Thursday, October 15, 2015

[Upcoming Seminar] Fashion and Magical Capitalism

Fashion and Magical Capitalism

Speaker: Brian MOERAN
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm, 20 Oct 2015 (Tuesday)  
Venue: LT9 Yasumoto International Academic Park, Chung Chi College, CUHK 


This seminar presentation takes as its starting point questions like: How do contemporary fashion designers resemble Siberian shamans? Why are cosmetics advertisements structured like South Indian healing rituals? What are the links between celebrities, fame, and Trobriand Island kula ring exchanges? Or between fame, perfume, alchemy, and animistic practices in Siberia? In this talk, Professor Moeran argues that fashion―like many other forms of cultural production―makes use of “technologies of enchantment” to create a system that is in fact magical. He will take this argument one step further by suggesting that many others employed in different forms of capitalist endeavour (consultants, financial speculators, spin doctors, marketers, and so on) also use technologies of enchantment to persuade their audiences that what they are doing is entirely “rational”. In short, capitalism is itself in many ways a magical system.

Professor Brian Moeran is Professor of Business Anthropology at the Copenhagen Business School, and currently Visiting Professor and Course Coordinator of the Global Creative Industries Course, School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University Of Hong Kong. A social anthropologist by training, he has written widely on advertising, art and aesthetics, ceramics, fashion magazines and other media forms, primarily in Japan.


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