April 8: Professional and Amateur (Said)

by robbiefordyce




Edward Said’s presentations of the Reith Lectures in 1993 were broadcast over the BBC. Later these lectures would be republished as the volume The Representations of the Intellectual. Said’s lectures covered a broad range of concerns for what might be considered an ethics for the organic intellectual. Many aspects of academic life are served up for interrogation, and the chapter on Exile is particularly engaging. For this week, we will address a different chapter – “Professionals and Amateurs”,

Around 1968 intellectuals largely deserted their publishers’ fold; instead they flocked to the mass media–as journalists, talk-show guests and hosts, advisers, managers and so on. […] Every intellectual has an audience and a constituency. The issue is whether that audience is there to be satisfied, and hence a client to be kept happy, or whether it is there to be challenged, and hence stirred into outright opposition or mobilized into greater democratic participation in the society.

We meet, once again, on April 8th in the Gorman Room of the 1888 building, at 5pm.

[PDF] Said, E. (1994) “Professional and Amateur” in Representations of the Intellectual.

(apologies for the small file error on loading)