Nov 112013
Schedule and Location: Thursday, May 29 1:45pm-3:15pm Vallee-599

Primary Session Category: Sociology of Culture
Session Code: SoCul2
Session Format: Regular (Presentations and Discussion)

Session Description: The creative economy rhetoric has arguably reached the saturation point. It is accepted as common sense by policymakers, citizens, and cultural workers as an important piece of our post-industrial future, spurring economic development and making our cities “liveable.” Cheered on by scholars and consultants, governments everywhere are attempting to engineer creative clusters and vibrant, cosmopolitan neighbourhoods. But the question remains open whether these interventions can produce sustainable creative economies—ones that can survive independently, foster meaningful cultural activity at the grassroots level, and provide stable and fulfilling jobs.

Papers in this session will address tensions arising from top-down approaches to cultural management:

* How is culture being used strategically in contemporary policy and practice?

* What is the fate of artistic autonomy under these frameworks?

* Can cultural industries or scenes be conjured from nothing?

* Whose culture counts as “creative”?

* And, finally, is the creative economy a just one?

We seek papers which engage with these debates and other questions related to the politics of cultural production and cultural planning, local cultural scenes, and the role of the creative economy in place-making, both within and across borders. A range of theoretical and methodological perspectives is encouraged.

Session Organizers:
Benjamin Woo, University of Calgary, Department of English,
Danielle J. Deveau, Wilfrid Laurier University, Smart Region Initiative, Socio-Economic and Cultural Node

Chair: Chantelle Marlor, University of the Fraser Valley


1.     Matt Patterson, Daniel Silver 

 Turning the Post-Industrial City into the Cultural City: The Case of Toronto’s Waterfront

2.    Dennis Soron  

Culture, Class and the Creative Economy in Niagara

3.     Miranda Campbell  

Towards a Theory of Unpaid Labour

4.     Benjamin Woo  

‘Comics Will Break Your Heart’: Fan Identification and Self-Exploitation in Creative Work

Full Abstracts

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