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  2. Paul-Francois Tremlett (Religious Studies): Transnational activism and the making of moral publics

Paul-Francois Tremlett (Religious Studies): Transnational activism and the making of moral publics

Friday, January 21, 2022 - 12:00 to 13:00
Online. The event is free

In this talk, Dr Paul-Francois Tremlett focuses on two organisations which campaign on human rights in the Philippines – the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines based in London, and IBON International, which has offices in Manila and Brussels.

Focusing on their use of information communication technologies, documentation of some of their offline and online campaigns and, exploration of the attitudes of activists towards digital activism, this event explores the materialisation of transnational political publics through affect.

Dr Tremlett will document some of their pre and post-pandemic campaigns, as well as their use of social media platforms such as Twitter, and discuss the attitudes of activists towards digital platforms as sites and occasions for activism.

The central question that will be addressed concerns the durability of affective publics, turning to Emile Durkheim’s writings on religion, the sacred and morality (Durkheim 1915 and 1960), and in particular his conception of contagious, affective effervescence and its ritual release through an assemblage of people and things he called “totemism”. Dr Tremlett argues that Durkheim’s work might be used to establish a post-secular framework for thinking through contemporary conjunctions of politics, emotion and communication technologies and the formation of moral publics.

The session will conclude with suggestions that even as these publics ebb and flow, their moral force remains.

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