Funded by a three-year British Academy Postgraduate Fellowship, this project begins from the following research agenda:
Who gets to judge? That is, who gets to pass critical judgement on public policy, popular morality, or the way of things in general? In recent years, movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have, via new media technologies, transformed established convention regarding whose criticism counts. This has, however, gone hand in hand with widespread complaints that ‘cancel culture,’ ‘virtue signalling,’ and academic ‘critical theory’ are, in one way or another, undermining the standards of reason and civility that make liberal democratic politics possible. Employing an innovative mixed methodology, ‘Critical Atmospheres’ not only clarifies the multifaceted concept of criticism in academic terms but also locates everyday critical practice in the swirling, ‘atmospheric’ flows of outrage and opposition that foment political thought and action.
The motivations and objectives of the project are further outlined here, and more will be shared as it progresses.