Debating the 'Culture Wars' II
The debate over the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression on university campuses and within wider society is often framed within the terms of a ‘culture war’. Arguments about the limitations of speech and the struggle for control over what can and cannot be said, and who can or cannot be allowed to speak, within the educational and public space, is assuming greater prominence and has been identified as a threat to traditional notions of the university ethos where the free exchange of ideas, especially those deemed to be difficult, offensive and challenging, can be scrutinized and questioned.
The explicit invocation of the rhetoric of ‘war’ in an increasingly hostile atmosphere over free-speech is thus an invitation for students of War Studies to assume a leading role in discussing and analysing the implications, and to bring their own, unique, dispassionate perspective to bear.
The intention of this new lecture and seminar series will be to explore the dimensions of this debate. How is it possible to think intelligently about what is going on and to shine a light on the many controversial aspects of this topic?
Our second event in this series is a panel on the subject of identity in politics and academia. Each speaker will approach the topic from a different perspective, and we encourage audience participation in the debate during the Q&A.
Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth (Profile 2010), The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America (Harvard 2004), The Orange Order (Oxford 2007) and Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945 — with H. Patterson (Manchester 2007). He is co-editor, among others, of Political Demography (Oxford 2012) and Whither the Child: causes and consequences of low fertility (Paradigm 2012), and editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (Routledge 2004). An editor of the journal Nations & Nationalism, he has written for Newsweek International, Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines, and blogs at Huffington Post.
Diane Popescu works on distributive justice, recognition theory, and the relation between the two with respect to recognition struggles, disability rights, minority discrimination and social exclusion. She received her PhD from the London School of Economics, where she worked as a Fellow in Government from 2014 until 2017. She is also interested in public policy, and has contributed to projects aimed at assessing progress in combating the social exclusion of the Romani minority within the European Union.
Jon Wilson joined the department of History at King's College London in 1999 as Lecturer in British Imperial and South Asian History. He was awarded a DPhil from Oxford University in 2000, following two years in New York studying for an MA in Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. He was Deputy Head (External Relations) of the School of Arts and Humanities from 2008-11, where he initiated the King’s Arts and Humanities festival. He has also worked as a parliamentary researcher and been a local councillor.
Robert Wintemute is a Professor of Human Rights Law at King’s College London. Within human rights law, he specialises in anti-discrimination law, particularly discrimination based on sexual orientation against lesbian, gay and bisexual persons, and discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin against Palestinian persons. His teaching and research also address protected offensive speech, unprotected hate speech, harassment, and conflicts between sexual orientation and religion.
Toby Young is one of Britain’s most prominent broadcasters and journalists. He is an associate editor of the Spectator, where he has written a weekly column since 1998, and the editor of Spectator LIFE. He co-founded the West London Free School, the first free school in England to sign a Funding Agreement with Michael Gove, and his group has subsequently opened two more. Toby is a regular guest on TV and radio programmes including Question Time, the Today programme, Any Questions and the Daily Politics. He is a Fulbright Commissioner and a Visiting Fellow of Buckingham University.