forthcoming events

The Academy 2019

University as it should be: an annual two-day summer school for anyone interested in studying ideas.

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 July 2019, Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre, Bedfordshire

About The Academy

From February 2019, The Academy is run under the auspices of a new charity, boi. For the latest information for The Academy 2019, and to buy tickets, visit the boi website.

The Academy has been running since 2011. Bringing together a wide range of people of all ages and educational backgrounds, The Academy is a modest attempt to demonstrate the value of scholarship in itself in today’s climate of instrumental approaches to knowledge, the use of universities as social-engineering battering rams and the incessant demands to show value for money.

Academy 2019
Culture Wars: then and now

The Academy 2019 will examine the nature of contemporary cultural life and ask how and why does culture become politicised. The culture wars that continue to define Western life seem to pit differing identities against each other in the friend or foe dynamic of contemporary debate. Ideas seem to clash - say globalisation against nationalism - but they are hollowed-out abstractions. The debates between say science and religion, church and state, modernism versus tradition, used to represent a dynamic and productive tension. Today the debates seem much less ambitious and they jump around. The culture wars have their roots in the nineteenth-century, culminating in the First World War which marked an end of the authority of tradition but failed to replace it. Why are certain areas chosen as battle grounds for the culture wars: for example in the pre-political sphere of the family, marriage, parenting, and so on? What are the chances for and what might a democratic political culture look like in the twenty-first century?



Welcome address: On culture
Angus Kennedy

The emergence of the culture wars
Lecturer: Frank Furedi, sociologist, commentator and author of numerous books, including most recently Populism and the European Culture Wars

Lectures 1



Lectures 2
Family Matters
Lecturer: Jan Macvarish, sociologist of interpersonal relationships, parenting, family life, health, sex and intimacy; author Neuroparenting: the expert invasion of family life (Palgrave Macmillan 2016)



Plenary 2
Cultural Contradictions


Plenary 3
The crisis of bourgeois ideology: from Nietzsche to Heidegger
Lecturer: Tim Black, editor, the spiked review; columnist, spiked

Lectures 3
Culture: technology, art, Heidegger
Lecturer: Angus Kennedy, author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination and From Self to Selfie: a critique of contemporary alienation (editor with James Panton)



Sunday Shorts
Choice of three lectures::

‘60s counter-culture
Lecturer: Dr Greg Scorzo

Mass Century
Lecturer: Timandra Harkness

Lecturer: Ben Cobley

Plenary 4
The Cultural Turn
Lecturer: Frank Furedi, sociologist, commentator and author of numerous books, including most recently Populism and the European Culture Wars


Francis Fukuyama, Identity: contemporary identity politics and the struggle for recognition
Paul Berman, Power and the Idealists: or, the passion of Joschka Fischer and its aftermath
Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind
Frank Furedi, First World War: still no end in sight
Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society: 1780-1950
Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry
Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology
John Dewey, Democracy and Education
Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism