A WIAS seminar with International Research Fellows, Dr Sebastian Sevignani and Dr Benjamin Birkinbine

How can we define informational “needs?” What type of information is necessary for human development, survival, and social progress? In what ways does capitalism restrict the fulfilment of these needs.

In this seminar, Dr Sebastian Sevignani reflects on what needs are, how they develop, and offers proposals for what informational needs might be. Dr Benjamin Birkinbine focuses specifically on the informational commons as one way to provide for such needs, while highlighting the contradictions that these movements face under capitalism. The overall goal for this discussion is to work toward a critical theory of needs under informational capitalism.

Refreshments will be served.

About the speakers

Benjamin J Birkinbine is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at University of Nevada, Reno. Whilst based at the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) (2 May 2017–31 July 2017), Benjamin will be working towards a critical theory of the digital commons.

Sebastian Sevignani is Assistant Professor at the Department for General Sociology and Sociological Theory, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. Sebastian is based at WIAS from 2 May–31 July 2017. During his fellowship, he will be working on a two-fold project that explores how we might reformulate the critique that capitalism subsumes need-development to profits and cuts off potentials for human flourishing under current circumstances of informatisation and social media.

Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS)

Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) is an academic space for independent critical thinking beyond borders, based at the University of Westminster in London. The institute's aim is to foster and disseminate advanced studies that generate insights into the complex realities and possibilities of the contemporary world.

Image by Marc Ehrich [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

How to attend

Please register on Eventbrite.

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