Summer Programme 2019

8th May

Professor Ken Gemes (Birkbeck, University of London) will talk on Nietzsche, Trump and Brexit.

  • Man is the animal that seeks meaning, possibly even more than happiness.
  • Narratives, stories, are the primary vehicles of meaning.
  • Religious narratives no longer grip many of us, and liberal democrat narratives no longer serve to ground meaning, merely offering the prospect of better economic conditions.
  • Furthermore, liberal democratic societies are now seen as failing even in their promise to deliver material benefits (economic well being/consumer happiness).

The failure to provide meaning conferring narratives coupled with economic malaise paves the way, as it did in the 30s, for radical populist, nationalist narratives that promise both meaning and material benefits

Ken Gemes was a professor at Yale University for 11 years before moving to Birkbeck College, University of London in 2000, where he continues to teach.  He has published articles on logic, philosophy of science, Nietzsche, and other topics in journals such as the Journal of Philosophical Logic, Philosophy of ScienceSynthese, Erkenntnis, Nous, Philosophical an Phenomenological Research, and The Journal of Philosophy. His work has covered a wide range of philosophical issues, from technical concerns of logical content to Nietzsche’s account of philosophy as the ‘last manifestation of the ascetic ideal’.

22nd May

Cate Cody will talk on Almost Zero Waste and how to Achieve it.

Cate gives a passionate and inspiring talk about her own environmentally conscious lifestyle which includes sending less than a wheelie bin to landfill in two years.  Come and find out how Cate Cody (life-long environmentalist, ace waste-reducer and writer of the ‘Eco Cody’ blog) does it. A light-hearted presentation, with plenty of tips and encouragement if you are interested in achieving something similar.

Cate Cody has lived in the Tewkesbury borough for 25 years. She has many years of experience in the environmental sector and is an expert in recycling and waste reduction, she also writes a Green Blog and is a regular public speaker. As well as being a passionate environmentalist, Cate is also a jazz singer and bandleader and her hobbies include walking and cycling, Lindy Hop dancing and organic gardening. Cate is also the first Green to be elected onto Tewkesbury Borough Council

5th June

Dr Kasia Narkowicz (University of Gloucestershire) will talk on Fragile Citizens: Muslim and European Values

The talk will focus on Europe and European values in relation to Muslims and Islam. It will discuss how Muslims and Islam fit into Europe, and what the consequences for them are when they are narrated outside of it? The talk will draw on research around citizenship and exclusion in Poland and the UK.

Dr Kasia Narkowicz is Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at the University of Gloucestershire. Before that she was post-doctoral researcher at the University of York and at Sodertorn University in Sweden. She holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield. Kasia has published on Islamophobia and racism in both the Polish and British contexts. Kasia tweets at @kasianarkowicz

All sessions will be held at the Francis Close Campus of the University of Gloucestershire, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, at 5:30 p.m. The dates in May will be in room HC202a&b, and in June in room HC203.  There is an entrance fee of £3

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