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25 Years

Responsibilities of the Worldly Intellectual (after Edward Said)?

Tue, 04/21/2009 - 8:00am
Event Location: 

ICGC Distinguished Lecture Series presented by David Lloyd, Professor of English, University of Southern California

At a moment when the university is being increasingly subjected to both privatization and professionalization, what remains of the role of the “worldly intellectual”? Is the notion that the intellectual or academic has a role beyond specialized teaching and research, a role to play in the formation and advocacy of ethical and political culture and movement, a self-regarding illusion? What is the relation between the specialization of academic functions and the “culture of expertise” that increasingly defines the work of the state? Is the professional academic value- and politics-free or does that professional culture merely mask its investment in the status quo of domination? How do we need to rethink the practice of “critical theory” in a time when the liberal state seems to have been displaced by a security state, founded in a permanent “state of exception”? What can theoretical endeavors like critical race theory and postcolonial theory teach us about the present moment and its intellectual demands? How do they help to shape a political intellectual practice?