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.
Introduction, Liana Giorgi and Monica Sassatelli 1. Urban Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere: Cosmopolitanism between Ethics and Aesthetics, Monica Sassatelli 2. Between Tradition, Vision and Imagination: The Public Sphere of Literature Festivals, Liana Giorgi 3. Art Biennales and Cities as Platforms for Global Dialogue, Nikos Papastergiadis and Meredith Martin 4. Festivals and the Geography of Culture: African Cinema in the "World Space" of its Public, Jim English 5. The Cultural Public Sphere - Critical Measure of Public Culture?, Jim McGuigan 6. Festivals: Local and Global. Critical Interventions and the Cultural Public Sphere, Jean-Luis Fabiani 7. International Festivals in a Small Country: Rites of Recognition and Cosmopolitanism, Motti Regev 8. Festivalization, Cosmopolitanism and European Culture: On the Socio-cultural Significance of Mega-events, Maurice Roche 9. Festival Spaces, Green Sensibilities and Youth Culture, Joanne Cummings, Ian Woodward and Andy Bennett 10. Cannes: a French International Festival, Jérôme Segal and Christine Blumauer 11. 'Space is the Place'. The Global Localities of Sònar and Womad Music Festivals, Jasper Chalcraft and Paolo Magaudda. Conclusion, Gerard Delanty