The 2013 Summer Institute is an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary workshop that invites undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral fellows or doctoral recipients with an interest in youth-related research to work collaboratively with major researchers and public intellectuals to generate new scholarship and innovative modes of public communication related to the research theme: “The War on Youth.”
This institute will explore how young people around the globe in the 21st century are growing up in circumstances characterized by a range of precarious conditions that include ecological catastrophes, increasing levels of poverty and debt, the rise of a youth punishment and incarceration mentality, expanding commercial media and advertising networks, widening social inequalities, and under resourced health care and education systems.
On January 16th, the Centre’s Director Henry Giroux gave a talk about the attacks being waged on today’s youth and the troubles they face in this age of rampant neoliberalism, a time when their futures are polluted, if not increasingly foreclosed, by the ever spreading forces of privatization, commodification, deregulation, and the rise of the punishing state.
Giroux argues in this talk that youth are subjected to both a soft war, waged through the forces of commercialization in which the only obligation of citizenship is consumerism, and the hard war, a war in which an inceasing number of young people are being subjected to the dictates and practices of the criminal justice system. He argues that the mode of prison culture is creeping into more and more institutions as an increasing number of social behaviors, such as dress codes in public schools, are being criminalized. At the same time, he argues that young people all over the world are producing a new language for politics, one that exposes the violence of inequality, economic devastation, an assault on the environment and the destruction of all public goods, extending from schools to social benefits. He ends the talk with a spirt of optimism, arguing that young people are not only asking new questions about democracy but also about why they are not included in its current definitions and what it would take to make democracy work not just for them but for everyone.
Brad Evans and Henry Giroux
Intellectuals in the Public Sphere
A dynamic conversation between Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux on the topic of intellectuals in the public sphere, rethinking the role of public intellectuals, and defending the public university took place at McMaster University in August 2012. Watch either the edited short video or the full-length version below.