Arts and Humanities have always been crucial to the idea of the ‘public life’: the public is valorised as the realm of collective debate and decision-making, of community and solidarity, of art and culture. Such concepts, of course, have always been contested and never more so than right now. The electronic capture of the commons, the removal of boundaries between work and home, the policing of public spaces, the onslaught of the culture wars, the hold of big data and surveillance, the spectacles of populist politics have all changed the meanings, the spaces and the limits of the public sphere.
SIAH: Public Life draws a range of leading intellectuals into conversation about what the ideal of the ‘public life’ can mean to Arts and Humanities researchers and disciplines in the twenty-first century.
Laleh Khalili is a professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London and the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007); Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford 2013); and Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula (Verso 2020). She is currently working on a project on the entanglements of oil in every aspect of modern life.
Laleh will be in conversation with Stephanie Jones (Associate Professor in English at the University of Southampton)