Festival Program

City Program

Oh, The Humanities

Sun 12 Sep, 12pm
The Wheeler Centre, Performance Space

The Morrison government’s doubling of fees for humanities degrees is the latest manoeuvre in a long-waged culture war. But what do we stand to lose as arts, history and culture departments shrink, future students are saddled with huge loans or deterred from studying, and academia is forced to defend itself on increasingly neoliberal terms? Featuring Who Gets to Be Smart author Bri Lee and former ABC managing director and Sydney University vice-chancellor Mark Scott, who will both be appearing live via video, alongside on-stage participants La Trobe emeritus professor of politics Judith Brett and moderator ABC RN’s Big Ideas host Paul Barclay.

Supported by the Australia Institute


1 hour


Event artists

Paul Barclay is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and broadcaster with an appetite for ideas and in-depth analysis and discussion. He has produced and presented countless stories for more than 25 years for an array of programs on virtually all ABC radio networks.

Judith Brett is a political historian whose books include Robert Menzies' Forgotten People, Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class, and The Enigmatic Mr Deakin. Her most recent book is From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting, and she has written four Quarterly Essays.

Bri Lee is an award-winning author and freelance writer. Her books are Who Gets to be Smart, Eggshell Skull and Beauty. Her writing has appeared in The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She is a legal researcher at University of Sydney and hosts the monthly B List Bookclub at the State Library of New South Wales.

Professor Mark Scott AO is a highly respected, successful senior leader across public service, education and media. His notable roles include Secretary of the NSW Department of Education (2016 to 2021), Managing Director of the ABC (2006 to 2016), Editor-in-Chief of Fairfax newspapers and current Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

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