17 Nov 2011 5:00pm - 6:30pm Room 9, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge


Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media 2011: Manuel Castells

The Humanitas Chair in Media has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Lecture 2: Social Movements in the Internet Age (1)



Social movements and political insurgency in our time are largely based on the capacity to construct communicative autonomy by the use of mass self-communication, namely the Internet and wireless communication. To be sure, the sources of social mobilization are in the situation of oppression, exploitation, humiliation, and powerlessness that people suffer around the world. However, the capacity to overcome repression and incommunication depends on the ability to seize the opportunity of the spark of indignation against an intolerable act from the powers that be to connect with other minds over the networks, and from there to come together in the urban space forming a rebellious community of practice. The process of formation of these networked social movements is analyzed and illustrated by a brief, yet documented empirical analysis of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011.

Further events in the series are:



The lectures are free and open to all, no registration required. Free registration will be required for the symposium.


About Manuel Castells


Manuel Castells is University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Prior to his appointment at USC he was Professor of Sociology and Professor of City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, for 24 years.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He has received 14 honorary doctorates from universities around the world. He has published 25 books including his trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture (Blackwell, 1996-2003) translated into 21 languages.

About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and co-ordinated in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professors are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today's society as well as the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors will present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk