The Humanities in Revolt by Alastair Renfrew


By Alastair Renfrew

Reader in Russian, Head of the School of Modern Languages & Cultures, Durham University, UK

Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 4 pm

English Department Lounge, 4th floor

The “dirge-like chorus” of recent identifications of the demise of the Humanities has been willing to engage with broader social, political and ideological factors only insofar as they are seen to impact directly on the ways in which universities function. Few voices in this “chorus” have sought to pursue the implications of their own critique and to conceptualise the Humanities as a potential site of revolt against both the local effects of political and ideological agency, and indeed against the prevalent ideologies of our time. The purpose of this intervention is to question what theories of Revolution – mediated by and ‘answerable’ to an underpinning theory of conjuncture – can offer the contemporary Humanities; and to prepare an argument that that the practice of the Humanities can only now be understood in terms of “revolt”.

Introduced by Peter Hitchcock, Professor of English (CUNY Graduate Center) and Associate Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics

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