So, what? Lecture Series

Public lectures in contemporary humanities and social sciences

So, what? is our flagship public lecture series in UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

This progressive public lecture series showcases the work of leading UNSW researchers and research collaborators. The series aims to challenge and inform public debate and understanding by pushing the boundaries of academic discourse in areas of contemporary humanities and social sciences


Recent Lectures

Professor Rosi Braidotti

The Posthuman Condition

Wednesday 23 November 2016Rosi Braidotti

Abstract: This lecture outlines the main features of the so-called ‘post-human’ turn in contemporary cultural theory. It focusses on three main concerns: firstly the fast-shifting perception of ‘the human’ at the intersection of advanced technologies, philosophies of the subject and the Life sciences. Secondly, the effects of economic globalization as a system that entails the capitalization of the informational codes of all that lives and that creates enormous economic and social disparities. Thirdly, the impact of wars, terrorism and conflicts in contemporary governmentality and the new forms of violence they engender on a planetary scale. Last but not least, the lecture examines the implications of this historical context for transformative, affirmative politics in general and cultural practice in particular.

This lecture is be facilitated by Professor Vanessa Lemm, Head of School School of Humanities and Languages.

Biography:  Rosi Braidotti is Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht since 2007. Rosi Braidotti’s research and writing engages feminist philosophy and cultural studies. She is especially interested in poststructuralism and critical theory as well as epistemology and Deleuze studies. Her books include, The Posthuman, Polity Press: Cambridge, 2013; Nomadic Theory. The Portable Rosi Braidotti, Columbia University Press: New York, 2011(b); Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, Polity Press: Cambridge, 2006; Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming, Polity Press: Cambridge, 2002; and Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory, Columbia University Press: New York, 1994 and 2011(a) [second ed.]. She also serves as an advisor to the journals Signs, differences and Theory, Culture & Society. She was awarded an Honorary Degree in philosophy by the University of Helsinki in 2007 and by the Linköping University in 2013. She became an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA) in 2009 and a Member of the Academia Europaea (MAE) in 2014.

Professor Phil Scraton

Hillsborough: Resisting Injustice, Recovering Truth

Monday 31 October 2016

Phil ScratonAbstract: In this public lecture Professor Scraton contextualises the disaster at Hillsborough Stadium on 15 April 1989 which claimed the lives of 96 men, women and children. He chronicles the inquiries, investigations and court proceedings that systemically failed the bereaved and survivors, mapping their unrelenting campaign for truth recovery. He reflects on unprecedented institutional mendacity, corrupted evidence and partial investigation revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel. Central to the long-term campaign for truth, he details the Panel’s extensive findings, analyses the new inquests, their remarkable outcome and the case for prosecutions. Finally, he examines the impact of critical research and truth recovery for challenging institutional injustice and holding the State to account.

Biography: Phil Scraton is Professor of Criminology, School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast. His primary research includes: controversial deaths and the state; the rights of the bereaved and survivors in the aftermath of disasters. He has written/ edited over 20 books. Director of The Hillsborough Project 1989-95, he was principal author of Hillsborough and After: The Liverpool Experience and No Last Rights: The Promotion of Myth and the Denial of Justice in the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster. In 2010 he was appointed to head Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research and is primary author of its comprehensive report, Hillsborough. The ESPN/ BBC documentary, Hillsborough, short-listed for an EMMY, is based on his work. In 2016 he received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.


Walkley Foundation

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences proudly supports The Walkley Foundation


For more information on the So, what? series, please contact UNSW Arts & Social Sciences via fassevents@unsw.edu.au

Previous lectures

You can see a list of our previous lectures here or view information for all upcoming events on the UNSW Arts & Sciences events calendar

Past speakers include:

  • Stephen J. A. Ward, Professor, Distinguished Lecturer of Ethics at the University of British Columbia
  • Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Future Fellow and Distinguished Professor at the iCinema Research Centre, UNSW Australia.
  • Manfred Frank, Emeritus Professor of philosophy at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.
  • Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the ANU.
  • Steven Connor, Grace 2 Professor of English in the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Peterhouse.
  • Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and renowned peace activist and author.
  • David Armitage, Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Harvard University.
So, what? lecturesEvent calendar
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