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Promotional Cultures Research Cluster

The emergence of neoliberalism as a dominant paradigm in political-economic thinking and policy since the early 1980s has seen the extension of the market into all aspects of public and private life. Coupled with the rise of digital communication technologies, the imperative for promotion has become intrinsic to contemporary forms of self-presentation and sociability, labour and affect.

The aim of the Promotional Cultures Research Group at Middlesex is to examine the novel cultures that have emerged from this conjuncture. The group provides a platform for members of Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at Middlesex University to collaborate on projects and to disseminate research that addresses the many pressing questions that stem from the rise, impact and influence of promotion on everyday life under neoliberalism.

Projects that group members are currently involved in

Politics and neoliberal culture

The department worked with Soundings journal on the release of the 1967 Mayday Manifesto as part of the launch of After-Neoliberalism. Read more


A techno-social platform for sustainable models and value generation in commons-based peer production. Read more

Specters of world literature

A network that examines the transformation of literature and literary study under neoliberal globalization. Read more

The promotional cultures of co-production

A symposium that explores the forms and values of co-operation and 'co-production' in fields ranging from film to amateur art.

Semiotic consultancy

A network and project to promote ethical concerns in semiotically-informed brand management strategies.

Recent events

The role of empathic media in contemporary promotional culture
The Promotional Cultures Research Group welcomed Andrew McStay from Bangor University to talk about his latest work on the connection between promotional culture and technologies employed to detect human intentions and emotions, 15 November 2016

Facebook and Finance with Professor Adam Arvidsson
This seminar considered how Facebook embodies a new logic of capitalist governance, what has been termed the ‘social logic of the derivative’. In his talk, Adam drew on his recently published article ‘Facebook and Finance: On the Social Logic of the Derivative'.

Symposium: The Creative Industries and Collaborative Production
20 papers presented by international media scholars, plus keynote addresses by Professor Damian Sutton (Middlesex) and Sarah Brouillette (Carleton University, Canada), 13 November  2015.

The ethical economy: collaborative ethics, promotional cultures and digital media
Adam Arvidsson (Milan) in conversation with Alessandro Gandini (Middlesex) and Sophia Drakopoulou (Middlesex and Cybersalon), 21 April  2015.

The last throw of the dice? Ethical consultancy, branding and design
Kishore Budha (Leeds), 17 February 2015.


For further information please contact James Graham by email or on Twitter @promocultures.

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