After a successful launch last year of this public talks series, we welcome back BROW TALKS for 2017, presented in partnership with The Lifted Brow.
Informal in tone and omnivorous in range, these talks are fun, forward-thinking samplers of the best new thinking about nonfiction today. Please join us at the Urban Writing House, non/fictionLab's home for all things research, writing, and the city. Bring questions and a good attitude!
Lecture Four: THE LANGUAGE OF PROGRESS
Presenter: Chad Parkhill
Last year saw democracies around the world elect regressive and reactionary leaders (Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, the return of Pauline Hanson) or enact reactionary political programs (Brexit). These events, and the possibility of similar events in the near future, have created a crisis for progressives. How can we build progressive alliances and solidarity across identity groups and between different worldviews? How has the neoliberal project impacted the language and concepts we use to articulate a progressive and just vision for the world?
This lecture will examine discourses of contemporary progressive politics to argue that the language we use to articulate these politics is inadequate to the task of combating global reactionary and regressive political movements. Drawing upon the analysis of performative speech acts and performativity developed by queer theorists such as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler, it argues for concrete changes in the ways progressives talk about, and therefore think about, their politics – away from a neoliberally-inflected politics of the oppressed self, towards a politics of contingent solidarity.
Chad Parkhill is a Melbourne-based cultural critic who writes about sex, booze, music, history, and books—but not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in The Australian, Junkee, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Overland, and The Quietus.
Arrive at 6.00pm for a 6.30 start.
Access the Urban Writing House through the rear of Building 80, via Stewart St, ground floor, across from the basketball courts, between A'Beckett St and Franklin St.