Inside Australian CultureThe Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney and the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, invite you to a mini symposium and launching of the recently published book, Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (Anthem, 2014).

5.00pm to 7.00pm: Thursday 9 October
Carslaw Lecture Theatre 273
University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus
RSVP essential:

Given Australia’s status as an (unfinished) colonial project of the British Empire, the basic institutions that were installed in its so-called ’empty’ landscape derive from a value-laden framework borne out of industrialization, colonialism, the consolidation of the national statist system and democracy – all entities imbued with British Enlightenment principles and thinking. Modernity in Australia has thus been constituted by the importation, assumption and triumph of the Western mind – materially, psychologically, culturally, socio-legally and cartographically. Tony Abbott’s recent invocations of ‘Team Australia’ and his view that the arrival of the First Fleet was “the defining moment in the history” of Australia, when it became part of the “modern world” underscore the persistence of such specific values. This mini symposium will examine how race, values and culture are evident in contemporary Australia. What are the continuing effects of colonization in Australia and the structures it brought, which still inform and dominate its public culture? What assumptions continue to dominate contemporary Australian thinking and values? Who is part of ‘Team Australia’ and who is not?

M/C: Professor Gerard Goggin, ARC Future Fellow, Dept. of Media and Communications, University of Sydney

Confirmed Panel:

  • Dr Tanja Dreher, School of Arts, English and Media, University of Wollongong
  • Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Dr Kiran Grewell, Institute of Social Justice, Australian Catholic University
  • Dr Rob Garbutt, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Southern Cross University
  • Professor Baden Offord, from 22 Jan 2015, Director and Professor, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University

Discussant: Professor Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney

Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values
Baden Offord, Erika Kerruish, Rob Garbutt, Adele Wessell and Kirsten Pavlovic
With Foreword by Ashis Nandy and Afterword by Vinay Lal

‘This book is a bold statement on issues of deep importance in Australian life: our cultural history, our racial politics, and the shape of our public culture. The authors have produced a highly readable and also disturbing book, most relevant to our disturbing times.’ —Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney

Copies of the book will be available for sale at a special discounted cost of $60 for this launch. Cash only.