For the second day of our kick off meeting, we are planning a day of discussion around the momentous world events that are defining our contemporary period and our role as academics in light of these events.
The day as a whole will be organised around the theme of 'The Role of Universities in a 'Post-Truth' World' and will be divided into three main sessions:
09:00–10:30 Post-Truth, Fake News, and Democracy
This session will look at the dangers of 'post-truth' and 'fake news' and examine how we, as academics, can contribute to effective politics by engaging in public debates. It will be a general session outlining the issues at hand and thinking through the possibilities for critical engagement in the service of democracy and democratic knowledge and the possible challenges to doing this.
11:00–12:30 On the Implications for Academic Work
This session will focus specifically on how we, as academics, are able to argue against the mobilization of lies and untruths. We could look at issues of methods, rigour, critical engagement, evidence, what counts as facts, what counts as claims, the role of emotions / narratives. Etc. What are the issues that we need to address in terms of our own 'tools', that is, methods, that are called into question by the current politics
13:30–15:00 Addressing the Politics of Brexit and Trump (and Erdogan, Duterte, Modi, Putin, Assad ... )
This session discusses our contemporary politics and the questions raised for academics in working in these times. We could address specific practical questions that emerge as a consequence of these politics (e.g. expressing solidarity with colleagues in authoritarian regimes!) as well as intellectual questions sparked by them (e.g. the role of race in understandings of class and vice-versa).
15:00-16:00 Summary and ways forward