Archives for posts with tag: academia

My university is hosting an event this summer that invites various disciplines to take part.

What is the CULTure of (IN)difference?

“Our dream is to allow artists, musicians, thespians, poets, scholars, and others to engage with and learn from one another.

The nature of the event is in the hands of the participants. We imagine an eclectic coming together of all the Arts in an explosion of creativity and a synergy of ideas.
The event is scheduled for 30th September and 1st October 2011 in the Visual Arts building on Main Campus. We welcome participants and attendance from all disciplines.
Are the Arts simply governed by a trendy elite; a “Cult of In?” Or are the Arts in South Africa meant to articulate political understandings in our “Culture of Difference?” Are South Africans “indifferent” to the Arts for any particular reason, if they are at all?

These and other questions were the motivation behind the title. However, we welcome all interpretations of the event since the organisers were few, and the participants will be many. This is a postgraduate initiative; we aim to give postgraduate students who touch on the arts a space in which to express themselves. However, this by no means excludes everybody else.”

– Extract from the oh so pretty CULT/ure of IN/diffference website, you can interact with users, students and participants by registering online.

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“It is a question posed in a moment of quiet restlessness, at midnight, when there is no longer anything to ask. It was asked before; it was always being asked, but too indirectly or obliquely; the question was too artificial, too abstract. Instead of being seized by it, those who asked the question set it out and controlled it in passing. They were not sober enough. There was too much desire to do philosophy to wonder what it was, except as a stylistic exercise.

– Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, What is philosophy?

In the Translators’ Introduction Hugh Tomlinson writes that the book “resembles a manifesto produced under the slogan, Philosophers of the world, create!” I quite like that.


“The technique for dealing with men whose opinions are disliked by certain groups of powerful individuals has been well perfected, and is a great danger to ordered progress. If the man concerned is still young and comparatively obscure, his official superiors may be induced to accuse him of professional incompetence, and he may be quietly dropped. With older men who are too well known for this method to be successful, public hostility is stirred up by means of misrepresentation. The majority of teachers naturally do not care to expose themselves to these risks, and avoid giving public expression of their less orthodox opinions. This is a dangerous state of affairs, by which disinterested intelligence is partially muzzled, and the forces of conservatism and obscurantism persuade themselves that they can remain triumphant.”

– Bertrand Russell, Freedom and the Colleges


While grading the first year papers I came across the strangest student mistake. I’ve posted about other silly student mistakes but surely this one takes the prize! On a question about the meaning of life this student wrote:

“Man could be… seen as the evolving, an image ‘Darwin’,, but evolving psychically a precursor to the charting.”

I have no idea what it means… do you?


I tutor first year Philosophy for many reasons:
a) It’s the course work that radically changed my life when I was 18.
b) They are still excited about studying, varsity and new subjects like philosophy. And…
c) Because they are young and naïve they make funny mistakes.

Part of my job’s duties entail marking student’s assignments and tests. Today while marking an assignment on Philosophy and Science a student, who shall remain unnamed, wrote: “Albeit Einstein” instead of Albert Einstein. And as amusing as this typo is, what made me giggle was that she used it throughout her essay.
Bless her!

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