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    Introduction: We have never been democratic

    O'Brien, Sean Joseph and Szeman, I. and Jagoe, E.-L. (2017) Introduction: We have never been democratic. Public 28 (55), pp. 5-14. ISSN 0845-4450.

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    The contributions to this special issue of Public are based on conversations held and work developed during the 2015 Banff Research in Culture (BRiC) research residency, “Demos: Life in Common.” Held high in the mountains of Banff National Park, Alberta, “Demos: Life in Common” sought to “bring together artists, writers, researchers, and cultural producers who in their work are exploring the ways in which we might reinvigorate democratic life today—not just ‘democratic’ in its narrow, political sense, but as life in common in which being and belonging engenders the full flourishing of individuals and communities.” Twenty-nine participant scholars and artists worked together with the 2015 BRiC faculty, including residency organizers Eva-Lynn Jagoe and Imre Szeman, distinguished scholar and political agitator Nina Power, renowned writer and activist Astra Taylor, and celebrated artist Alex Hartley. Over the course of the residency, the organizers, guest faculty, and participant scholars and artists worked individually and collaboratively on a wide array of research and artistic projects, out of which grew a body of work that we have collected here under the theme, “We Have Never Been Democratic.” The theme of this issue riffs on the title of Bruno Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern, in which Latour argues that modernity constitutes itself through a dualism between the natural and the social. If, for Latour, the modern distinction between society and nature never actually existed, this dossier sets out to challenge the notion that the neoliberal present constitutes a radical deviation from a vibrant history of democratic liberalism, and to assert instead that democracy has since its inception been marked by its own imaginary dualism between the demos and the sovereign.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Sean Joseph O'Brien
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 11:26
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 10:47


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