Lecture: Arjun Appadurai, ‘Failure, Design and the Globalization of Risk’, 13 October 2016

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Arjun Appadurai ‘Failure, Design and the Globalisation of Risk’, 13 October 2016

Rethinking the Contemporary: The World since the Cold War Lecture Series

This series, associated with the TORCH network ‘Rethinking the Contemporary: The World since the Cold War’, and co-sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Global History, the Asian Studies Centre, the Modern European History Research Centre and Maison Française d’Oxford, hosts leading scholars, intellectuals and cultural practitioners who have been involved in developing new ways of understanding the world since the 1990s. This term’s lectures and seminars will focus on the economy and markets in a broad cultural context. 

Professor Arjun Appadurai (New York University)


Thursday 13 October (1st week), 5pm – Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony’s College 

All welcome 

In his lecture, Professor Appadurai, the eminent anthropologist and writer on globalization 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 in the TORCH seminar room, top floor, Oxford Humanities Research Centre, Woodstock Road, on Friday 14 October at 10 am. 

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) 

The next event in the series will take place on Thursday of 6th week (17 November) at 5pm, 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’, followed by a seminar on Friday 18 November, 10am in the TORCH seminar room, top floor, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road.

Download poster:17.11 Boltanski Esquerre on The Enrichment Economy