Cancelling Culture and the Right to Be Offensive
A lecture by Claire Fox.
In this provocative lecture, Claire Fox will discuss what she feels is the growing threat of ‘cancel culture’ and its use by the intolerant against free speech and open debate. In this keynote talk, she will also discuss the need for greater democratic accountability and the promotion of civil debate.
Claire Fox is the director of the Academy of Ideas, which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. She convenes the yearly Battle of Ideas festival and initiated the Debating Matters Competition for sixth formers. She also co-founded a residential summer school, The Academy, with the aim to demonstrate ‘university as it should be’.
In May 2019, she was elected as an MEP for the North West England constituency of the UK in the European Parliament elections. In 2020, she was made a visiting professor in professional practice at the University of Buckingham. In September 2020, Claire became a member of the House of Lords as Baroness Fox of Buckley.
Claire is frequently invited to comment on developments in culture, education, media and free speech issues on TV and radio programmes in the UK such as Newsnight and Any Questions? She has been a regular newspaper reviewer on Sky News and is a monthly columnist for MJ (Municipal Journal). She was the longest standing panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze for over 20 years until 2020. She is author of a book on free speech, recently republished as I STILL Find That Offensive! (Biteback, 2018), and No Strings Attached! Why arts funding should say no to instrumentalism (Arts & Business, 2007). She has written a variety of chapters and essays for a range of publications, most recently ‘Narcissism and Identity’ in From Self to Selfie: A Critique of Contemporary Forms of Alienation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
The talk will be followed by a Q&A.