[csaa-forum] Anyone for a conference?

Felicity Colman fcolman at unimelb.edu.au
Sun Jul 30 12:40:30 CST 2006

Hi All,

Perhaps OzProspect might consider convening a seminar/conference that
addresses ‘the role of the academic AND the role of the public
intellectual’ in Australia. Not everyone wishes to be both, and why this
continual demand to collapse the work of academics (poorly resourced, and
low salaried compared with private sectors)? It seems to me that the
*Everyday Multiculturalism* CFP hit all the right buttons with their very
timely call for people to comment on difference, diversity, and failures
and successes of assimilation in this country.

As Ien Ang thoughtfully noted -
> All in all, this whole affair serves to remind us once again that 'the
> public sphere' is a rough, potentially dangerous and often unfair place,
> where many get hurt. We have to be prepared to wear this, and accept
> that engaging within it is hard and risky work.

It's good to hear people acknowledge this. The point I wanted to raise:
the language that the fellowship student at Monash utilises (in addition
to the comments Vera Mackie made a few days ago in this list) demonstrates
that academia is often a place where cries for help go unnoticed. Perhaps
her supervisors were unaware, or unavailable, for consultation?

I certainly encounter very angry students nearly every day. And so they
should be. Often I share their anger and frustration, and through
discussions, reading groups, etc., it has been those same students that
have assisted me in finding a way that we can address our ideas + our
commitment to working through those ideas - to keep on teaching
inspiration - even through institutional and public hostility to
questioning knowledge.

As a junior academic (as my institution likes to call me, even though I’m
fast approaching 40years), also labeled as a theorist, (sometimes unkindly
- anyone interested, I’m happy to mail you a copy of my last batch of ARC
reports), I would be most interested to assist in convening something that
would assist in airing some of these interesting pedagogic concerns.
Perhaps even have some research outcomes. Perhaps we can approach the
Australian media for some sponsorship! :)

Felicity Colman

> --
Dr Felicity Colman,
School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology
The University of Melbourne  Victoria  3010 Australia
Tel: 61-3-834 45565\tFax: 61-3-8344 5563 fcolman at unimelb.edu.au

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