29 March 2012
Venue: Room 501 (Pat Hanan Room), Arts 2 (Building 207)
Host: Geoff Stahl, Victoria University of Wellington
Even as its signifying power fades, the hipster still offers something of hermeneutic value as a kind of provocation when thinking about cultural spaces in so-called "creative cities." Drawing upon research in Montreal, Berlin and Wellington I will make use of my withering desire to be hip, and the waning of the hipster, as an opportunity to single out the latter as a redemptive urban figure, in that it gives shape to a civitas, a vehicle which brings into view ways of belonging to the city and to one another. I want to understand this notion of civitas as it both congeals around certain places and becomes appended to discourses about the city. With this in mind, this discussion will speak to the relationship between the scene and the city, noting that the easy dismissal of hipsters and their role in the cultural and collective life of the city demonstrates just one contemporary example of limning the discourse of the city, the city as a discourse.
Geoff Stahl is a Lecturer in the Media Studies programme in the School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington / Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui. His research focuses on cultural production in the city. He has published book chapters and articles on scenes and subcultures in journals such as Space and Culture and Culture Unbound. His book on scenes is forthcoming with University of Toronto Press. He is one of the authors of Understanding Media Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010) with Angi Buettner, Thierry Jutel and Tony Schirato. He is a member of the executive of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and an editor of IASPM@journal, as well as on the editorial board of the New Zealand Journal of Media Studies. Dr Stahl also DJs and VJs in venues under the moniker TV Disko and can be heard on Wellington’s RadioActive 88.6 FM on ‘Music Without Subtitles.’ He has been instrumental in bringing the practice of Ping Pong Country to Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Drinks and snacks to follow.