Temporal thinking in urgent times & ‘The New Social Contract’ Podcast

Tamson Pietsch (University of Technology Sydney)

A high-stakes contest is currently taking place between different ways of understanding the systems that create and structure the world we all live in, and the how they can be shaped and changed. This short video outlines the stakes of this contest and the place in it of all those who believe in human agency and the possibility of change.

The video refers to a recent article in History Australia co-authored by Tamson and Frances Flanagan, which is currently available on open access. Find the article here:

Tamson Pietsch & Frances Flanagan (2020) “Here we stand: temporal thinking in urgent times,” History Australia, DOI: 10.1080/14490854.2020.1758577
Open access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14490854.2020.1758577

The New Social Contract Podcast

Listen here.

Universities have existed for close to a thousand years. Across the centuries they have been places for making sense of the world and for shaping it.

But it would be a mistake to see universities as static and unchanging.

Under the pressures of war, political rupture and social and economic demands, they’ve often been remade. So, is this what we’re experiencing now, as COVID-19 rips through our lives?

The higher education sector is facing long-lasting financial and academic stress. Meanwhile our students are looking at a future in which they bear the costs both of this pandemic and the continuing ecological crisis.

What will they demand of universities as they make lives in a very different kind of world?

The uncertainty is making it difficult for everyone, university leaders, academics and students.

Hosted by Tamson Pietsch (Director of the Australian Centre for Public History at UTS) ‘The New Social Contract’ podcast seeks to contribute to a conversation about the kind of higher education sector our society needs. By using the lens of the past, present (and even the future), it investigates what the public can legitimately demand of their universities, and how higher education in Australia might be remade.

Presenter Biography

Tamson Pietsch is Senior Lecturer in Social & Political Sciences and Director of the Australian Centre for Public History at UTS. Tamson’s research focuses on the history of ideas and the global politics of knowledge and empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tamson is the author of Empire of Scholars: universities networks and the British academic world, 1850-1939 (Manchester, 2013) and the co-editor of The Transnational Politics of Higher Education (Routledge, 2016). She is currently writing a book about the 1926 world-cruise of the “Floating University” as well as leading an ARC project on expertise in interwar Australia.

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