The nature of social movements has changed fundamentally and repeatedly in multiple ways since the end of WWII and have far from stabilized in our current day. Military and surveillance powers of the state have become so overwhelming that hardly any unorganized civilian movements can ever hope to takeover state power on its own, while the proliferation of digital images and social media have made popular movements take on a global life as images even more than as local, physical confrontation. Modern uprisings are diverse in nature, each instance a bit different than another. They happen in the “freest” developed locations (Occupy Wall Street in New York City being the prime example) and against the most oppressive authoritarian regimes. How can we as social and cultural scientists update our ability to

understand social movements in the age of ubiquitous neoliberalism, surveillance capitalism, renewed authoritarianism and online connectivity? The Project Tutorial focuses on popular social movements in the contemporary world through both theoretical discussion and analyses of case studies. Through teamwork with its participants, the tutorial attempts to gather as much information on individual cases as possible in order to achieve a "close reading" of transpired events. It aims to develop and calibrated questions and research methodologies that are more befitting to the shifting nature of popular movements. As a guiding principle, the tutorial will stubbornly return to the question, "what happened," and combine rigorous journalistic "digging" with radical theoretical conceptualizing.

How are temporary, precarious but direct public spaces made through posters, Berlin's Litfaßsäule, placards, meme pages, open-mic gatherings and instant message groups? How do "disagreement" (Rancière 1999) and "consensus" (Habermas 2015) manifest and emerge? In areas under the shadow of totalitarian regimes and increasingly dominated by surveillance technologies, what strategies do protestors use to reach their goals and what on-the-ground tactics (de Certeau 2002) do they employ when faced with police brutality and governmental crackdowns? These are some of the guiding questions that this tutorial sets out to answer.

Semester: WiSe 2023/24