Crises of the Imagination: Confronting Capitalism’s Conscription of the Futures.

Posted: October 6, 2014

Crises of the Imagination: Confronting Capitalism’s Conscription of the Futures

Lecture by Professor Max Haiven.

Thursday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Garrison Theater.

The Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities is sponsoring a series of events this semester.  These events are intended to open up new ways of framing what is taught in Core courses, as well as the ways in which this material is taught.

The keynote lecture will be given by Professor Max Haiven on Thursday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Garrison Theater.  According to Haiven, the imagination is not an individual possession but a common process that allows us to locate ourselves within and transform social reality. In this presentation Haiven will explore how, under our current moment of neoliberal global capitalism, this process is influenced and co-opted by the drive to accumulate. Haiven outlines several ways in which capitalism encloses and forecloses a plurality of futures and narrows our vision of what might otherwise be possible, from big-data surveillance to financialization, from ecological destruction to gentrification. Vibrant, radical grassroots social movements are necessary if we are to confront this dire state of affairs and reclaim the imagination.

Max Haiven is a writer, teacher and organizer, and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada.  His research focuses on themes including the financialization of society and culture, social movements and the radical imagination, the politics and economics of culture, critical art practices, and social and cultural theory. He writes articles for both academic and general audiences and has been published in venues including Truth-OutDissident Voice, Social TextCultural StudiesCultural Politics and Interface: A Journal For and About Social Movements . He is author of the books Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons (Zed Books, 2014), The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (with Alex Khasnabish, Zed Books, 2014) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Other events in the fall Core series include support for the exhibition “Prison Obscura.” This exhibit is part of the Scripps College Humanities Institute’s fall program on “Silence”, and is on display in the Clark Humanities Museum from September 2-October 17. Stay tuned for additional events coming up in the spring.

For more information about the upcoming lecture or related events, please contact the Core Program at Scripps College at

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