Symposium Theme: A Crisis in the Humanities?
  • Purposes of the humanities: systemic, critical, emancipatory?
  • Perceptions of the humanities: Why are they regarded with suspicion? How do we attain institutional purchase? What is it to be elite but marginal? How to avoid trivialisation?
  • Programs under threat: Which? Why? How do we respond?
  • Fast capitalism and slow learning: How do the humanities position themselves in relation to globalisation and corporatisation?
  • Securing ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’: What roles for the ambivalent enterprises of feminism and multiculturalism?
  • Global predicaments: What agenda for the humanities?
  • Higher education in the humanities and elementary education for the poor: How do we bridge the gap?


Theme 1. Meaning and Communication
  • Language and human meaning.
  • Cultural dialogue as a local and global imperative.
  • Linguistic diversity: its nature and meanings.
  • Communications outside of the humanities: making the connections.
  • Humanities and technologies: bridging the gap.
  • Education for a new humanity.
  • Values, attitudes, sensibilities: what role the humanities?
  • Freedom and tolerance: within what latitudes?
  • The dynamics of culture and identity.
  • Language and linguistics in the humanities.
  • Languages: global English, multilingualism, language death, language revival.
  • Communicating: media, film, theatre.
  • The nature of the literary.
  • The social mind: linguistics in theory and application.
  • Old forms and new insights: the novel, poetry and other literatures.
  • New media, new messages, new meanings.
  • The art of engagement: music, visual arts, theatre.
Theme 2. Frames of Reference for the Humanities
  • The stuff of knowledge in a 'knowledge society' or 'knowledge economy'.
  • Modern, postmodern and other ways of knowing.
  • Subjectivity and objectivity, truth and relativity.
  • Consciousness revisited.
  • Ethics and knowledge.
  • Semiotics: the modalities of meaning.
  • Philosophy in the humanities.
  • Making knowledge: research in the humanities.
  • Intellectual property: private property or creative commons?
  • Interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinary.
Theme 3. Agendas for the Humanities
  • Globalism and localism; cosmopolitanism and backlash.
  • History and its futures.
  • Immigration, minorities, refugees, diaspora.
  • Citizenship: national and global.
  • Cities and regions: the dynamics of proximity and distance.
  • Violence and peace.
  • A third way? And the first or second futures of our recent past.
  • Colonialism and neo-colonialism.
  • Terror and anti-terror.
  • Differences: gender, sexuality, families, race, ethnicity, class, (dis)ability.
  • Family and community.
  • Aesthetics and design.
  • Place making in the humanities: geography and its sites.
  • Land and place: framing indigenous identities.
  • Nationalism and racism.
  • Religious meanings and their human significance.
Theme 4. The Humanities in Practice
  • Teaching and learning in the humanities.
  • Humanities in cyberspace.
  • Meaning in the 'information society'.
  • Politics in the humanities.
  • Science and humanity.
  • Biotechnology, bioethics and aspects of body and environment.
  • Sustaining the human, ecologically and culturally.
  • Archaeologies of the material and the ephemeral.
  • Museums and cultural heritage.
  • Technology, between humans and nature.
  • The 'ism's of the humanities: feminism, multiculturalism …
  • The 'new economy' and the 'knowledge economy' - where do the humanities fit?