Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere provides the first major social scientific study of these festivals in the wake of their explosion in popularity over the past decade. It explores the cultural significance of contemporary arts festivals from their location within the cultural public sphere, examining them as sites for contestation and democratic debate, and also identifying them as examples of a particular aesthetic cosmopolitanism.
The book approaches contemporary festivals as relatively autonomous social texts that need interpretation and contextualisation. This perspective, combined with a diversified set of theoretical approaches and research methods, and guided by a common thematic rationale, places the volume squarely within some of the most debated topics in current social sciences. Furthermore, the multifaceted nature of festivals allows for unusual but useful connections to be made across several fields of social inquiry.
This timely edited collection brings together contributions from key figures across the social sciences, and proves to be valuable reading for undergraduate students, postgraduates, and professionals working within the areas of contemporary social theory, cultural theory, and visual culture.