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This essay introduces the special double issue (80/81) of New Formations, Neoliberal Culture. It situates the eleven other contributions to the volume in the context of the wider field of debate over the existence and nature of ‘neoliberalism’ as a specifiable and analysable phenomenon.

Meritocracy, in contemporary parlance, refers to the idea that whatever our social position at birth, society ought to facilitate the means for 'talent' to 'rise to the top'. This article argues that the ideology of ‘meritocracy’ has become a key means through which plutocracy is endorsed by stealth within contemporary neoliberal culture.

This is a dialogue conducted over email by Mark Fisher, author of the widely-read Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative and Jeremy Gilbert, editor of New Formations.

This essay examines contemporary Britain’s foodscape in order to identify how mediatised life-quests uphold ‘boom-based’ culinary/consumptive motifs while mobilising a distinctive ‘austerity aesthetic’ that coincides and colludes with the British state’s neoliberal austerity narrative.

Article

Nicky Marsh, Paul Crosthwaite, Peter Knight, Lisa Downing, Scott McCracken, Jarad Zimbler, Raji Vallury, Benjamin Noys

Autumn / Winter 2013

Show me the Money: The Culture of Neoliberalism - Nicky Marsh, Paul Crosthwaite and Peter Knight | Power for Pleasure - Lisa Downing | Forty Winks - Scott McCracken | Ideational Cinema - Jarad Zimbler | Thought-Perception Beyond Form or, the Logic of Shame - Raji Vallury | Culture or Barbarism? - Benjamin Noys

This essay foregrounds how technocultural assemblages - software platforms, algorithms, digital networks and affects - are constitutive of online racialized identities. Rather than being concerned with what online identities are in terms of ethno-racial representation and signification, we can explore how they are materialized via the technologies of online platforms.

This text is a conversation among practitioners of independent political media, focusing on the diverse materialities of independent publishing associated with the new media environment.

Although this is officially an ‘unthemed’ issue of New Formations - collecting simply the best unsolicited submissions received by the journal over the past two years - the resonances and convergence between its various contributions are remarkable.

‘#MySubjectivation’ explores some of the implications changes in the media landscape, including those associated with the development of corporate social media and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, have for the ways in which theorists and philosophers create, perform and circulate research and knowledge.

Article

Anna E. Ward, Laurent Milesi, Annebella Pollen, Colin Gardner, Niels Kerssens

Summer 2013

Matt ffytche, The Foundation of the Unconscious: Freud, Schelling and the Birth of the Modern Psyche, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011 by Benjamin Poore | Lisa Blackman, Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation, London, Sage, 2012 by Tony D. Sampson

Article

Ben Highmore, Wendy Wheeler, Molly Anne Rothenberg, Louise Westling

Winter 2012

REVIEWS: Cultural Studies in its Mirror Phase - Ben Highmore | Of Birds and Hands - Wendy Wheeler | The Transference in Culture - Molly Anne Rothenberg | Still Anthropocentric - Louise Westling BOOKNOTES: Erkan Ali, Sarah E. James

Article

Nicholas Thoburn, James Graham, Keya Ganguly, Paul Bowman, Babacar M'Baye

Autumn 2012

War at the Membrane - Nicholas Thoburn | Unconsoled - James Graham | Beyond the Everyday - Keya Ganguly | Post-Cinematic Effects - Paul Bowman | Baldwin’s Atlantics - Babacar M’Baye | Resisting Deconstruction - Molly Macdonald

The development of a new field of study is very often just as much about a creative meaning-generation, obliging us to think in new ways (to evolve one might say), as it is simply or only about the objects of study themselves.

This essay is guided by two themes that concern the complexity of the modern world and the distinction between the human and the non-human. Keeping these themes in mind I will look first at the notion of modernity and the way in which notions of crises and tensions have been deployed, before turning to one set of tensions - the relation between the human and the non-human worlds through an analysis of the developments in the technical-industrial imaginary.

As an environmental philosopher I had long been aware of dilemmas between animal ethics and ecological ethics, but now, as the manager of my own biodiversity reserve, I was facing these dilemmas in a more gut-wrenching and complex form than I had ever encountered in the classroom.

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