Provocation #2

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Provocations is a J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice's public forum tackling controversies in the arts in humanities, presented in collaboration with the Sydney Review of Books.  PROVOCATION #2 Join keynote provocateurs Andrew Gibson, Jennifer Rutherford and James Ley to address our Provocation for 2019: Scholarship is the New Conservative. You don’t have to agree with Joseph North’s contention that the historicist/contextualist paradigm usurped the revolutionary potential of literary criticism to recognise that the radicalising intentions of the 1960s and 1970s now sit comfortably within the “knowledge production” machinery and metrics of the contemporary university (Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History, 2017). This year, provocateurs will engage fearlessly with the future of Humanities scholarship as we ask:  What role does criticism play in the future of the Humanities?  Can we be both scholars and critics?  How does research management manage us?  How does the equation of good scholarship with research funding disengage research from its communities and subjects?  Do we, as scholars within the new university, even dare to ask how “knowledge production” and its measurement regimes depoliticise us avant la lettre?   Professor Andrew Gibson is a renowed James Joyce and Samuel Beckett scholar.

He is a Research Professor in Modern Literature and Theory at the Royal Holloway College, University of London. His forthcoming book is Modernity and the Political Fix (Bloomsbury, 2019).  Professor Jennifer Rutherford is the Director of the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice. She is currently working on a memoir and on a encyclopedia of lost things. Key Critical works include The Gauche Intruder (MUP, 2000), Zombies (Routledge, 2013) and Traverses (a mobile app, 2017).  James Ley is Contributing Editor with the Sydney Review of Books. He is the author of The Critic in the Modern World: Public Criticism from Samuel Johnson to James Wood (Bloomsbury, 2014), and co-editor, with Catriona Menzies-Pike, of The Australian Face: Essays from the Sydney Review of Books (Giramondo, 2017). 

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