jane Arthurs).

Alison Winch is Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her books include The New Patriarchs of Digital Capitalism (2021) and Girlfriends and Postfeminist Sisterhood (2013). Alison and Ben are the authors of ‘Patriarchy in the digital conjuncture – an analysis of Google’s James Damore

This Conjuncture – Britain after Brexit, Corbyn and Covid

This is the second of a series of online seminars hosted by the journal New Formations (current editor: Jeremy Gilbert) in Autumn 2021, organised by Rebecca Bramall and Jeremy Gilbert. The series marks the publication of the journal’s series of issues published under the title This Conjuncture and dedicated to the memory of Stuart Hall.

This session features contributions from Anthony Barnett, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Scott McCracken

The Exhaustion of Merkelism

This is the first of a series of online seminars hosted by the journal New Formations (current editor: Jeremy Gilbert) in Autumn 2021, organised by Rebecca Bramall and Jeremy Gilbert. The series marks the publication of the journal’s series of issues published under the title This Conjuncture and dedicated to the memory of Stuart Hall.

Angela Merkel stands down as German Chancellor this autumn after 16 years in the role, but will Merkelism – the mode of crisis management that has dominated since the mid-2000s – continue to inform German politics? Fresh from the polls, join Moritz Ege and Alexander Gallas to discuss the legacies of Merkelism and the nation’s cultural-political future.


Moritz Ege is Professor of Cultural Studies and Popular Cultures at the University of Zurich. Moritz is the co-editor of two books: Against the Elites! The Cultural Politics of Anti-Elitism (with Johannes Springer, forthcoming) and Urban Ethics (with Johannes Moser, 2021).

Alexander Gallas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Kassel, and one of the editors of the Global Labour Journal. He is the author of The Thatcherite Offensive: A Neo-Poulantzasian Analysis (2015). Moritz and Alexander are the co-authors of The exhaustion of Merkelism: a conjunctural analysis, published as part of This Conjuncture.