High Culture and the Western Canon: has the fightback begun?
LSE European Institute Literary Festival debate
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Date: Friday 27 February 2015
Speakers: Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at UEA; Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts at the BBC; Maya Jaggi, Cultural Journalist and Critic; Frederic Raphael, major scholar in classics at St John's College, Cambridge
Chair: Prof Maurice Fraser
With the BBC having announced a remake of Kenneth Clark's TV series Civilisation, and Melvyn Bragg’s intellectual cornucopia on Radio 4, In Our Time, now in its 17th year, we will be asking whether the mission of Lord Reith 'to educate, inform and entertain' is alive and well. Can Matthew Arnold, TS Eliot and FR Leavis sleep well in their graves? Has the era of dumbing down to 'widen access' run its course? Why shouldn't ALL schoolchildren be asked to grapple with the 'difficult' texts, rich canvases or musical scores of our western inheritance? Why shouldn't everyone have the chance to join the 'elite'?
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