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THE 2020 FESTIVAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
DIGITAL-FIRST EVENT 7-15 NOV 2020
FoSS and ESRC logos

The Magic of Social Life

09th November 2020 12:30-14:00
Talk/Webinar, Workshop, Exhibition/demonstration, Interactive activity, Performance

About this event

As part of a study into the acquisition of embodied skills, in the last year I have started to offer entertainment magic shows for the public (see https://brianrappert.net/magic/public-shows). Initially these sessions were offered face-to-face through the Ashburton Arts Centre and, with the outbreak of C-19, online through this Centre and Exeter Phoenix. In the session I use the play of secrecy, disclosure and deception in magic to discuss the role of secrecy, disclosure and deception in art, science, war, and everyday life with reference to concepts and theories in the social sciences. The format is akin to a focus group. The sessions combine the presentation of information (in this case, the tricks) with moderated discussion. As the moderator, my accomplishing patter draws on themes in sociology, psychology, criminology and other fields in order to foster discussion about our unfolding interactions together as well as participants’ wider experiences. For instance, in past public shows I have used this format to discuss themes associated with the social constitution of notions of self and other, the performative dimensions of everyday interactions, the social history of public demonstration and truth, the production of naturalness, the sociology of ‘bullshit’ and ignorance, as well as the constitution of knowledge within technologically mediated communication. As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, I plan to record three such interactive sessions. Through producing high quality recordings, editing the recordings into smaller elements, writing accompanying text and linking to online social science information, this project will create a website that will serve as a novel resource for conveying theories and concepts in the social sciences.