Blowing Up The Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture, conference, May 8-9 at NYU

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Blowing Up The Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture

WHEN: 8-9 May 2009

WHERE: New York University – Institute for Public Knowledge –


Keynote Address by Rob Walker, New York Times “Consumed” Columnist

Invited Panelists
Paula Chakravartty, UMass Amherst
John Corner, University of Leeds
Arlene Davila, New York University
Mary Ebeling, Drexel University
Jonathan Gray, Fordham University
Miriam Greenberg, UC Santa Cruz
Graham Knight, McMaster University
Celia Lury, Goldsmiths, University of London
Jeff Pooley, Muhlenberg College
Marita Sturken, New York University

Creative cities, PR nations, celebrity diplomacy, Hype Machine, branded philanthropy, YouTube identities…. These are both symptoms and effects of what Andrew Wernick termed “promotional culture”: the extension of promotional discourses, practices and performances into virtually all areas of public life.

What is at stake in these contemporary promotional paradigms? The interpenetration of public and private interests, techniques and expertise creates new anxieties and demands new forms of analysis. The goal of this two-day conference is to develop a set of productive critical perspectives on promotion in relation to contemporary culture. We seek to assemble creative and interdisciplinary frameworks to identify common themes and disjunctures inherent to these forms of communication. At issue is the changing role of the consumer-citizen-user in contemporary life.

For complete schedule, or to RSVP, visit:

For more information, contact conference co-organizers Melissa Aronczyk and Devon Powers at

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