The 22nd Swindon Festival of Literature

I’m delighted to be delivering a new talk this evening entitled ‘Public Intellectualism Today’  in which I’ll be looking at the importance of thinking deeply and carefully about things, present and past; and the role of the intellectual in society today.

In the talk I’ll pose the questions: Who and what is an intellectual, today? What does it mean to be an intellectual? Does being ‘a whole person’ include being an intellectual? What is the intellectual’s role in the world? How does an intellectual best engage with society? Has this changed significantly from the past to today? And is a ‘public intellectual’ not an oxymoron?

Wow, after all that I’ll sit back and let others do the work while I help judge the THINK SLAM!

This is how it works – Competitors have 3 minutes to present a thought-provoking idea, theory, or story. From then on, it’s a knockout! Keen but kindly judges, including me as judge-supremo, will decide who pleases the thinking parts that others cannot reach, who inspires good, great, or gruesome thoughts, and who does not.

Just as in all good sporting competitions, there will be a quarter final, semi final, and final! Though there may well be moments of seriousness, nervousness, and puzzlement, a spirit of wonder, wit, and good humour will prevail!

The sixth Swindon Think Slam Champ will receive a bubbly-filled trophy, rapturous applause, and nice words from me!

What do you think?