Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere provides the first major social scientific study of these festivals in the wake of their explosion in popularity over the past decade. It explores the cultural significance of contemporary arts festivals from their location within the cultural public sphere, examining them as sites for contestation and democratic debate, and also identifying them as examples of a particular aesthetic cosmopolitanism.
The book approaches contemporary festivals as relatively autonomous social texts that need interpretation and contextualisation. This perspective, combined with a diversified set of theoretical approaches and research methods, and guided by a common thematic rationale, places the volume squarely within some of the most debated topics in current social sciences. Furthermore, the multifaceted nature of festivals allows for unusual but useful connections to be made across several fields of social inquiry.
This timely edited collection brings together contributions from key figures across the social sciences, and proves to be valuable reading for undergraduate students, postgraduates, and professionals working within the areas of contemporary social theory, cultural theory, and visual culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Urban Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere: Cosmopolitanism between Ethics and Aesthetics 2. Between Tradition, Vision and Imagination: The Public Sphere of Literature Festivals 3. Art Biennales and Cities as Platforms for Global Dialogue 4. Festivals and the Geography of Culture: African Cinema in the "World Space" of its Public 5. The Cultural Public Sphere - Critical Measure of Public Culture? 6. Festivals: Local and Global. Critical Interventions and the Cultural Public Sphere 7. International Festivals in a Small Country: Rites of Recognition and Cosmopolitanism 8. Festivalization, Cosmopolitanism and European Culture: On the Socio-cultural Significance of Mega-events 9. Festival Spaces, Green Sensibilities and Youth Culture, Joanne Cummings 10. Cannes: a French International Festival 11. 'Space is the Place'. The Global Localities of Sònar and Womad Music Festivals. Conclusion
Professor Gerard Delanty is Professor of Sociology and Social & Political Thought at the University of Sussex. He is the author of twelve books and editor of seven, including Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory (Routledge, 2006). His most recent publication is The Cosmopolitan Imagination: The Social Theory Renewal of Critical Social Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Dr Liana Giorgi is Vice-Director of The Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences, and the coordinator of the EURO-FESTIVAL project on European arts festivals. She is co-author and co-editor of Democracy in the European Union: Towards the Emergence of a European Public Sphere (Routledge, 2006).Dr
Monica Sassatelli is Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths College. She has published in the sociology of culture, Europe as well as classical and contemporary social theory. She is the author of Becoming Europeans: Cultural Identity and Cultural Policies (Palgrave 2009).