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Summer Research Series: A Passion For Ignorance

Venue: Online, Online

This event has ended.

At this event, Professor Renata Salecl will discuss her book ‘A Passion for Ignorance’.

Ignorance, whether passive or active, conscious or unconscious, has always been a part of the human condition, Renata Salecl argues. What has changed in our post-truth, postindustrial world is that we often feel overwhelmed by the constant flood of information and misinformation. It sometimes seems impossible to differentiate between truth and falsehood and, as a result, there has been a backlash against the idea of expertise, and a rise in the number of people actively choosing not to know. The dangers of this are obvious, but Salecl challenges our assumptions, arguing that there may also be a positive side to ignorance, and that by addressing the role of ignorance in society, we may also be able to reclaim the role of knowledge.

Drawing on philosophy, social and psychoanalytic theory, popular culture, and her own experience, Salecl explores how the passion for ignorance plays out in many different aspects of life today, from love, illness, trauma, and the fear of failure to genetics, forensic science, big data, and the incel movement—and she concludes that ignorance is a complex phenomenon that can, on occasion, benefit individuals and society as a whole.

The result is a fascinating investigation of how the knowledge economy became an ignorance economy, what it means for us, and what it tells us about the world today.

(Source: Princeton University Press)

Professor Renata Salecl is a Professor in Psychology at Birkbeck.

Visit Princeton University Press’s website to order your copies of 'A Passion for Ignorance' at a 30% discount (postage and packing costs will be added at point of purchase). Please use the special offer code PAS20 to redeem your offer. Offer available until 31 December 2020.

School of Law Summer Research Series

This event is part of a series of live online events hosted by Birkbeck's School of Law over the coming weeks, showcasing the wide range of research undertaken by the Departments of Law and Criminology, as well as the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research (ICPR).

The Summer Research Series will feature a number of researchers sharing their latest research with the public through live webinars.

You can sign-up to the events using the links below. Links to access the events will be sent out in due course. The events will be hosted using the free to access website Blackboard Collaborate.

Thursday 20th August Decision-making in the Court of Protection ‘needs a human element’: Provisional empirical findings from the Judging Values Project (Rebecca Stickler)

Monday 24th August Financial stability vs private law? (Dr Guido Comparato)

Thursday 27th August The ‘Facing all the Facts Project’ - understanding and improving the hate crime reporting and recording 'system' in Europe (Joanna Perry)

Monday 31st August The paradoxes of the right of peoples to self-determination: from Marx, Engels and Lenin to the Chagos Islanders Case in 2019 (Professor Bill Bowring)

Monday 7th September Royal Divorce: Taking Melodramas Seriously (Professor Daniel Monk)

Thursday 24th September Policy and Resistance (Dr Rachael Dobson) 

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