21 April, 2023
THE 2023 COLLOQUIUM
The eighth Colloquium on 8 July will certainly go ahead, though the exact venue remains to be finalised. We’re not worried – there are plenty of attractive options available.
I did go back to Jane to appeal against their decision, but sadly to no avail. I do not intend to take the matter further, though I think we could have challenged successfully. The University of Tasmania’s Academic Freedom and Free Speech Policy contains the following:
- 1.8 The University has the right and responsibility to determine the terms and conditions upon which it shall permit external visitors and invited visitors to speak on University land and use University facilities and in so doing, will not refuse permission solely on the basis of the content of the proposed speech, but may refuse permission if the content of the speech is or is likely to:
- be unlawful;
- prejudice the fulfilment by the University of its duty to foster the
wellbeing of staff and students (which does not include a duty to protect any person from feeling offended, shocked or insulted by the lawful speech of another); or
- involve the advancement of theories or propositions which purport to be based on scholarship or research but which fall below scholarly standards to such an extent as to be detrimental to the University’s character as an institution of higher learning.
In my view this policy does credit to the University. The section in bold is commendable and even courageous in today’s circumstances.
Of course, a countering argument could have been based on the notion that we somehow slipped ‘below scholarly standards’, but that would surely be hard to sustain given the quality of our speakers. It would also have been somewhat hypocritical at a time when standards in some university departments are being eroded by faddish notions of a kind all too familiar to need listing.
Anyway, I know and like the Principal, though I radically disagree with her on this point, and would sooner walk quietly away. I find myself thinking of that old Scots song, The Parting Glass:
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas it was to none but me
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To mem’ry now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all.
We haven’t listed the Colloquium on sites such as Eventbrite yet because the location is yet to be determined, but you can register now. No form is required, just an email to email@example.com confirming your payment of the fee – $100 per person, concessional rate $80 – by EFT to Dawson Centre Colloquium 2023, BSB 067-000, A/C 10252831. The fee includes the cost of the closing dinner, so mention special dietary requirements if any in your email.
With kind wishes for Eastertide,
IN THE NEWS
MAKING SENSE OF HISTORY
Here is a recent review by Karl Schmude of a new study of Christopher Dawson by Joseph Stuart. The review’s title neatly sums up Dawson’s work: he was ‘the great historian who understood that religion is the key to understanding history.’
THE POWER OF THE MOB
The cancellation of events and the silencing of opinions deemed unacceptable by a vocal minority continue to plague public life. We recommend this interview with Daniel Lewkovitz, head of a security company called Calamity Monitoring, for a fresh and powerful defence of the right to free expression.
FEMINISTS FEELING THE HEAT
Life is getting much harder for feminists targeted by the trans lobby.
Here’s a case from Scotland, an interview with Mandy Rhodes. Standing for Women Tasmania has had its meetings loudly and aggressively disrupted. Apply to people like J K Rowling and Kathleen Stock for more information…
‘MOSQUE OF JESUS CHRIST’
Like many – though by no means all – Christians, we have great respect for Islam. This little article from a Kenyan paper is pleasing to read.
One of our readers drew our attention to it and noted that:
Muslims may have had something approaching the doctrines of Christ’s sinlessness and of Mary’s immaculate conception. According to a long-standing Muslim tradition, Satan stabbed every human being in the world except Christ and Mary.
DO YOUR POLITICS AFFECT YOUR BRAIN?
Here’s a story that’s bound to attract sneering charges of spreading misinformation! At first glance it looks a little crazy, but it’s actually a balanced argument by an experienced GP for keeping politics out of education.
AND SPEAKING OF POLITICS AND EDUCATION…
The US-based Heterodox Academy could brighten your day. It bills itself as ‘the world’s largest nonpartisan nonprofit member organization of 5,400+ university faculty, staff, and students committed to improving research and education by promoting the ideals of viewpoint diversity, open inquiry, and constructive disagreement’. It counts such well-known figures as Jonathan Haidt and Robert George among its founding members.
ELON MUSK ON FREE SPEECH
Maybe not everyone’s hero, but in this interview Musk scores a victory over a BBC reporter, defending free speech and strongly arguing that accusations of so-called ‘hate speech’ are so often mere vacuous abuse.
HOBART, SATURDAY 8 JULY – ALL DAY
THE ANNUAL COLLOQUIUM
‘Wokery’ – a Wake-Up Call for the West!
On Saturday 8 July the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies will host its eighth annual colloquium – somewhere in Hobart, Tasmania!
The following have offered papers; I expect there will be one or two more:
Dr Kevin Donnelly
Looking Backward Leads us Forward: the True Nature of Conservatism
Dr Gerard Gaskin
Truth in Education?
Ms Karina Hepner
Pricing Everything, but Valuing Nothing: the cost of leaving ‘The Woke’ asleep
Dr Fiona Mueller and Dr Deidre Clary
The Place of Debate in Australian Education: Fortifying a Free and Civil Society
Mr John Roskam
Creating a Culture of Freedom
Prof Ramesh Thakur
Wokism risks the descent of the West into Nihilism
HOBART WED 13 SEPTEMBER – 6.00 PM
DR RALPH MARTIN
Dr Ralph Martin is President of Renewal Ministries and Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit, USA. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome.
Topic: Living as Catholics in Challenging Times
(Location to be advised)