Articles by: Simon Cooper

Author Biography:

Simon Cooper teaches in film and literary studies at Federation University. He is an Arena Publications editor.

Judith Butler: Gender Politics versus Fascism?

Given the ease with which Western state and corporate power has welcomed gender inclusiveness (while hypocritically propping up forces that actively suppress gender diversity elsewhere)…there is little evidence that a pro-genderism stance necessarily disrupts entrenched forms of power…

After Trump?: Cancel culture and the new authoritarianism

After the failed insurrection at the US Capitol building, an event irreconcilably both absurd and frightening, Donald Trump, for so long a master of the attention economy, finally got ‘cancelled’. While many of his Republican colleagues made a last-minute decision (motivated by self-interest) to dump him, the real blow for Trump was the response by corporate America. Facebook and Twitter blocked the president’s social-media accounts, Shopify terminated stores affiliated with him, YouTube removed channels questioning…

Informit: Stop press

In April of this year, Arena said farewell to our most recent city centre, a former warehouse on Kerr Street, Fitzroy. It's the third city centre we've had since we established our first on Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, in 1983. But the 2020 farewell had far greater significance, since it marked the conclusion of our active involvement with printing, both of our own publications and commercially, through a full-service firm. That would have been the…

Informit: Last chance for universities?

How bad will it be? Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, international-student revenue for Australian universities had been around 25 per cent across the sector, with many of Australia's 'sandstone' universities relying on international students for at least a third of their income. The loss of much of this revenue for the near to mid-future represents the biggest crisis the sector has faced. The paucity of government support and the federal minister's real or feigned ignorance…

Last Chance for Universities?

How bad will it be? Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, international-student revenue for Australian universities had been around 25 per cent across the sector, with many of Australia’s ‘sandstone’ universities relying on international students for at least a third of their income. The loss of much of this revenue for the near to mid-future represents the biggest crisis the sector has faced. …universities will act vigorously to manage their finances.

Informit: From universal love to global anomie [Book Review]

Review(s) of: From universal love to global anomie, by Christos Tsiolkas and Michel Houellebecq, on the beginning and end of Western civilisation

Informit: The university: Eats its own

Gerd Schroder-Turk and academic freedom The news that Murdoch University is suing one of its own staff, Gerd Schroder-Turk, after he made comments on an ABC program is yet another indication that universities are little more than corporatised accreditation factories whose relationship to knowledge is not framed by truth or critical inquiry but by the generation of capital-where academic freedom has been sacrificed to the university brand. After Schroder-Turk, an associate professor and a member…

Informit: Exhibition: Seeing Beyond Picasso

Review(s) of: Seeing Beyond Picasso, Picasso's Vollard Suite, Art Gallery of Ballarat, 2019.

Informit: Techno-science and the post-human condition

Developing a critique of technoscientific change The news that the CSIRO had unwittingly lent its name to the latest batch of Blackmores weightloss pills - pills that had no demonstrable effect or scientific validation - barely registers as a surprise in a world where we have become used to the distortion of scientific ideals by market imperatives. The aggressive push to commercialise the CSIRO under the direction of Larry Marshall - licensed to restructure the…

Informit: Thinking about classical music

Review(s) of: The eulogy, by Janine Hosking, 2018.

Informit: Universities after Dawkins [Book Review]

Review(s) of: No end of a lesson: Australia's Unified National System of higher education, by Stuart Macintyre, Andre Brett and Gwilym Croucher (MUP, 2017).

Keeping Us Safe?, by Simon Cooper

The fetishisation of safety points to a larger transformation across Western democracies.