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Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University


Philosophers for Change

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by Henry A. Giroux

The University is a critical institution or it is nothing. — Stuart Hall

Let me begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lorde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who displayed a relentless courage in addressing the injustices she witnessed all around her.  She writes:

Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.[1]

And while Lorde refers to poetry…

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