Call for Papers

Antipodean Fields: Bourdieu and Southern Cultures Conference

Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney 8-10 June 2011

A good deal of economic, social, cultural and political analysis in the antipodes has drawn on and engaged critically with the work of Pierre Bourdieu in order to adapt it to the particularities of Australian and New Zealand histories and conditions. There have been significant applications of Bourdieu’s field theory to the organisation of antipodean literary, musical, sports and media fields. The research that informed Distinction has been replicated in a national study of the relations between the practices of cultural consumption and cultural capital in contemporary Australia. Bourdieu’s general categories have been revised and extended to address the cultural capital holdings of different ethnic groups in relation to the governmental spaces of Australia and New Zealand, and to a range of multicultural practices and programs in the two countries. Bourdieu’s work on the logic of art fields has informed analyses of the place of Aboriginal and Maori art within the Australian and New Zealand Art Fields. Significant contributions have also been made to the operations of cultural capital in the relations between schools, universities and the occupational class structures of the two countries.

To date, however, no attempt has been made to draw these different strands of inquiry together to identify the specific qualities of antipodean economic, social, cultural and political fields or the respects in which analysis of these requires significant revisions of Bourdieu’s central theories and concepts. This conference will address the deficit by considering the specific theoretical and empirical considerations that have to be taken into account in order to apply, critique, and revise Bourdieu’s perspectives in the southern hemisphere.

Keynote Speakers

Jane Kenway, Professor of Education, Monash University High status schools, trans-national capitals and global elite formations

Conal McCarthy, Muesum and Heritage Studies, Victoria University of Wellington The rules of (M?ori) art: Museums, visitors and indigenous culture in the field of New Zealand art

Fred Myers, Silver Professor of Anthropology, New York University Flows of Culture, National Value, and Distinction: Papunya Tula Art in America

Proposals for papers and panels addressing the application of Bourdieusian concepts and categories to any aspect of the economic, socio-cultural and political fields of Australia and New Zealand are invited. Themes of specific interest include:

  • Cultural capital and social divisions in postcolonial contexts
  • Cultural fields and colonial histories
  • The dynamics of postcolonial fields
  • Culture, nation, and ethnicity
  • Capital, field, habitus: applications and revisions
  • National fields in transnational perspectives

Individual paper proposals (200 words)  and Panel proposals (200 words each) All proposals should be sent to Reena Dobson — by 28 February 2011.

Organising committee

Tony Bennett (UWS) –
John Frow (University of Melbourne) –
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne) –
Greg Noble (UWS) –

This conference is jointly organised by the Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) at the University of Western Sydney, the School of Culture and Communication and the Department of Anthropology, the University of Melbourne