The Season

Held just off campus in Chippendale’s Creative Precinct (a 5-minute stroll from Central) these lively panels will harness the energies of Humanities and Social Sciences thinking for issues that are important to all of us.

POST-TRUTH

Is Truth Dead? How to Be Informed: Navigating Post-Truth Cultures

SOCIAL MEDIA

Is This Working? How to Be Connected: Social Media and its Discontents

Environment

Are Humans the Only Beings that Matter? How to Be Sustainable: Perspectives from the Environmental Humanities

HAPPINESS

Why So Sad? How to Be Happy: Metrics of Happiness and Depression

TEACHING

Are Teachers Obsolete? How to Teach: 21st century classrooms

SHAKESPEARE

To Be Or Not To Be? How to Be Cultured: Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century






Is Truth Dead? How to Be Informed: Navigating Post-Truth Cultures
THIS SESSION IS NOW SOLD OUT

Thursday, 4 May, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

The disregard for evidence.
The denial of accountability.
A contempt for experts.

Welcome to the era of post-truth.

When it comes to debating issues of great contemporary significance—whether carbon footprints or food supply, presidential campaigns or city planning, health policy or anti-terrorism—evidence and logic have begun to count for less. Facts, rational thought and expertise are losing out to emotions, personal hunches and prejudices.

Why is this happening? And why is it happening now? What constitutes ‘a fact’ in our contemporary worlds? How can we tell? Is truth dead?

Our expert panel, led by the faculty’s new Dean, Professor Annamarie Jagose, will examine the very real threats to justice, democracy and progress in this era of post-truth.

Apologies! ‘Is Truth Dead?’ is now fully booked. Please take a look at our other sessions; perhaps those topics may be of interest to you? If you’d like to join the post-truth wait list, please email fass.alumni@sydney.edu.au

Prof. Nick Enfield - Chair of the Department of Linguistics

Dr Celine Van Golde - Associate lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Charles Firth - Cofounder and Managing Editor of The Chaser.

Where? Level 3, The Old Rum Store, Kensington Street, Chippendale Creative Precinct.

When? 6:00pm - 8:30pm

How much?
$15 USYD Students
$20 USYD Alumni
$25 USYD Friends

Ticket price includes drinks and canapés by the chefs of Spice Alley.

#outsideusyd

Is This Working? How to Be Connected: Social Media and its Discontents

Thursday, 22 June, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

When was the last time you bought a paper? Last weekend? Last year? Can’t remember?

Most of us now hear about the news through our social media; where stories, accurate or not, go viral within minutes and a new generation of digital influencers shape everyday public opinion.

Social media has also proven to be an effective tool for organising rapid response activist movements: it can connect and unite us to create meaningful social change.

But being constantly connected to each other and having easy access to mass information has its costs. Are we being dumbed down? Who makes or loses money when we expect access and information for free? How do we feel about constant surveillance by both corporate and our own personal social media platforms? Are we really informed? Are we really connected?

Click here to register.

Prof. Ariadne Vromen - Professor of Political Sociology

Dr Jonathon Hutchinson - Lecturer in Online Communication and Media

Shami Sivasubramanian - Social Media Reporter and Multimedia Producer at SBS

Are Humans the Only Beings that Matter? How to Be Sustainable: Perspectives from the Environmental Humanities

Thursday, 27 July, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

We’re all in the same boat. Environmental crisis feels big, abstract, and difficult to do much about.

Part of the problem lies in the way we talk about the environment. The language we use is formal and scientific—carbon dioxide, emissions, biodegradables—further disconnecting our daily lives from the realities of climate change, irreversible pollution and species extinction.

Is there anything we can actually do that will matter? What is the use of art and everyday culture while the tides rise and the planet burns? What does it mean to be a good ecological citizen when it seems the world is collapsing around us?

Our expert panel will address these growing concerns and offer ways we can all truly be sustainable.

Click here to register.

Prof. David Schlosberg - Professor of Environmental Politics; Co-director of the Sydney Environment Institute

Dr Astrida Neimanis - Lecturer of Gender and Cultural Studies

Dr Alana Mann - Chair of the Department of Media and Communications

To Be Or Not To Be? How to Be Cultured: Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century

Thursday, 31 August, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

The 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death was celebrated by many in 2016.
But will he be celebrated with the same passion in 2116?

The Bard’s relevance or decline—like that of the arts more generally—continues to be hotly debated. What is the point of reading or performing Shakespeare in 2017? How might theatre survive in a world where our culture is no longer determined by traditional art-forms? With the multitude of digital distractions jostling for our attention today, will we continue to attend the theatre, let alone Shakespeare, tomorrow? Really?

Join us for a frank discussion that will include some of our sharpest Shakespeare scholars, the artistic director of the nation’s flagship theatre company and one of Australia’s most beloved playwrights.

Click here to register.

Dr Huw Griffiths - Senior Lecturer in the Department of English

Kip Williams - Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company

Alana Valentine - Playwright

Are Teachers Obsolete? How to Teach: 21st century classrooms

Thursday, 12 October, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Google, Wikipedia, YouTube.

At a time when anyone with a smart phone and an internet connection can access vast sums of information within seconds: how relevant are teachers today? And, what about tomorrow?

The proliferation of social media and technology in student’s lives has changed classrooms irrevocably: knowledge is now beyond the control of educational institutions and those running classrooms. Are our universities, schools and teachers adequately prepared for the 21st century? What role, if any, can they play in addressing the concerns faced by young people in shifting and uncertain times? How can we prepare educators for a lifetime of preparing young people for their future worlds?

Click here to register.

Prof. Michael Anderson - Professor of Education (Arts and Creativity)

Dr Remy Low - Lecturer of Education

Donna Loughran - Principal, Doonside High School

Matt Esterman - Education Specialist, Six Ideas Global

Eddie Woo - Head Teacher Mathematics, Cherrybrook Technology High School

Why So Sad? How to Be Happy: Metrics of Happiness and Depression

Thursday, 23 November, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

We’ve never had it better and yet…

We live in an age where the world is, remarkably, the least violent it’s ever been. Global poverty continues its steady decline. Technology has streamlined our daily routines and medical breakthroughs occur at rates not seen before. Life is, by most metrics, easier and better than ever.

And yet in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults will suffer from depression. Why are we so depressed? How can we be happy? What exactly is happiness?

With Christmas just around the corner, what better time to reflect on the things that drive us and ask: are they the things that really matter?

Click here to register.

Dr Caroline West - Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Dr Agnieszka Tymula - Senior Lecturer in Economics

Dr Tim Sharp - Speaker & Consultant, Writer & Coach