Cultural Theory: Roundtable on Academic Activism

Date & Time:

9th December, 16:00


Online event; the link will be emailed out to those who sign up.


Cultural Theory- Work in Progress: Roundtable discussion on academic activism

This roundtable discussion is part of the process of developing a co-authored writing piece collectively written by members of the Cultural Theory cluster.

In this roundtable discussion we revisit Edward Said’s Representations of the Intellectual (1993) as a departure for examining how and where academic activism can take place. This is situated both within, and apart from, existing public struggles, including #BlackLivesMatter and other current movements. Academic activism will be explored as an intellectual project, that may at times, problematise notions of: the public, the intellectual and the activist.

We will examine how academic activism contributes to activist projects, while also interrogating how “public” representational claims are made. This includes important questions around who is responsible for publics that are not yet constituted as such? What voices are not yet heard, seen or understood? And what is the role of academic activists in relation to these? This in turn raises ethical questions of how to represent the disadvantaged and/or subaltern – as well as accountability to these publics.

In addressing these issues, the roundtable will explore activism both inside and outside the classroom, offering various figurations of academic activism.

With: Tony Armstrong (Education & Social Work), Kirsten Forkert (BIME), Jason Huxtable (RBC), Zaki Nahaboo (Sociology), Eugene Nulman (Sociology), Poppy Wilde (BIME), and Esther Windsor (School of Art).