Symposium on Fear and Anxiety

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Auckland, September 21, 2016

War and terrorism, race and immigration, market and financial crises, climate change and environmental degradation – these are the big issues of our age; and they are making us highly anxious.

Hosted by the Europe Institute, a University of Auckland symposium on our current ‘state of anxiety’ is happening at the Owen G. Glenn Building in the University’s Business School this Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September. This event is free and open to the public.
Local Fears, Global Anxieties will feature 18 speakers from across the University’s faculties who will address these looming concerns from a variety of angles. The symposium marks the conclusion of the second year of a research project, financed by the European Commission and dedicated to ‘European Anxieties.’

After Brexit, former Prime Minister Tony Blair was quoted as saying, “Great Britain has entered into an era of anxiety”. The event aims to analyse this current emotional regime of fear and its permanent effect on individuals living in mass societies, says Jean-Jacques Courtine, a professor of French and European Studies in the Faculty of Arts.
“While there is no doubt there are good reasons for being afraid, some fears seem familiar while others seem to be without precedent,” he says.

“We have kept the memory of the financial crash, mass unemployment and the precariousness of life in the 1930s; we have in no way forgotten the return of old epidemics and the emergence of new diseases – and the fear of crime and the disasters of war are deeply rooted in Western consciousness.
“But we seem less prepared, and our minds less open, to face the globalisation of fears – global warming, the global financial crisis, global terrorism – which have inaugurated the 21st century,” he believes.

Speakers included Dean of Arts Robert Greenberg, Associate Professor Tracey McIntosh (Sociology), Professor David Mayes (Business School), Associate Professor John Morgan (Faculty of Education and Social Work) and Jean-Jacques Courtine (Cultures, Languages and Linguistics).
Event: Local Fears, Global Anxieties – Europe Institute

Date: September 23 and September 24, 2016

Time: 9 am to 5 pm – morning and afternoon teas are provided on Friday and Saturday and a light lunch on Friday.

Venue: Decima Glenn Room, Level 3, Owen G Glenn Building (12 Grafton Road)
View the full programme and register to attend.


Photo Caption:

Jean-Jacques Courtine

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