BROW TALKS Season One presented by RMIT's non/fictionLab: Lecture Four – THE LANGUAGE OF PROGRESS, by Chad Parkhill
The Lifted Brow
Lecture Four – Wednesday 26 April, 6pm for 6.30
THE LANGUAGE OF PROGRESS
Last year saw democracies around the world elect regressive and reactionary leaders (Donald Drumpf, Rodrigo Duterte, the return of Pauline Hanson) or enact reactionary political programs (Brexit). These events, and the possibility of similar events in the near future, have created a crisis for progressives. How can we build progressive alliances and solidarity across identity groups and between different worldviews? How has the neoliberal project impacted the language and concepts we use to articulate a progressive and just vision for the world?
This lecture will examine discourses of contemporary progressive politics to argue that the language we use to articulate these politics is inadequate to the task of combating global reactionary and regressive political movements. Drawing upon the analysis of performative speech acts and performativity developed by queer theorists such as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler, it argues for concrete changes in the ways progressives talk about, and therefore think about, their politics – away from a neoliberally-inflected politics of the oppressed self, towards a politics of contingent solidarity.
Chad Parkhill is a Melbourne-based cultural critic who writes about sex, booze, music, history, and books—but not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in The Australian, Junkee, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Overland, and The Quietus.
non/fictionLab Urban Writing House (80.01.08)
(Access the Urban Writing House through the rear of Building 80. It's on Stewart St, ground floor, across from the basketball courts, between A'Beckett and Franklin.)
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