Eduardo de la Fuente

‘Cultural Sociology Today’ Symposium

On 25 November 2013, we held a one-day symposium on Cultural Sociology Today at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Tim Graham reflects on the event below.

Several weeks ago I had the great fortune of attending the ‘Cultural Sociology Today’ Symposium. This well-attended event was hosted by La Trobe University and organised by the TASA Cultural Sociology Thematic Group and the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology. As a newcomer to Cultural Sociology, the Symposium served as somewhat of an introductory tour. Well, it left quite an impression on me! The depth and breadth of scholarship was astounding, with topics that included: the nature of culture itself; academic cultural pub crawls; teaching cultural sociology through music; mourning the dead on social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube; the ‘minimal self’ as a tool for charismatic empowerment; the threat of a meaningless death and the search for meaning in modern literature; why Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is not indeed great; the hidden anxieties of the American middle-class revealed in pop TV shows; the complexity and meaning of ‘class analysis’ in Australian history; and the search for a meaningful life as expressed in popular film and television narratives such as Toy Story and The Sopranos. I was not aware that such stimulating, and ultimately entertaining, topics constituted the basis for cultural sociological inquiry; nor was I aware of the scope and impact that Australian cultural sociology seems to be having with respect to key contemporary debates.


REMINDER AND UPDATES: ‘Cultural Sociology Today’ Symposium

La Trobe

Kandinsky big(Image: Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VII)

Cultural Sociology Today’ Symposium

Organised by the TASA Cultural Sociology Thematic Group
and the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology

Supported by La Trobe University
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Peter Beilharz, John Carroll, Barbara Evers, Eduardo de la Fuente, Margaret Gibson, Sara James, Brad West, Gary Wickham

Venue: La Trobe University, Collins St City Campus
360 Collins St (between Elizabeth and Queen St)
Teaching room 4 (20th floor)

Date: 25 November 2013, 9.30am – 4.30pm

This is a free event. Afternoon tea will be provided. Lunch will be self-catered.

Culture connects and inspires individuals through shared patterns of meaning, myths, rituals and representations and shapes institutions and histories. It is neither an abstract ideology nor a tangible social structure. It is intimately entwined in the shaping of social life and human action, and simultaneously emerges from them. Cultural sociology recognises and studies the autonomy of culture, the textuality of social life and the establishment of specific (semiotic) mechanisms through which culture does its work.

This one-day symposium engages with recent developments in cultural sociology. It is hosted by the La Trobe University Department of Sociology and Anthropology and will feature the work of members of the department (including Peter Beilharz, John Carroll, and Sara James), and cultural sociologists from around Australia: Barbara Evers (Murdoch University), Eduardo de la Fuente (Flinders University) Margaret Gibson (Griffith University), Brad West (Uni SA), Gary Wickham (Murdoch University). Additionally, La Trobe cultural sociology postgraduate students will present their most recent work in the field (Harry Paternoster, Lana Chung, Marcus Maloney, Scott Doidge).

There will be ample opportunity for networking and developing ideas for collaborative work with presenters and attendees. The event will be free of charge. Afternoon tea will be provided, however please note that lunch will be self-catered.

Please email to register your interest in attending.

Click here to access a PDF version of the ‘Cultural Sociology Today’ symposium flyer. (Please note the updated time and venue information)