The closure of Middlesex philosophy was not simply an economic necessity at one particular institution (the economic basis of the decision was always questionable), but it was more broadly the result of a fast-waning commitment to the intellectual project of the University in general. This has been long in coming, but its effects are now increasingly critical and widespread.
At Kingston, we are committed to fostering a renewal of the University’s intellectual project, launching a series of initiatives that together provide a forum for exploring – in the spirit of a new public realm – emergent and diverse forms of thought, new openings in cultural practice, and alternative lines of communication and experience, in the context of one of the most diverse and dynamic capital cities in the world.
One such initiative is The London Graduate School, a new doctoral programme, postgraduate seminar and series of events in contemporary critical theory to be offered in London from 2010. The London Graduate School brings together world-leading scholars in philosophy, literature, culture, media, and theory, major figures in contemporary art practice, film-making and writing, and imaginative, creative students working at the forefront of their disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. Conferences, symposia, seminars and practice-based and multi-media initiatives will involve high-profile academics, writers, thinkers and art-makers from around the world.
The extraordinary intensity and reach of the Middlesex campaign demonstrates that the current crisis is matched by a renewed energy among philosophers and thinkers across the globe, one that runs across intellectual, cultural, linguistic, and geographical borders. We aim to play our part just as energetically in re-establishing London as a key forum for such renewal.
Professor Simon Morgan Wortham, Professor of English Literature, School of Humanities, Kingston University London