Professor Bonnie Honig opens the 2013 Thinking Out Loud lecture series and asks whether democracy can survive the neoliberal demand to privatise public things?
In the first of three talks she discusses Donald Winnicott’s notion of transitional objects, the role it plays in childhood development and what it might mean for society. She also draws on the work of the highly influential political philosopher Hannah Arendt and by way of a few real world examples she describes how Hurricane Sandy forced people to remember and embrace “old world” public goods like pay phones ….and there’s reference to Big Bird from Sesame street which she contends has come to symbolise a world where the few remaining public objects are constantly under threat.
Highlights of The Politics of Public Things: Neoliberalism and the Routine of Privatisation, presented by RN’s The Philosopher’s Zone and The Philosophy Research Initiative of the University of Western Sydney. April 2013
Professor Bonnie Honig, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and senior research professor at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago.
Dr Charles Barbour, School-based Member of the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy and a Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney