Slogans: neoliberal formulas in times of uncertainty and change
Anne-Christine Trémon (Université de Lausanne)
Sheyla Zandonai (EHESS)
Don Kalb (University of Bergen)
Friday 13 July, 11:30-13:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The contributions in this session take slogans as their starting point, exploring how they call for, take part and defy the enactment of neoliberal projects, and how they circulate between different situations and scales, generating continuity in spite of their calls for rupture.

Long abstract:

The papers gathered in this panel examine slogans in post-socialist contexts and accelerated economic reforms, in Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Vietnam, Abu Dhabi and the People's Republic of China. The contributions look at how slogans, verbal and graphic, convey the values and norms that lie at the core of neoliberal ideologies, and how they attempt at normalizing uncertainty and instability. They analyze the ways slogans legitimate neoliberal agendas, champion the construction of new societies or new citizens, and contribute to the marketing of cities in the global economy. Moreover, they examine the uses that are made of slogans and the ways their meanings are changed to contest economic reforms, resist policies and offer counter-narratives to official history. Particular attention is given to the slogans' recycling from one historical situation to another, as well as to their circulation at different scales, city and nation, local and global. Finally, the papers analyze how slogans are used to create a sense of coherence between the past, the present and the future, revealing their ambivalent position in between myths of cities and nation-states, and histories of social change.