Matt Sharpe: Liberty, Equality, and Precarity: The humanities today

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Come hear Matthew Sharpe talk about liberty, egality, precarity, and the future of the humanities in Australasia.

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Liberty, Equality, and Precarity: The humanities today

The recent higher education reforms in Australia are at the international pointy end of a process long in the making, that of the devolution of the humanities, in conjunction with an increasing loss of several of the traditional functions of the modern university: notably, the passing down and criticism of traditions and ideologies, and the fostering of critical citizens able to participate in a democratic public sphere, or in government. How can the humanities respond to this crisis of legitimation which is becoming a fiscal crisis, given the crowding out of traditional humanistic languages from the public realm, as well as the language and realities of civics, in neoliberal societies and increasingly corporatized universities? How can defenders of the humanities, and of informed critical public discussion, address the ongoing 'culture war' polemics against 'cultural Marxism' and other scarecrows? This presentation will look at these questions in the light of the longer history of the universities, the liberal arts, the humanities, and the humanities in Australia, not excluding competing and disputing conceptions of higher education.

Associate Professor Matthew Sharpe

Matt teaches philosophy at Deakin University, Australia. He has written books on Albert Camus, Slavoj Zizek, critical theory and contemporary politics.

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