This is a trend with major consequences. It goes against many centuries of academic tradition, and occurs in a political-economic context where it seems that critique is more important than ever. Wageningen University has not been immune to this trend. To the contrary: several researchers in Wageningen quite explicitly say that it is the task of academics to be ‘constructive’ rather than critical. At the same time, many are critical of the trend to discard with critique. In the face of calls to move beyond they have suggested that the demand for ’constructive alternatives’ can itself be a coercive means of stifling dissent, as can assertions that urgency demands immediate action.
A critical debate on the role of critique is therefore of the utmost importance, especially in Wageningen University. This internal launch of the Wageningen Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) aims to kick-start this debate on Friday October 21st 2016. It will be open to all employees and students of Wageningen University and Research as well as staff and students from other universities, and invites them to debate, among others, the following questions: How do we understand ‘critique’ and what have been some major trends in the thinking about critique within the social and the life sciences? How do these understandings of critique link to the current construction of ‘planetary emergencies’? And how might a renewed appreciation for critique be reconciled with growing demands for constructive engagement with the urgent?
The internal launch of the CSPS will include two keynote lecturers by eminent critical scholars, Prof. Anna Tsing (University of California at Santa Cruz) and Prof. Scott Prudham (University of Toronto and first CSPS visiting professor), as well as shorter presentations by CSPS researchers. You are all very welcome!
For more information and programme click here.
Please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS)
The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) brings together researchers from three chair groups within Wageningen University (WUR) – Cultural Geography (GEO), Rural Sociology (RSO) and Sociology of Development Change (SDC) – and beyond to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences. Our particular focus is on issues of socio-spatial and environmental justice. In investigating dynamics of spatial and social rootedness, connections, and circulations, with special attention to questions of inequality, exclusion, difference and plurality, CSPS seeks to translate knowledge into practical action in pursuit of a more just and equitable world. For more information about CSPS and its upcoming activities, please visit the CSPS website.