Kindness & Integrity – Leadership in a troubled world

Posted on: May 23rd, 2023 by mlpEditor

In a special collaboration with MACFEST, the Muslim Arts and Culture Festival, the Manchester Lit & Phil are delighted and honoured to be hosting an ‘in conversation’ event with the eminent scholar, diplomat, author, poet, playwright, and polymath, Professor Akbar Ahmed.

It is said people get the leaders they deserve. If this is true, can we all change so that leaders realise that leading with kindness, integrity, compassion and mutual respect is the way forward for maintaining a stable and peaceful world order?

Following a distinguished career in academia and public service, Akbar has devoted himself to the healing of the many harmful divisions between peoples and communities of different religions throughout the world, as these continue to pose serious threats to world peace.

Led by our current President, Ian Cameron, the conversation will be both an examination and a celebration of Professor Ahmed’s highly commendable multi-faceted life’s work.

In a world currently dominated by populist leaders and outright dictators, are Professor Ahmed’s noble efforts in driving towards such a change likely to succeed?

The panel will also be joined by special guest Professor Karin Vogt – an author and academic-teacher trainer at Heidelberg University, Germany. Professor Vogt is very interested in promoting diversity and intercultural understanding and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to hear her contribution to the discussion.

Feminist activism in Greater Manchester: past, present and future

Posted on: April 4th, 2023 by mlpMemberAdmin

How has the Mancunian feminist movement evolved since its inception? Greater Manchester boasts a rich history of engagement in the battle for Women’s rights. What does its future look like?

Professor Helen Pankhurst and Joanna Williams will trace the history of this movement from the 1860’s to today.

Early campaigners achieved much: girls’ and women’s education, the property rights of married women, opportunities for work and voting rights. But there is still a lot to be done to realise true equality for women. Many of the issues addressed in the early years by Lydia Becker in her speeches and writings persist to this day.

Helen and Joanna will consider the legacy and impact of the movement in the domains of the personal and the political. They will highlight the organisations and individuals that advance the work of the early suffragettes in the present day. How is the GM4Women2028, convened by Helen Pankhurst – for example – using data, dialogue and activism to carry the torch for feminism?

Join us as we explore and celebrate the strong lineage of Manchester’s brave women. Those whose tenacity and perseverance paved the way for an increasingly equal society.

Free speech: its past, present and future

Posted on: January 5th, 2023 by mlpEditor

How can we better understand and conceptualise both the benefits and challenges of free speech?

It has been said that ‘free speech is the bulwark of liberty; without it, no free and democratic society has ever been established or thrived’. But how can we protect it whilst addressing legitimate concerns surrounding misinformation and hate speech?

In this online ‘in conversation’ event, Danish lawyer and human-rights advocate, Jacob Mchangama, will explore the past, present and future of free speech with Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University.

Drawing on Professor Cartledge’s expertise in ancient history and democracy, the conversation will begin with a discussion of where and how the very idea of free speech originated.

Jacob and Paul will explore the ancient concepts of “Isegoria” (equality of all in freedom of speech) and “Parrhesia” (speaking candidly). And the difference, indeed conflict, between “egalitarian” free speech in Athens vs “elitist” free speech in the Roman Republic. Using illustrative examples – including the trial of Socrates and the Peterloo Massacre – they will explain how this conflict between egalitarian and elitist free speech has been a major fault line through ancient, medieval, and modern history.

What lessons can the difficulties of invoking the ideal of free speech in the ancient world tell us about the difficulties of operationalizing this ideal in today’s digital world? And how can we create a resilient global culture of free speech that benefits everyone?