Collaborative Seminar, at Loughborough University on 2 June 2015
This Day event will take place in the James France Building, room CC021, from 10.30-4.30pm – 2 June 2015, and will focus on the Future of Social Critique.
The event was organised to celebrate the careers of two renowned colleagues in our department, Prof Michael Pickering and Prof. Graham Murdock, but also as an opportunity to broaden the discussion on the subject.
The continuing financial crisis of capitalism in Europe has been accompanied by a right-wing response that has sought to reduce the size of the state and the power of labour, changes that will inevitably increase income inequality and consequently other inequalities in the future placing the burden of the crisis on the shoulders of those least able to bear it. This neo-liberal response has not gone unchallenged at least in some European countries. We have witnessed the growth of extra-parliamentary and more recently parliamentary opposition on both the right and the left. In the UK, however, whilst we have experienced a ‘revolt from the right’ with the growth of UKIP, the response from the left has been more muted. While there has been some left opposition to austerity, it has remained largely on the margins. In contrast, the early years of the Thatcherite project in the UK saw a flowering of radical opposition that crossed over from politics to culture to the academy. The questions animating this seminar are: if then, then why not now? What has changed both inside and outside universities? How do we assess questions of value and make this a key aspect of critique? What resources are generally available for the renewal of critique? Whatever happened to the ‘public intellectual’?