Articles by: Simon Cooper

Author Biography:

Simon Cooper teaches in film and literary studies at Federation University. He is an Arena Publications editor, an Associate Editor of Arena (third series) and part of the editorial team behind Arena Online. His research areas include literature and film, philosophy, social theory and techno-science.

Informit: The university does not think

The slow death of the university - as an institution serving the public good, as a place for independent thought, as a vehicle for critical and deep cultural inquiry - continues well into the era of the Turnbull government. As with climate change, there are a few deniers, but most people recognise that universities are not what they used to be. Like extreme weather events, there are occasional incidents that bring the university into the…

Trump: The Point of No Return, by Simon Cooper

It’s now clear that Trump was not merely full of bluster during campaign mode but intends to realise as many of his promises as possible.

Trump: The Point of No Return, by Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper

8 Feb 2017

In this excerpt from the forthcoming editorial of Arena Magazine, Simon Cooper argues that if a genuine alternative to Trump is to appear, liberals and progressives must recognise where their oppositional values come from, and the limits of the settings that produced them. Such settings, premised on global trade and hyper-consumption, are unsustainable for life itself, not merely politically divisive.

Informit: Trump: The point of no return

Informit: 18C: Whose free speech?

The Australian government must maintain strong and effective prohibitions against racial vilification. Sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act have a vital role to play in stopping the spread of racial hatred and discrimination in our community. They set important standards that discourage racism and encourage people to speak out, and they provide an avenue for relief to those who are vilified. Weakening these laws now would give a green light to racism.

Facebook and Lionel Shriver, by Simon Cooper

Censorship and freedom in digital capitalism

Informit: Fifty years of Arena

This issue of Arena Journal emerges from a day-long symposium held at the University of Melbourne in 2013 marking fifty years of publications by the Arena group. The event was composed of diverse presentations, some by the original editors of the first series of Arena, some by contributors to that first series, and others by editors and contributors from more recent times. The day was marked by unusual vitality as well as recognition of a…

Informit: ‘Language can not encompass being’: Poststructuralism and postmodernism

Writing in 2016, it's sometimes hard to believe the influence that poststructuralist and postmodernist 'theory' had on university and intellectual culture in the 1980s and 1990s. Virtually every humanities and social-science department (and even some science departments) either adopted or at the very least was forced to confront the body of work of half a dozen (mainly) French thinkers and the English-speaking colleagues who took up the implications of their work. In the United States,…

Informit: Cooper’s last: Facebook and Lionel Shriver

Censorship and freedom in digital capitalism <br /><br /> Reasons to dislike Facebook are not hard to find, but its recent censorship of the iconic image of Vietnamese girl Kim Phuc (running from a napalm attack on her village) was a gift to critics of the social media platform. When author Tom Egeland posted an image of the 'Napalm Girl' alongside other photos that 'changed the history of warfare', Facebook removed the post, citing community…

Informit: Cooper’s last: After Chilcot: War and violence

One of Hillary Clinton's slogans at the democratic convention was the much-tweeted and -repeated phrase 'love trumps hate'. If this worked as a rhetorical strategy against her opponent's more odious pronouncements against minorities, Muslims, women and so on, there was little evidence of it working in the wider world. Clinton's wish to present herself as the antidote to the kinds of hatred and prejudice Trump is channelling only works if we stay within the spectacle-culture…

Informit: No poetry after the arts council?

After being funded by the CIA, and having received over a million dollars in government funding (while consistently railing against public funding for everyone and everything else), Quadrant magazine has sustained collateral damage from George Brandis' cuts to Australia Council funding. No doubt this came as a surprise, given Brandis' conservative attitude to the arts and the general politics of the Abbott/Turnbull government. It didn't take long for Quadrant's editor Keith Windschuttle to blame someone,…

Informit: Cooper’s last: Academic hoaxes and the ‘Ideas Boom’

A few weeks ago on Radio National's Drive program, Patricia Karvelas interviewed Peter Dreier, an urban-studies academic based in the United States, about a 'hoax' he perpetrated on the academy. Dreier had made up a conference abstract composed of deliberately obtuse concepts - 'pure gibberish', in his words - and successfully submitted it to the conference organisers. Karvelas' introduction framed Dreier's act as heroic, with lines such as 'Have you ever wanted to expose a…