Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Prelude

Professor Fred Inglis


The thrust and parry of high intellectual debate reached a zenith on Monday and Tuesday of May 5-6 when visiting Professor Fred Inglis from Sheffield University (UK) presented two seminars at Massey University, Albany.

The first lecture called ‘The Performance of Celebrity’ targeted a student audience; the second, ‘The awfulness and necessity of Cultural Studies’, was for the academics of the Cultural Studies department. Any academic addressing and challenging his peers must be prepared to accept as good as they give, and in the second seminar the good-natured professor seemed to revel in the interaction between minds almost perfectly matched. But next time put the lecture notes down and talk to us from the outset.


1 comment:

Jack Ross said...

Yes, I feel myself that it was an interesting case of the futility of simply reading out written texts to a room full of people eager to engage in debate on interesting topics. Both of Professor Inglis's papers would have interested me far more on the printed page -- it was only after listening to him read for almost an hour yesterday afternoon that the conversation was able to begin, amnd by then he'd ventured so many dizzying generalisations that it was hard to know where to begin.

He acquitted himself very well in the debate, mind you. The real tragedy, for me, was that he wouldn't throw away the prepared paper and instead follow a more interactive part from the get-go. On Tuesday, at any rate (Monday was a bit different, a formal lectuer which did have to be typed up in advance). He's a very well-informed man, and I would have liked to explore the parameters of his ideas more -- he himself quipped about the "sermon-like" nature of both papers. Less ex cathedra and more off the cuff, is my prescription for the future of Academia: more Scorates and less Plato.