This pilot project will bring students from across the social sciences and humanities into a process of collaborative, transdisciplinary research with the primary objective of producing a website provisionally entitled 'ROSI' (Reviving Our Sociological Imagination). The purpose of the ROSI website is to encourage and help a general, non-academic audience to use philosophy and social theory in order to deepen their understanding, first, of issues depicted in film and television dramas and, ultimately, of the issues they face in their own individual and collective lives. The website will also facilitate online, and encourage real life, discussion. In this way, the ROSI website can make a significant contribution toward cultivating and catalyzing a process of ‘mass intellectuality’.
‘Mass intellectuality’ is a concept/objective informed by an understanding of an intellectual as someone able to understand their own lives in the context of society and history and, consequently, to develop the confidence and capacities to transform themselves and their world. Mass intellectuality, then, refers to this concept of intellectuality on a society-wide scale. The belief is that the cultivation of mass intellectuality will itself entail, and will further catalyze, processes of democratic transformation in our own society and beyond.
The ROSI website project sits within my own broader 'Capital City' project - a four-year project aimed at producing a TV drama series called Capital City based on and around the trading floor of an investment bank. The script for Capital City will be produced collaboratively: I will first conduct participatory ethnographic fieldwork in London's financial sector and will then work with fieldwork participants, filmmakers, and scriptwriters to turn this research into a script. The final version of the ROSI website will accompany this drama series. I will lead the process of its production, working alongside Warwick-based scholars. The final ROSI website will be designed specifically as a guide to the Capital City series, but will be informed and inspired by the model elaborated in this original pilot. Because of Capital City’s focus on money, finance, and work, I would like the pilot to focus on these issues. However, since these issues affect virtually every aspect of all our lives, I do not believe this limits the possibilities for this pilot.
This pilot 'Pedagogic Intervention' will first be run as an extra-curricular, non-credit-bearing project in the Spring Term of 2016. If it is successful it will pave the way for a possible full-blown curricular 'Strategic Project' in the academic year 2016-17.