Event

The Future Politics of Glitter: Fabulating new worlds through an ubiquitous thing

The Centre for Work, Organisation, and Society (CWOS) warmly invites you to join guest speaker Dr Rebecca Coleman from Goldsmith University of London.

  • Wed 18 Nov 20

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online

    Via Zoom 976 4511 1328

  • Event speaker

    Dr Rebecca Coleman, Goldsmiths, University of London

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Sophie Hales

This seminar seeks to focus on how glitter is involved in indicating the possibilities of the future. The presentation will explore the plethora of politics around the use of glitter, understanding them in terms of the types of future they imply. Specifically, environmental politics will be discussed along with the more prosaic ways in which glitter works to make the futures of young women 'luminous' in popular culture and arts, which are political in terms of the everyday worldings that they focus attention on.

Seminar abstract

Imagining and attempting to create different and better futures is central to feminist, queer and anti-racist theories, methods and practices.

This presentation focuses on how glitter is involved in indicating the possibilities of the future.

Glitter may seem an odd, niche or frivolous case to concentrate on; however, it is ubiquitous in contemporary culture - from concerns about its environmental effects to its involvement in LGBTQ+ glitter-bombing activism, to bodily practices of vagazzling and vagina glitter-bombing, to its functioning in films to indicate the self-actualisation of young black and mixed-race women.

It is also a prevalent and popular craft material, including workshops that Dr Rebecca Coleman has organised with teenage girls, where they worked together to imagine their futures.

It thus demands to be taken seriously.

While these examples are diverse, they all set in motion a plethora of politics which are understood in terms of the kinds of futures they imply.

Most obvious are the environmental politics generated by fears for the future of the natural environment once glitter becomes waste, and the better futures that the LGBTQ+ political activism seek to create.

Also important though, are the more prosaic ways in which glitter works to make the futures of young women 'luminous' (Kearney, 2009) in popular culture and the arts, which are political in terms of the everyday worldings that they focus attention on.

Drawing on new materialisms, feminist culture theory and affect studies, the seminar explores some of these politics, focusing specifically on what they suggest for imagining and bringing new worlds into being.

Booking

This seminar is free to attend with no need to book in advance. We warmly welcome you to share with your friends, colleagues and classmates.

Speaker bio

Dr Rebecca Coleman is a Reader in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she researches and teaches on

  • visual and media culture,
  • time (especially futures and presents)
  • the body
  • affect
  • feminist history
  • inventive methodologies.

Her recent publications include, 

  • Glitterworlds: The future Politics of a Ubiquitous thing (Goldsmiths Press, 2020)
  • 'Feminist New Materialist Practices, a special issue of MAI (edited with Tara Page and Helen Palmer, 2019 )
  • 'Futures in Questions',  a special issue of Sociological Review (edited with Richard Tutton, 2017)

Her current research is on the mediation and lived experience of the present. A special issue of Media Theory, edited with Susanna Paasonen, on 'Mediating Presents' is forthcoming in 2020 (from research funded by the Leverhulme Trust)

A blog on her collaborative research on COVID-19 and time is available on Discover Society

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