Novelist, poet, playwright
Professor of Cultural Studies,
Director of Centre for Peace and Social Justice,
Southern Cross University, Australia
It could be argued that communication defines our age. Catalan sociologist Manuel Castells makes the point that the world is now an internationally networked society. However, the essential challenge remains about how people get along in a complex world of difference. The British-born Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist, Anthony Appiah, makes the case for a cosmopolitan ethic as an answer. This is one which focuses on key elements of what it means to be human while not ignoring the differences that need to be accommodated through negotiation. Importantly, he argues that no culture is infallible, and we need to learn from each other. To borrow from Desmond Tutu’s use of the African term of ubuntu, we become human through our relationship with others.
In this panel, Gloria Montero and Baden Offord will approach these concerns through two reflective pieces of writing followed by a conversation of sorts. Drawing on their experience of being and belonging in between cultures, as migrants, as critical thinkers and authors – with a common connection to Australia – they will contend that conversations about who we are, how we belong, and importantly how to get along, are now more needed than ever before.