Responsibility in Crisis: Knowledge Politics and Global Publics

At Ann Arbor, August 2002

In our proposed conversations in Ann Arbor in August we wish to consider how to create spaces and forms of engagement that encourage intellectual responsibility reaching beyond conventional obligations and references ... to acknowledge both the "of the world" and "in the world" formulations as pieces of that responsibility. What pressures do the claims for relevance and for political realism place on our responsibilities to generate, organize, and disseminate knowledge that bears meaning and value? In the wake of September 11, and against the backdrop of debates over globalization that preceded it, what are the basic intellectual challenges facing a university committed to engaging and serving publics across the world? And what are the fates of such conversation, and the fates of our essential competencies of grounding, translation, and expertise, when aggression and violence—belligerence—become associated with the professions of democratic values and democratic systems?