Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics


Public lecture series

How to talk about gender based and sexual violence in the Middle East? Dilemmas for transnational feminist solidarity

Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London 28 March, 2017 My paper attempts to intervene in feminist debates about how to approach and analyse sexual and wider gender-based violence in Iraq specifically and the Middle East more generally. Recognizing the significance… Continue Reading →

The Confidence Cult: Gender, media and the neoliberalizing of subjectivity

Rosalind Gill, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City, University of London. 21 March 2017 To be self-confident is the new imperative of our time. It is seen in multiple domains: in education, in public health, in finance, in… Continue Reading →

Who’s Afraid of Andrea Dworkin? Feminism and the Analytic Philosophy of Sex

Katharine Jenkins, University of Nottingham 7 March 2017 The nature of sexual desire has been a topic of profound interest to feminist theorists for some time, and certainly in the latter half of the 20th century. Yet this body of… Continue Reading →

Sexual Rights / Sexual Politics

Tom Claes (University of Gent)   7 February 2017 The post WWII era has seen the emergence of a widely embraced human rights discourse and activism. Human rights were later on applied to specific groups and specific sectors, such as… Continue Reading →

Complicity and Transgender Politics

Conny Wächter, Ruhr University, Bochum 6 December, 2016 Transgender politics are suffused with rhetorics of complicity. To name but a few examples, especially in radical feminist and queer circles, trans women are frequently accused of complicity in  patriarchal ideology and… Continue Reading →

Women, Biology, Technology: The Dialectic of Sex Revisited

Vicky Margree, University of Brighton 22 November 2016 Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex burst onto the feminist scene in 1970 and proved immediately controversial. The book’s key thesis is that the origins of women’s oppression lie in biology: specifically,… Continue Reading →

Sexual Consent: A Necessary Fiction?

Paul Reynolds (Edge Hill University)   15 November 2016 Much research that intersections sexual violence, sexual politics and sexual ethics sits on the cornerstone of sexual consent – the ethical ‘golden mean’ of sex. Consent is at the centre of… Continue Reading →

Pornography: The Performance of Sexual Freedom

Heather Brunskell-Evans (King’s College, London) 25 October 2016 The narrative of radical sexual politics is that pornography has the potential to liberate individuals from traditional mores and values which repress sexuality. In this view pornographic sex is ‘sex-in-the-raw’ stripped of… Continue Reading →

“Pro-choice” and the limits of reproductive autonomy

Arianne Shahvisi, Brighton & Sussex Medical School 11 October 2016 “Pro-choice” has assumed a rhetorical power which over-reaches the moral arguments from which it originates. As the term is co-opted to dovetail with consumer capitalist logics, in line with a… Continue Reading →

Reading the Ruins: Imagining the Future of Universities  

Stefan Collini, University of Cambridge 1 March 2016 Abstract: The long tradition of writing on ‘the idea of the university’ functions as a form of cultural criticism: current practices and policies are read symptomatically as evidence of deeper failings in… Continue Reading →

Educating homo sapiens 

Howard Hotson, University of Oxford   2 February 2016 Abstract: For over two thousand years, the Western intellectual tradition has been sustained by aspirations, assumptions, ideas, and values ultimately grounded in widely shared conceptions of the human condition. The dilemma… Continue Reading →

What Should Universities Be? Question time with David Eastwood.

David Eastwood, Birmingham University Question Time  19 January 2016   Speaker: Professor Sir David Eastwood became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in April 2009. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a post… Continue Reading →

Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge

Jo Williams 5 January 2016 Abstract: Once, scholars demanded academic freedom to critique existing knowledge and to pursue new truths. Today, while fondness for the rhetoric of academic freedom remains, the concept itself is increasingly criticised as outdated and elitist…. Continue Reading →

The Politicisation of the Universities? 

David Salomon 8 December 2015 Abstract: The idea of the university in Germany is closely connected to Wilhelm von Humboldt’s “Neuhumanismus” and his conception of “Bildung”. According to this classical idea of the university, the freedom of “Wissenschaft” implies political… Continue Reading →

Deconstructing the Sovereign Student

Elizabeth Nixon and Richard Scullion 24 November 2015 Abstract: Intensifying marketization across Higher Education (HE) in the UK continues to generate critical commentary on the potentially devastating consequences of market logic for pedagogy. In this lecture, we consider the student-consumer… Continue Reading →

Universities and the Neoliberal Agenda? 

Bob Brecher, University of Brighton 10 November 2015 Abstract: I argue that to understand the neo-liberals’ ideological agenda for our universities, we need to try to get clear about some of its realities, and in particular two: its ideological commitment… Continue Reading →

What Should Universities Be? 

David Willetts   13 October 2015 Abstract: David Willetts will analyse the different roles of the modern university and the different types of benefits they bring. He will argue that universities do bring substantial economic benefits but that these are… Continue Reading →

Higher Education: a Feminist Critique

Miriam David 27 October 2015 Abstract: I discuss recent developments in HE and those in feminist critiques of the disciplines and their pedagogies and practices, particularly in the social sciences with a focus on sociology and education. I will also… Continue Reading →

Reflecting on the Marxist/Feminist Encounter in 2014

Michèle Barrett, Queen Mary, University of London, UK  Tuesday 10th March 2015 Feminist theory of the1970s-80s included a specifically socialist-feminist approach, which is currently being looked at again. Michèle Barrett’s Women’s Oppression Today has recently been republished with a new… Continue Reading →

“Minimum Distance Guidance”: Charity, Social Cleansing and Neoliberal Geographies of Discrimination

Holly-Gale Millette, University of Southampton, and Marie Billegrav-Bryant, filmmaker  Tuesday 3rd March 2015   This talk considers a marginal people who have, for over 150 years, suffered a falsity of perception and paucity of representation within both the public sphere… Continue Reading →

Does the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities create new rights for disabled people, and will they be realised?  

Tom Shakespeare, University of East Anglia  Tuesday 17th February 2015 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) was the first human rights treaty of the twenty-first century, specifying for persons with disabilities all the protections afforded by… Continue Reading →

Debt Society and its Discontents

Yannis Stavrakakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece   Tuesday 2nd December 2014 The ongoing economic crisis in Europe and beyond is usually discussed in more or less technocratic ways that fail to register the choreography of discrimination implicit in its hegemonic… Continue Reading →

After Same-Sex Marriage, What Next for LGBTI Rights?  

Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation, UK Tuesday 25th November 2014 Despite having won same-sex marriage and many other gay law reforms, we haven’t yet won full legal equality. In addition, queer-bashing violence and homophobic bullying still exist and over a… Continue Reading →

Understanding “Winner-Take-All” Politics in the US: Unequal Political Representation as Systemic Discrimination

Lisa Disch, University of Michigan    Tuesday 11th November 2014   Abstract The idea “winner take all politics” has emerged among US scholar/public intellectuals as a way of understanding aspolitically driven (not market driven) the tremendous upward redistribution of wealth that has occurred… Continue Reading →

Discrimination in Everyday Life: A Discussion 

Michael Neu and Humanities Students, University of Brighton   Tuesday 28th October 2014   Orsod Malik, “Acknowledging privilege” Phoebe Cooper, “Is social media complicit in everyday discriminatory practices?” Oscar Stafford, “Conscientious objectors in the First World War” Martina Vitartali, “Man, human… Continue Reading →

The Egalitarian Context of Discrimination

Andrew Vincent, University of Cardiff and University of Sheffield Tuesday 2nd December 2014 Abstract: The Egalitarian Context of Discrimination by Andrew Vincent ‘The lectures investigates the egalitarian context of discrimination, sketching the history of the concept of equality and then… Continue Reading →

Ian Parker, The function and field of speech and language in neoliberal education

6.30pm, Tuesday 1 April 2014 Abstract This paper brings aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis to bear on the development of current neoliberal management strategies in universities. Methodological principles are extracted from Lacan’s 1953 foundational text ‘The Function and Field of Speech… Continue Reading →

Mark Fisher, Libidinal Parasites: Neoliberalism and the Capture of Desire

6.30pm, Tuesday 18 March 2014  Abstract: Neoliberalism must be understood not only as a strategy to decompose the organised working class; it must also be seen as a successful attempt to neutralise and capture the energies that came out of… Continue Reading →

Dieter Plehwe, The Road from Mont Pèlerin: Origins and Evolution of Neoliberalism 

6.30pm-8pm, Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 Abstract: Although the history of neoliberalism has to be traced back to the Colloque Walter Lippmann in Paris in 1938, the talk will focus on the key actors and constituencies of the Mont Pèlerin Society… Continue Reading →

Steve Davies, Institute of Economic Affairs The End of Social Democracy

6.30pm-8pm, Tuesday 18 February 2014 Abstract: Although the period since 2008 is often seen as a crisis of capitalism it has in fact become a crisis of social democracy. The form of social democracy that has dominated Western politics since the… Continue Reading →

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