The Anti-University and radical education (15th June)

Taking Soundings on 15th June 2015 will be at The Tetley, in Leeds city centre, from 7 – 9pm. Its location is described here 

MARTIN LEVY

RADICAL EDUCATION – WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE DIALECTICS OF LIBERATION AND THE ANTI-UNIVERSITY OF THE 1960s?

Outline of the talk 

Martin Levy will begin by saying something (briefly) about the origins of the Dialectics of Liberation congress, both in anti-psychiatry and in the free universities movement. Who were the main personalities?  (RD Laing, David Cooper, Joseph Berke.) What was the anti-psychiatric take on violence? How did it differ from other approaches? What were the congress’ central themes? (Speakers included Laing and Cooper, Stokeley Carmichael, CLR James, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory  Bateson.) What was it like to be there?

Then he’ll describe the birth of the Anti-university of London (in Shoreditch from about 1968-70 then in people’s homes). He’ll mention its origins in the Free University of New York, with some analysis of the important role played by Paul Goodman’s ideas. Who taught there and what? And again, what was it like to be there?

Martin will concentrate on their version of radical education and what can we learn from it?In what ways were the congress and the anti-university a success? What did the main players think? What did young people think? What did academics think? Was the Anti-University a genuine challenge? And if so, how did it compare to other attempts at a radical higher education?

Then he will conclude by asking what we mean today by ‘radical education’? Does ‘radical’ mean – as he will argue that it does in this context – outside of the conventional universities? This will involve reference to the nature of university education today.

Martin Levy says he’s not a regular scholar. The two books he’s written that matter most to him are an edition of the memoirs of the writer and royal mistress Mary Robinson (1994) and an account of the Hackman murder case (2004), both on eighteenth-century topics.

Three of his current projects are: writing a book about the Dialectics of Liberation congress (no publisher as yet), organising a three-day event on the theme of art and spirituality at Braziers Park, in Oxfordshire (November) and guest-editing an edition of the journal Self and Society on Paul Goodman (spring or summer 2016).

Martin lives in Halifax.

Venue Regular attenders at Taking Soundings will expect to be going to the Leeds Becket University’s Broadcasting Place. We’re now trying out a more convivial venue, hence this meeting is at The Tetley, in Leeds city centre. Its location is described here  There’s a new time, too: 7 – 9pm.

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