ANU Public Lecture – The Reinvention Revolution: The makeover industries in the twenty-first century

djbissell 18 August 2014 1

A public lecture by Professor Anthony Elliott, Director of the Hawke Research Institute and Research Professor of Sociology, University of South Australia.

From cosmetic surgery to self-help manuals, psychotherapy to life coaching, career design to corporate re-brandings: ours is the era of ‘reinvention’. In this provocative public lecture, acclaimed sociologist Professor Anthony Elliott assesses the spread and sweep of contemporary reinvention practices – including super-fast weight loss diets, body resculptings, online therapies, speed dating, organisational restructurings and corporate downsizings.

Based on research conducted in Europe, America and Australasia, Professor Elliott argues that reinvention culture emerges in our time as a result of major changes in public life throughout Western societies. In this spirited and stimulating argument, Professor Elliott suggests that personal vulnerabilities have reached the point where more and more people are held in thrall to the immediacy of reinvention culture and its logics of self-redesign and self-improvement.

Professor Anthony Elliott is Director of the Hawke Research Institute, where he is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia. He is also currently Visiting Professor of Sociology at the Open University UK, and Visiting Professor of Sociology at University College Dublin, Ireland. From 2014 he will be Visiting Fellow at the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, and in summer 2014 he will hold a Visiting Professorship at the Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University, Japan. Prof Elliott is a prominent social theorist, sociologist and public intellectual.

He is the author and editor of some 35 books, which have been translated or are forthcoming in a dozen languages. His books include Social Theory and Psychoanalysis in Transition, Psychoanalytic Theory: An Introduction, Subject To Ourselves, The Mourning of John Lennon, Critical Visions, Social Theory Since Freud, The New Individualism (with Charles Lemert), Making The Cut: How Cosmetic Surgery is Transforming Our Lives, Mobile Lives (with John Urry), On Society (with Bryan S. Turner), Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction, and Reinvention. He is best known for Concepts of the Self, which has been in continuous print for over 20 years and across three editions. Professor Elliott is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Presented as part of the School of Sociology Distinguished Speaker Series.

The Reinvention Revolution: The makeover industries in the twenty-first century
When: Tuesday 16 September, 6-7.30 pm
Where: Lecture Theatre 6, Manning Clark Centre (building 26A), ANU

This lecture is free and open to the public. Please register at:

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One Response to ANU Public Lecture – The Reinvention Revolution: The makeover industries in the twenty-first century
djbissell djbissell 10:13 am 12 Sep 14

Please note that due to demand, the venue has changed to:
Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre (The Tank) Building #23, The Australian National University

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