In his lecture, Professor Appadurai, eminent anthropologist and writer on globalisation and modernity, develops his recent work on the culture of modern finance and related technologies of big data and asymmetric speculation. He will explore the implications of an emerging technological world in which failure and convenience have become the hallmarks of new tools, applications and devices. What does this development mean for such ideas as fashion, innovation and sovereignty?
Professor Appadurai will also be leading a seminar on the general topic of failure, to take place on Friday 14th October, 10 a.m., in the top floor Seminar Room of the Oxford Humanities Research Centre, Woodstock Road.
Arjun Appadurai is the Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. He has authored numerous books and scholarly articles, including Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (Duke 2006) and Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, (Minnesota 1996; Oxford India 1997). His latest book is Banking on Words. The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance (Chicago, 2015).
This lecture will open a new series organized by the TORCH network, ‘Rethinking the Contemporary: The World since the Cold War’, which will host leading scholars, intellectuals and cultural practitioners who have been involved in developing new ways of understanding the world since the 1990s. This term’s theme will be markets and the economy, and the next event will take place on Thursday of 6th week (17 November) at 5 pm, when the sociologists Luc Boltanski (EHESS, Paris) and Arnaud Esquerre (CNRS, Paris) will give a lecture entitled ‘The Enrichment Economy: Narratives, Collectibles and Heritage as Economic Resources’.