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A talk by Veena Das, ‘Slum Acts’

The Center of Global Culture and Communication (An interdisciplinary initiative of Northwestern University’s School of Communication)

& the Center for Transcultural Studies

Jointly present

‘Slum Acts’

(Polity Press, 2022)

Veena Das

(Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)


Piergiorgio Donatelli (Philosophy, Sapienza Università di Roma)

Sameena Mulla (Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Emory University)

Brighupati Singh (Psychiatry, Brown University; Sociology and Anthropology, Ashoka University)

ON ZOOM, April 22, 2022. 10 a.m. CT


Please download the readings from the link below

(Introduction pg 1-4, 29-33; Conclusion pg 131- 146)

Surplus Data 

Surplus Data 
Jeffrey Kirkwood (Binghamton University, State University of New York)
Leif Weatherby (New York University)
Thursday April 7, 2022 
5:30pm Central Time
Kresge 1515 
Remote participants may register for the hybrid lecture on Zoom
In the time of always-on computing, issues of data extraction and collection, surveillance, and privacy seem to navigate most of our discussions and concerns regarding certain forms of digital technologies. We have commonly come to refer to this as the era of Big Data. But, most recently, in a special issue of the journal Critical Inquiry, the four editors begin by stating that “It is no longer enough to say that data is big. Data is now in a state of surplus.” This event then, comprised of two talks, places us in conversation with Jeffrey West Kirkwood and Leif Weatherby, two prominent scholars of media theory and digital technologies—as well as being two of the four editors of the mentioned journal issue—to address and build on the issue of ‘surplus data’ and the already-ongoing and yet-to-be-lived consequences of this data capital. Join us as we hear from them and their respective talks titled: “Cryptohumanism: Hermeneutics, Value, and the Hash Rate,” and “The Metaphysics of Data Capital.”
This event is sponsored by The Center for Global Culture and Communication, Northwestern University, and co-sponsored by the Comparative Literary Studies Program, the Department of German, the Department of English, and the Program in Critical Theory.
Attendees interested in joining a Surplus Data reading group that will meet before the event should email José Chavez (  and Kang Kang (

2022 Critical Theory in Critical Times annual series workshop & reading group

The 2022 Critical Theory in Critical Times annual series workshop on April 1 will focus around the work of Nadia Urbinati (Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory, Columbia University) and, in particular, her book Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Harvard University Press). Nadia Urbinati will discuss this work with four commentators: William Mazzarella (University of Chicago), Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Haverford College), Dilip Gaonkar (Northwestern), and Axel Mueller (Northwestern).

The workshop will allow for a comfortable discussion format, and a stimulating dialogue between faculty and graduate students. We are glad to offer an opportunity to discuss this groundbreaking work with Nadia Urbinati herself.

This event is generously co-sponsored by The Center for Global Culture and Communication, the Kreeger-Wolf foundation, the Critical Theory Cluster, and the Department of Philosophy.

Call for applications: Summer School at Central European University, Hungary

The Center for Global Culture and Communication (CGCC), along with Central European University (CEU) and Center for Transcultural Studies (CTS), is co-sponsoring a week-long summer school titled “Dismantling Democracy from Within.”
The summer school will take place on CEU’s Budapest campus from  June 27 to July 2, 2022. For more information on the program, please visit the Summer School’s website.

The “Dismantling Democracy from Within” summer school advances the twin mission of understanding the critical challenges democracy is facing and developing the democratic agendas that will meet these challenges under variable cultural and socio-economic conditions. Such a mission can only be secured by facilitating a robust dialogue among students, activists, and scholars assembled from all over the world. Students will leave the Summer School with a deeper knowledge of the specific challenges facing democracy in different contexts as well as a global understanding of how they are connected.

Given CGCC’s role in the Summer School, a minimum of two Northwestern graduate students will be admitted. Interested students should apply through the application portal on the Summer School’s website and then email Dilip Gaonkar ( to indicate that they have applied.

The application deadline is February 28, 2022. Once admitted, all costs related to participation will be covered by the organizers. 

Questioning the Present: The Tyranny of Merit

The Tyranny of Merit

A talk by Michael J. Sandel
(Professor of Government, Harvard University,  United States)


Charles Taylor (Philosophy, Professor Emeritus, McGill University, Canada)
Nilufer Gole (Professor of Sociology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France)
Craig Calhoun (Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University, United States)
On Zoom
Friday, February 04, 2022
10 A.M CT

A talk by Juliet Hooker, ‘Disobedience in Black: BLM and Black politics beyond democratic sacrifice

‘Rhetoric and Politics of Protest and Direct Action’

Disobedience in Black BLM and Black Politics Beyond Democratic Sacrifice

Juliet Hooker (Political Science, Brown University)


Alan Chavoya (Philosophy, Northwestern University)

Alvin Bernard Tillery, Jr. (Political Science, Northwestern University)

On Zoom, Thursday February 3, 2022, 4 P.M. C.T.


Please download the readings here.

Colegio Nacional Lectures on State and Violence in Contemporary Mexico

‘Questioning the Present Series’

Colegio Nacional Lectures on State and Violence in Contemporary Mexico

Claudio Lomnitz (Anthropology, Columbia University) 


Veena Das (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)

Fernando Escalante (Sociology, El Colegio de Mexico)

ON ZOOM, Friday, December 10, 2021, 10am C.T.

For the readings/ lectures please visit

This event is organized by the Center for Global Culture and Communication in association with the Center for Transcultural Studies

The Democratic Sublime: On Aesthetics and Popular Assembly

The Democratic Sublime: On Aesthetics and Popular Assembly

Jason Frank
(Government, Cornell University):
Robert Hariman (Program in Rhetoric & Public Culture, Northwestern University)
Jessica Winegar (Anthropology, Northwestern University)
November 12, 2021, 12 P.M.- 2 P.M.
1515 Kresge Hall, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL
If you are unable to attend the talk in person, you can also register to attend the talk over Zoom. To attend the talk on Zoom please register by following the link below. 

Abundance: On the Experience of Living in a World of Information Plenty

‘Media Aesthetics Series’

Abundance: On the Experience of Living in a World of Information Plenty (Oxford Up, 2021)

Pablo Boczkowski (Communication Studies, Northwestern University)

Charlie Beckett, Media and Communications, London School of Economics
Teresa Correa, School of Communication, Diego Portales University
Marwan M. Kraidy, Dean and CEO, Northwestern University in Qatar

Friday Nov 5, 2021, ON ZOOM, 10 A.M- 12 P.M. CT