Annual Theme: Public Intellectuals
The question of what kind of intellectual activities are valued, by whom and for what purpose has become ever more pressing. Many academics working in the humanities today feel themselves to be especially under attack, as government funding is withdrawn from their teaching budgets and researchers are required to account for themselves within frameworks of legitimation that often seem imposed from outside their remit.
In this context, CIDRAL events this year focus on the topic of ‘Public Intellectuals’. We imagine this theme in its most open sense and have asked speakers to respond to it in whatever way suits their current research interests or recent experiences of engaging in public debate. Topics to be addressed include:
· the history of public intellectuals and the changing status of knowledge in universities today.
· comparative frameworks for the discussion of the shifting value accorded to intellectual work or to the public sphere across different cultures.
· the contributions of one particular intellectual figure
· the problems of intervening into particular public debates at particular times
· interdisciplinary connections between literature, language, politics and philosophy
· the shifting dynamics between the sciences, social sciences and humanities in terms of who can function as a public intellectual in the twenty-first century and in what settings
· the challenge of intervening successfully into public debate from inside and outside the academy
CIDRAL events in 2012-2013 will speak across the disciplines to these and other issues relating to the annual theme. Taken together, these events offer an intellectual consideration of how and why the knowledge produced in the study of the arts and languages continues to be of value and significance.
Our events include open lectures, conversations between visiting speakers and colleagues at the University of Manchester, postgraduate masterclasses and other research dialogues of various kinds. We look forward to welcoming postgraduates, academic staff and members of the public to this year’s CIDRAL programme. Please find attached an updated calender of events, which we’d be grateful if you would print and display.
Director of CIDRAL