Thursday 23 February
6.30-8pm followed by a drinks reception
Lecture Theatre B
Knowledge after Austerity and Brexit examines knowledge production and dissemination in the context of austerity, and the way in which knowledge has been brought into focus in the atmosphere of the Brexit vote. This is the first of two open panel discussions that provide a framework to explore both the challenges and the opportunities that the current political and economic context presents.
Since 2010, the political and economic context for knowledge production in the UK has been transformed. Austerity’s ideological and economic dimensions have led to significant changes in the way that knowledge is produced and disseminated. The impact of fiscal tightening has been felt in numerous ways, from the closure of public libraries, to spending cuts inflicted on the arts, to fundamental changes in the financing of higher education.
In the last year, the EU referendum campaign and its aftermath have given rise to the idea that we are entering a new era of ‘post-truth’ politics in which intellectualism is disparaged and ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’. The outcomes of the referendum and the US presidential election have also focused attention on the financialized nature of digital knowledge production and on the increasing role of algorithms and ‘filter bubbles’ in the organisation of information online.
Panel 1: The problem with knowledge: Knowledge after austerity and Brexit
The first panel discussion will focus on the current landscape and will examine the conditions of knowledge production in the UK today.
• How has austerity reconfigured the landscape of knowledge creation?
• What new barriers (or opportunities) to participation in learning have been created?
• How have knowledge institutions been transformed?
• What can Brexit tell us about the value placed on ‘expert’, ‘non-expert’, and other forms of knowledge?
Gargi Bhattacharyya, Professor of Sociology, University of East London
Jamie Burton, public lawyer and Chair of Just Fair
Will Davies, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London
Lauren Smith, co-founder of Voices for the Library and Research Associate, University of Strathclyde
Jeremy Till, Head of Central St Martins and Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of the Arts London
Salomé Voegelin, Reader in Sound Arts, London College of Communication
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