Follow The Leaders? The Role Of Universities In A Collapsing Climate

New Matilda, 18 February 2020. Original here. In a few days, amid the most serious environmental crisis since European invasion, students in Australia will begin the new university year. Only a small number of them will have been evacuated from holiday beaches during the worst of the summer bushfire inferno; even fewer will have lost… Continue reading Follow The Leaders? The Role Of Universities In A Collapsing Climate

Ramsay’s groupthink

Arena, 26 July 2019. Read the original here. Does anyone want to hear another word about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation? Since the ANU rejected Ramsay last year, the centre may, as its ‘chief executive’ Simon Haines acknowledges, have been slower than it anticipated in starting collaborations with Australian universities. But the prospect of… Continue reading Ramsay’s groupthink

On free speech on campus, and why the French code will be no help

Overland, 1 July 2019. Read the original here. Following conservative hysteria after a short-lived student protest when Bettina Arndt’s ‘fake rape crisis tour’ came to Sydney University last year, many universities have now agreed to implement the code of practice developed by the former Chief Justice, Robert French, in his review of freedom of speech… Continue reading On free speech on campus, and why the French code will be no help

After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2019. Read the original here. There has been much discussion since Friday of politicians’ and parts of the media’s responsibility for promoting Islamophobia. But what of the role of institutions like universities? Since June last year, a heated debate has been underway on whether universities should collaborate with the Ramsay… Continue reading After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay

The Attack on Palestinian Universities

Jacobin, 30 December 2018. Read the original here. Israel’s efforts to cripple higher education in occupied Palestine continued relentlessly in 2018, with Israeli universities acting as key tools of the occupation. The systematic punishment inflicted on Palestinian academics and students didn’t attract anything like the global attention of Gazans’ March of Return, but it deserves… Continue reading The Attack on Palestinian Universities

Not just a culture war: the Ramsay Centre and Sydney University

With David Brophy. Overland, 19 September 2018. Read the original here. The best that can be said about the Ramsay Centre’s proposal to sponsor an elite course in Western civilisation is that it has revived a flagging discussion about the intellectual and political considerations that shape the humanities curricula of Australian universities. But instead of… Continue reading Not just a culture war: the Ramsay Centre and Sydney University

Academics, the humanities and the enclosure of knowledge: the worm in the fruit

Australian Universities' Review 58:2 (2016) 33-41. Read the original here. Download a pdf here. My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. – 1Kings 14 The Biblical Rehoboam’s promise to his subjects distils the same shocking… Continue reading Academics, the humanities and the enclosure of knowledge: the worm in the fruit

Diversity, linguistics and domination: how linguistic theory can feed a kind of politics most linguists would oppose

History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences, 11 May 2016. Read the original here. What connections might linguists’ professional activities have to politics? Most recently, the question has been posed by the collective self-dismissal of the Lingua board and the journal’s metamorphosis into the open-access Glossa – a welcome attempt to break the monopoly of… Continue reading Diversity, linguistics and domination: how linguistic theory can feed a kind of politics most linguists would oppose

The roots of Islamophobia in France

Jacobin, 29 August 2016. Read the original here. Read a German translation here. Read a Bosnian translation here. The “Burkini ban” pursued in Cannes and about thirty other towns might have just been overturned in the French courts, but it was only the latest and most absurd Islamophobic assault endured by Muslims in the country.… Continue reading The roots of Islamophobia in France

Refined crusaders – war and its propagandists

Sydney Review of Books, 20 November 2015. Read the original here. France is high on war. After last Friday’s abominable bloodbath, François Hollande declared a ‘pitiless war’ of retaliation on Jihadism. It would seem that for the president,  terror can still, in 2015, be bombed out of existence, and military intervention remains the key to… Continue reading Refined crusaders – war and its propagandists