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Creating Publics workshop

Thursday, 21 July 2011, 10:00 - Friday, 22 July 2011, 16:00

The Publics Research Programme at The Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance at The Open University, with the University of Westminster, is convening a two-day workshop in central London on 21 and 22 July 2011 on the theme of Creating Publics.

This workshop brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars from politics and public policy, sociology, information studies, cultural geography, planning and media studies to discuss some of the contemporary objects, ideas, spaces, and activities of public creation and creativity. Reflecting on a diversity of topics, including social activism, community archives, arts practices, public services, social media, democratic design, dissent and 'the commons', presenters address problems of publics and publicness in relation to institutions, mediation, spatialities, power, engagement and social transformation.

The panels move beyond notions of 'the public' understood as a pre-existing entity or population, building on emerging discourses of publics as summoned, assembled, and convened. By beginning with a concept of 'publics' and publicness as constituted in social practices, the workshop questions, critically and creatively, what 'public' might mean today.