Department of Business Humanities and Law

Seminar with Rebecca Coleman, Goldsmiths, University of London

The future politics of glitter: Fabulation, materiality, affect

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 13:30 to 15:00

Seminar with Rebecca Coleman, Goldsmiths, University of London

Rebecca Coleman will give a talk entitled:

“The future politics of glitter: Fabulation, materiality, affect”

Abstract: Imagining and attempting to create different and better futures is central to feminist, queer and anti-racist theories, methods and practices. This paper focuses on how glitter is involved in indicating the possibilities of the future. Glitter may seem an odd, niche or frivolous case to concentrate on; however, its ubiquity in contemporary socio-cultural worlds – from fashion and film to fish, from arts and crafts to LGBTQ* activism – demands that it is taken seriously. The paper focuses on workshops with teenage girls where we worked to imagine their futures and where glitter emerged as a popular material. It develops the concept of fabulation, which refers to a process by which futures are created through mediators, which may be people, works of art or things. Putting the concept of fabulation in dialogue with theories drawn from the new materialisms, feminist cultural theory and affect studies, the paper examines how glitter fabulates futures. It considers a plethora of futures that glitter is involved in fabulating, including the prosaic ways in which glitter works to make the futures of young women ‘luminous’ (Kearney 2009) in popular culture and arts, which are political in terms of the everyday worldings that they focus attention on. The paper proposes a conception of future politics in order to attend to the differentiated futures glitter may fabulate, and begins to consider its potential relevance for broader understandings of how time and futures are involved in the making and disturbing of differences and inequalities.

Bio: Rebecca Coleman is Reader in the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London, where she researches and teaches on visual and media culture, time (especially futures and presents), the body, affect, feminist theory and inventive methodologies. Recent publications include Glitterworlds: The Future Politics of a Ubiquitous Thing (2020, Goldsmiths Press), ‘Feminist New Materialist Practices’, a special issue of MAI (edited with Tara Page and Helen Palmer, 2019), and ‘Futures in Question’, a special issue of Sociological Review (edited with Richard Tutton, 2017). Her current research is on the mediation and lived experience of the present. Publications include a special issue of Media Theory, edited with Susanna Paasonen, on ‘Mediating Presents’ 2020 (from research funded by the Leverhulme Trust) and a blog post on her collaborative research on Covid-19 and time available on Discover Society:

This seminar is part of a seminar series hosted by Associate Professor Justine Grønbæk Pors and organized in relation to the research project ‘Gendered formations of educational interests and aspirations in primary and secondary schooling’. The project is funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark.


The seminar does not require registration and is open for attendance through the following Zoom-link:

Time: Mar 1, 2022, 01:30 PM Copenhagen

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 614 5326 7609

The page was last edited by: Department of Business Humanities and Law // 01/13/2022