The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.


 'The Post-Sixties Humanities in the Australian University'     

  6.00 pm Friday 30 March

  The Terrace Room, Sir Llew Edwards Building

  (Building 14, St Lucia Campus, University of Queensland)

  To be followed by a reception

Public discussion of the humanities and social sciences is dominated by the question of their relevance and frequently invokes the spectre of crisis. Such discussion tends to assume some essential good — cultural transmission, defence of reason and truth, education of the emotions, cultivation of critique — that the humanities as a body can deliver to society as a whole. In this lecture I argue that the humanities and social sciences do not possess the kind of intellectual or moral unity presumed in such discussion, and that global accounts of relevance and crisis are unhelpful for any attempt to provide an historical conspectus of the humanities today. The humanities are better approached as a loose array of historically-deposited intellectual arts, disciplines, and forms of cultivation. Their shifting configurations depend in part upon unpredictable internal conflicts and coalitions, and in part on their institutional ordering within the university and the multiplex governmental programs on which this ordering depends. This is the background against which the lecture sketches the historical disposition of the humanities in the wake of their transformation in the 1960s.
Ian Hunter is an Australian humanities academic who participated in the post-sixties transformation of the humanities and then began to reflect on this in the persona of an intellectual historian. He is the author of various studies in the history of philosophical, legal and political thought, but his symposium lecture is less a presentation of this research than a reflection on the historical circumstances in which he came to undertake it.
Further information: Professor Peter Holbrook,
RSVP by:              Friday 16th March (for catering purposes)
Contact:                Rebecca Strachan
Email Address:
This event is co-sponsored by: The Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies (UQ), The Centre for the History of European Discourses (UQ), and the UQ Node of the Australian Research Council--Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

On this site

Go to top