Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Manchester and Salford: Regeneration and Reinvention 08"

The University of Salford just organized a European Studies conference titled "Regeneration and Reinvention - Practices of the New". My friend from Serbia and me were attending this conference, and it was indeed very interesting to see what this "New" actually was. It has been a very heterogeneous conference. The New in Great Britain came from various disciplines. A great deal of it was urban planning and architecture (culminating in a nice PR talk by one of the representatives of one of the major urban renewal companies on the island), but also some subcultural studies topics, the attempt to grasp the path of "New Labour" and "The Third Way" in politics, aspects of a new critical consumerism, social problems like binch drinking in GB, and some new fields in literature (hypertextual structures in Danielewski's print novel) and philosophy. Heidegger and Foucault, Barthes (Bojana) and Flusser (me) being connected to discussions of new technological aspects of our society. A lot of the talks were really inspiring. Plus Manchester and Salford are cities in a process of change these days, creating the right atmosphere for such a conference. Suitable evening programme was a visit of The Lowry art gallery and the Wire concert in the academy. Four very interesting days.


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