Rob Colls, Paul Taylor, Stephen Law, Bidisha
This week The Verb is looking at the word 'intellectual', the idea of the 'pseudo-intellectual', and the 'public intellectual'.
Ian's guests are Rob Colls on George Orwell and intellectualism, Paul Taylor on the post-modern, Stephen Law on Pseudo-profundity and Bidisha, whose work-in-progress novel features an intellectual President.
This programme was first broadcast on 10th May 2013.
Rob Colls teaches at De Monfort University in Leicester. Rob’s latest book, ‘George Orwell: English Rebel’ (Oxford University Press) will be published later this year. Rob tells us about George Orwell’s distrust of intellectuals and explains that being anti-intellectual is something that you can only do if you are in fact, an intellectual in the first place.
Stephen Law edits the philosophy magazine Think, and Senior Lecturer at the University of London. Stephen is here to deconstruct those clever sentences used by philosophers which might in fact not be quite as clever as they first seem. He explores ‘Pseudo-profundity, the art of sounding profound, while talking tosh’ from his book ‘Believing Bullshit’ (Prometheus).
Paul Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory at the University of Leeds. His most recent publication is 'Zizek and the Media' (Polity Press). Paul is in conversation with Stephen Law, explaining how rewarding he finds the language of those often described as post-modern intellectuals.
Bidisha is a writer, critic and broadcaster. She began writing professionally at fourteen, and published her first novel when she was just eighteen. She reads an extract from her work in progress, a science fiction novel, ‘Boundless’. It’s set in the Middle East, in a post-revolutionary country which is highly technologised, yet at threat from civil unrest. A new female President, an intellectual, has been elected. Bidisha celebrates the world of science fiction as one where the intellectual can flourish.