Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Priyamvada Gopal explores the role of the intellectual in our third lecture this term!


with Priyamvada Gopal

Room 4, Mill Lane Lecture Theatre, Cambridge
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 @ 5-6:45PM
All lectures start 5:15PM

This talk – or rather, a set of provocations for discussion in relation to the question of praxis – revisits the case made by Edward Said in his Reith Lectures for the intellectual (who can never be 'private') as a "curmudgeonly' voice of opposition whose place it is 'to publicly to raise embarassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogma…to be someone who cannot be co-opted by governments or corporations, and who raison d’etre is to represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten or swept under the rug. His insistence that the intellectual had a vocation and that that vocation was to represent the forgotten – both histories and peoples – was intrinsically tied up with his advocacy. often glossed over in readings of his work--of a 'critical humanism.' Priyamvada will ask us what the implications of this model of 'democratic criticism' are for the question of the relationship between critical theory and political practice while also examining some of the limitations of Said's conceptualisation of the 'exilic' and, via Adorno, 'homelessness'.

Priyamvada will speak to the above concerns for around half an hour, but the emphasis will be on open discussion and conversation. It would therefore be helpful if you had a chance to read Said's Reith lectures on 'Representations of the Intellectual'.

These can be found here.

Priyamvada Gopal is Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. She has published two books: Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence and The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration. She is currently working on a third, Insurgent Empire: Anticolonialism in the Making of Britain. She has written for various newspapers and magazines in Britain, USA and India including Guardian, The Hindu, The Nation and al-Jazeera.

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Welcome to the third of this term's Critical Theory and Practice seminars. The aim of these talks is to integrate radical theory with political practice and activism. Each talk consists of a presentation followed by a Q&A session (and trip to the Anchor pub round the corner). We record each session, so if you can't make it, like our pages so you get updated once the video is uploaded. Organised by Cambridge Defend Education (CDE) and Cambridgeshire Left.

For more about our upcoming events:

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