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Europe and the rest

Two of Europe's most eminent public intellectuals will discuss Europe's place in a globalised world and the current financial crisis in a major debate at the University of Leeds this month.

Etienne Balibar, Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory at Paris X Nanterre and the University of California, Irvine, and Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds, are probably best known as world-leading critics of Western-style capitalism and modernity.

They have also contributed actively to ongoing public discussions about the past, present and future of Europe and its relationship to the rest of the world, and this will form part of the 'Europe and the rest' debate.

The event will take place on Wednesday 13th May from 5.30-7pm in the Rupert Beckett Theatre at the University of Leeds. Admission is free and open to all.

The event is being organised by Graham Huggan, Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature, and Max Silverman, Professor of Modern French Studies, at the University of Leeds.

Professor Huggan said: "This event offers a rare opportunity to see two of Europe's leading public intellectuals in one room debating some of the most important - and contentious - issues of our time.

"Globalisation and the current financial crisis are transforming the world in myriad ways, many of which are not yet understood. What this means for Europe and the West and its relationship to the rest of the world will be critical in the coming years. The opinions of Professors Balibar and Bauman on these subjects will be fascinating."

The duo will discuss some of the following issues; What is the current status of Europe in a globalised world, and who gets to be or call themselves 'European'?  How have recent historical events such as 9/11 reshaped our understanding of Europe and the West, and Europe's understanding of itself in relation to the rest of the world?

What do Europe's new and/or continuing internal divisions say about its own differentiated colonial histories, and is it possible for Europe to conceive of itself as a 'postcolonial' space? How is Europe situated within current North-South and East-West cultural debates?

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email

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