The stock critiques made by Ramsay and friends show how little it knows about the humanities
Does anyone want to hear another word about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation? Since the ANU rejected Ramsay last year, the centre may, as its ‘chief executive’ Simon Haines acknowledges, have been slower than it anticipated in starting collaborations with Australian universities. But the prospect of Ramsay’s millions has so far managed to steamroll academics’- including Indigenous academics’-opposition at Wollongong and Queensland, which are both enrolling Western Civilisation students for 2020. Given the controversy raging over its politics, Ramsay might have been expected, for tactical reasons, to moderate the inflammatory public positions with which Tony Abbott, in particular, had associated it. Nothing of the sort: so far in 2019, Ramsay has escalated its ideological intervention into society by brazenly hosting a parade of right-wing culture warriors in its public lecture series, many of them dutifully amplified by the media. Amid the broadsides of support for Western Civilisation studies in ‘Quadrant and The Australian’, the fight is far from over.
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