Let’s Party! On the history, philosophy, & politics of ‘having fun’
A conversation between Professor Ananya Jahanara Kabir and Dr Madison Moore
What is a party? Or, more particularly: what makes a good party? Is a night out the same as a party indoors? Is a fiesta/ festa the same as a ‘party’? What about carnivals and festivals? Is a party better outdoors or indoors? During the weekend or midweek? Must there be food? Alcohol? Party clothes? Music and dancing? And why is it important for us to think critically about parties?
Different cultures party differently, but in the 21st century, we do seem to share a basic notion of what a party involves. Is there a grand universal theory of partying that we can extract from a study of these divergences and convergences, or are we all moving towards a McDonalization of fun? Can a party be both rebellious and conformist? If a party is about having fun, what does it tell us about work, drudgery, and the modern condition?
Drawing on the research of the ERC funded project Modern Moves (www.modernmoves.org. uk), Ananya Kabir and madison moore will host a conversation (replete with some party tricks and surprises) on the history, philosophy, and politics of having fun. Let’s party!
ANANYA JAHANARA KABIR is a literary and cultural historian in the Department of English at King’s. She works at the intersection of embodiment, affect, memory, and post-trauma in the global South. She is the author of Territory of Desire: Representing the Valley of Kashmir (2009) and Partition’s Post-Amnesias: 1947, 1971, and Modern South Asia (2013). She directs Modern Moves, a five-year research project funded by an ERC Advanced Grant, which examines the resilience and global popularity of Afro-diasporic music and dance.
MADISON MOORE is a London based artist-scholar who blurs the lines between theory, pop culture and artistic practice. He is an ERC-funded Research Associate in Modern Moves in the Department of English at King’s, and his first book, The Theory of the Fabulous Class: Creativity at the Margins, is under contract at Yale University Press. madison has been published by Aperture, Interview magazine, Art in America, Thought Catalog, Splice Today, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Theater magazine and Dancecult: A Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture.