Announcement on Cultural Typhoon 2018
Place: Ryukoku University, Kyoto（Ohmiya Campus）
Date: 23rd, 24th June 2018
Sixteen years have passed since the first Cultural Typhoon was held at Waseda University in 2003. At that time, the Iraq war was launched, and neoliberal policy began to become dominant. Since then, we have seen drastic changes both in the spheres of international affairs and in the cultural, social, and economic environment that surrounds us. These changes have urged the Humanities and social sciences, including Cultural Studies, to rethink their research.
If we consider the sphere of politics at present, populism is raging in developed countries, including the US and Japan, and not only racist or xenophobic discourses but also the voices calling for a return to militarism and fascism are spreading. Meanwhile, if we consider the economic dimension, neoliberal globalization and the financialization of capitalism have accelerated, while the states, families, and individuals find themselves in a hell of infinite debt. Then, if we look at the social dimension, the cultural and economic divide between centre and periphery becomes more acute, as the gaps of cultural, economic, and social resources grow to separate people further. In the midst of these developments, there are scholars and universities who have willingly become opportunistic.
Of course, new movements have emerged to pursue alternative possibilities in political, economic, social, and academic spheres. Yet, these attempts are difficult because the current conjuncture mobilizes cultures and individual spirits via affective appeals, to an extent that discourses founded on rationality no longer seem to function. These problems, then, are precisely those within which Cultural Studies must intervene, and this is why we have chosen the theme of Cultural Typhoon 2018 as: “Politics, Economy, and Culture in the Society of Affect: Is There Any Future for Global Capitalism?”