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Greenwashing Culture



Speaker: Toby Miller, Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Cardiff


I ask how the two most popular pastimes in the world, sport and art, are complicit with our environmental crisis. I find that there are two ways. First, sport and art create their own carbon footprints. And second, they provide the gas and petroleum industries with social licenses to operate by accepting sponsorship that imbues corporations from these sectors with a pro-social image. Big polluters make cynical use of sport and culture as a means of greenwashing their public image. The idea is to obtain what is called 'a social license to operate,' a surprisingly overt term adopted with relish by environmental criminals to explain their strategies for winning over local, national, and international communities' acceptance and even welcome (Thomson and Boutilier, 2011). Forbes magazine suggests that for the extractive sector, 2013 was the year of such licenses (Klein, 2012). But there is also resistance to these hegemonic forces.

About the speaker

Professor Toby Miller is a part-time research professor on the "Serious Brain Power" scheme at the Cardiff School of Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies. Miller is the author and editor of over thirty books and has written hundreds of articles and chapters, in addition to regular appearances in the media. His latest monographs are Greening the Media (Oxford, 2012-with Richard Maxwell) and Blow Up the Humanities (2012).

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When & where

12.00pm - 1.00pmThursday 19th February 2015

DLG09 Rhind Building City, University of London Rhind Building London EC1R 0JD United Kingdom