Genres Against Markets
This week-long workshop will bring together both critical and creative writers to support one another in the development of new written work across a wide range of “popular” genres, forms and approaches. “Genres Against the Market” aims to foster a temporary community to encourage radical writers to explore new methods for reaching unconventional audiences toward a critique of economic limitation and possibility. Leaving aside the familiar form of the conventional academic essay and monograph, we aim to host a gathering to explore how radical ideas that challenge reigning forms of social and economic power can be expressed and broadcast using “popular” formats of writing.
From screenplays to poetry, from creative non-fiction to genre fiction, from comedy to melodrama, from role-playing games to song lyrics, from TikTok critique to musicals, we encourage writers of all sorts to bring works in progress to this gathering in Berlin to receive and share constructive criticism within a context where we will also discuss the political economy and radical potentials of form. During the five days of the gathering we will share work and offer peer critique, hear from noted writers, editors and other cultural intermediaries, and discuss inspiring examples and theories.
We undertake this gathering in a moment when the capitalist culture industries, now calibrated towards the ever more subtle harnessing of creative labour, have opened unprecedented opportunities for expression thanks, in part, to the emergence of new digital platforms and communities for the expression and sharing of cultural work. Without losing sight of the way “popular” genres and forms, and their dominant modes of dissemination, are shaped by and for the reproduction of capital’s accumulation and ideology, we seek to find the common courage to appropriate, inhabit, and explore them in the hopes of turning them towards the prospect of a radically different economy and culture.
To these ends, we encourage applications from individuals or collectives who wish to bring any of the following:
- Creative work-in-progress broadly within the realm of “radical writing for popular audiences.” We interpret both “writing” and “popular” in extremely broad terms;
- Critical and academic work-in-progress that explores the radical and anti-capitalist potentials and limits of “popular writing,” either in the present moment or historically;
- Ideas of manifestations or editorial platforms to host and disseminate such work.
Please apply at