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Troubled by Culture: Global Reflections in a World of Change

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This Lady Margaret Lecture will take a novel form: a triad of presentations with panel discussion to follow, chaired by Dr Joel Isaac, with Professor Aída Hernández, Dr Susan Bayly and Professor Sarah Radcliffe bringing their diverse experiences of ethnographic research to bear on a highly contentious area of contemporary global life: What is ‘culture’? What makes issues of cultural rights, cultural creativity and the protection of local and national cultures a source of ferocious debate and controversy within as well as beyond the academic world? Why is it that in today’s world of mass migration and global interactions, and the apparent standardization of so many commodities that we all produce and consume, cultural identities can still be a focus for social cohesion and effective political mobilizations? And what can research of the kinds we pursue in our respective fieldwork sites contribute to the ways both public and more personal understandings of culture can be transformed, defended or rejected, thereby contributing to the work we do as scholars with strong commitment to the communities and contexts where we work.

This talk is part of the Lady Margaret Lectures series.

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