Saturday, 5 June 2010

Goldsmiths College Joins in Cuts on Philosophy

The latest news is that Goldsmiths College intends to ends its MA in Cultural History and close the seminar in Contemporary Thought. This news effectively means the Dept of History at Goldsmiths is rendering the research work of its Professor of Cultural History, Howard Caygill, superfluous to the Dept. This decision is strange on many levels, not least in terms of the excellence of Caygill's work. This decision is one it is hard for me to even write about in a dispassionate way given my general admiration for Caygill.

Caygill is the author of a number of serious and important works of philosophy, perhaps most famously, the Kant Dictionary, a work which presents an innovative and insightful response to Kant's philosophy. Howard has also contributed an introduction to the Kemp Smith translation of the Critique of Pure Reason that situates in careful detail the nature of Kemp Smith's response to Kant and gives an historical account of interpretative issues. Apparently an MA in history that doesn't include such philosophical expertise is considered preferable by the powers that be at Goldsmith's and this decision is clearly part of a pattern of closure of philosophy programmes and positions. In response to the attempt to close his MA courses please sign the petition.


Hugh Jones said...

I thought it might be helpful to pass on the statement issued by Goldsmiths:

"Goldsmiths has a high regard for philosophical perspectives in its research and teaching.

The MA module in Contemporary Thought was offered in the Department of History, but very few History MA students opted to take the module.

The course in Contemporary Thought will continue to run next year and will, as formerly, be available to postgraduate research students across the College. It may also be an option for students on relevant MA programmes, subject to approved programme structures."

Hugh Jones
Registrar and Secretary
Goldsmiths, University of London

Gary Banham said...

This is very good news: will publicize more widely,