Policing the Crisis Today: Conjunctures of the Past and of the Present

Monday 24 June 2019

Policing the Crisis was a response to events concerning the robbery and injury of a man in Birmingham by three boys of mixed ethnic backgrounds. They were given long, exemplary sentences (twenty years, in one case). However, these events were not used to illustrate a pre-existing theoretical argument. Written over six years, the prolonged, difficult process of collective research served as the intellectual “laboratory” out of which the ideas, theories and arguments that animate the text was produced. The book ends by making connections and offering explanations that could not have been anticipated at the beginning.’

—Stuart Hall, Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke, Brian Roberts, ‘Preface to the Second Edition’ (2013), Policing the Crisis (1978/2013).

This year the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham opened Stuart Hall’s archive. To mark this event, a Symposium will be held on the 2 July 2019, providing an opportunity to consider the value of Hall’s archive for scholars, teachers and political activists critically engaged in the examination and transformation of our past and present (see https://stuarthallarchive.wordpress.com). 

In preparation for the Symposium, two study sessions will be held, offering an opportunity to discuss one of the most profound works of cultural studies and Marxist social analysis in the twentieth century: Policing the Crisis (London: Macmillan, 1978), produced by Stuart Hall in collaboration with Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke and Brian Roberts. The outcomes of these study sessions will be relayed to the Symposium and inform future research programmes and projects. 

For many inheritors of the New Left and cultural studies, Policing the Crisis has provided a guide to the political, economic and cultural transformation of Britain in the 1970s and beyond. It continues to inspire research and political activism within specific fields—particularly in the analysis of urbanism and urban crisis, class-conflict, policing, race, and media—as well as broader enquiries examining periods of political crisis and settlement. 

First study workshop: Monday 24 June, 10:00 - 14:00
Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Birmingham, B1 2HS

All welcome

If you would like to attend, and for further details, please contact Dr Nick Beech: beechnick@me.com