TB Davie Academic Freedom lecture, 13 August

For those based in Cape Town, and who might miss the ads that will go out this week, UCT’s Academic Freedom Committee (I’m the Chair) is bringing Kenan Malik out to give the TB Davie lecture this year. Any can attend (free). Here’s a copy/paste of one of our draft communications on this:

Free Speech in an Age of Identity Politics

The rise of identity politics in recent decades has transformed the landscape of free speech. Free speech is no longer seen as a universal good, while censorship is often seen as a progressive act, a means of protecting vulnerable people and social groups without power, and a tool with which to cut the powerful down to size.

In this talk, Kenan Malik examines the impact of identity politics on ideas of free speech, challenges the idea of censorship as a progressive act, and, in an age in which many embrace the politics of identity, remakes the case for free speech as a universal good.

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster. After studying neurobiology (at the University of Sussex) and history and philosophy of science (at Imperial College, London), he worked as a research psychologist at Sussex University’s Centre for Research into Perception and Cognition. For the past 20 years he has combined academic research with popular writing and broadcasting. His main areas of interest are the history of ideas, the history and philosophy of science, the history and philosophy of religion, theories of human nature, political philosophy, ethics, and the history and sociology of race and immigration.

His latest book is The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics. Previous books include From Fatwa to Jihad (2009), shortlisted for the 2010 George Orwell Prize, Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate (2008), nominated for the 2009 Royal Society Science Book Prize, Man, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us about Human Nature (2000) and The Meaning of Race (1996).

He is a columnist for the International New York Times and the Göteborgs-Posten. He has made a number of radio and TV documentaries on scientific, moral and political issues. He blogs at Pandaemonium: www.kenanmalik.wordress.com

Date: Thursday, 13 August 2015
Time: 13:00 (Guests to be seated by 12:55)
Venue: Smuts Hall, Residence Road, Upper Campus, UCT
We would be grateful if you could please indicate your interest in attending
the lecture by replying to the TB Davie Lecture listing on www.uct.ac.za/events