Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Transcult Brit...

This should possibly go in my what's on section, but as its also an 'interest' and a cite, its here.

Transcultural Britain is the 17th annual conference of the Association for the Study of British Cultures. Its held in Magdeburg at:

Universitätsbibliothek (Gebäude 30)
lat:52°08'20"N long:11°38'50"E
[I do like that they broadcaast their location in the way that boats signal distress!]

The rubric for the conference begins: "More often than not, discussions of multicultural Britain have focused on ethnic minorities and migrant or diasporic communities in their difference from and – tense or productive – relation to the dominant 'white' British culture. However, what exactly does that presumed core culture consist of? Does 'British culture' really exist as that self-enclosed, autonomous formation which its advocates try to propagate? Has it ever existed in history? Our conference starts from the assumption that Britishness has emerged through histories of cultural transactions with multiple others: colonial, Celtic, continental, trans-Atlantic, diasporic ... These others were, and are, constitutive in the process of consolidating the myth of a purist national culture that paradoxically has, at least from the Renaissance onwards, continuously been characterised by the incorporation of 'foreign' cultural inputs. Britishness, in short, is itself fundamentally hybrid. However, one of the most striking responses to this condition seems to consist in the intensification of efforts at re-essentialising cultural identities in terms of 'race', ethnicity, religion, region, nationality".

My talk for it is:

Topic: "Diasporic Music in a Time of War: from the trade in hybridity to the tirade of Terror"

Abstract: A discussion of new work by diasporic world music stalwarts Fun-da-mental and the drum and bass outfit Asian Dub Foundation, relating to insurgency struggles, anti-colonialism and political freedom in the UK. The presentation will argue for an engaged critique of "culture" and assess a certain distance or gap between political expression and the tamed versions of multiculturalism accepted by/acceptable in the British marketplace. Examples from the music industry reception of 'difficult' music and creative engagement are evaluated in the context of the global terror wars.

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