In Conversations. The Promise of Humanities and Social Sciences, Eleni Andriakaina and Rosa Vasilaki seek to address some of the key topics and questions that have arisen in academic everyday life, in Conversations with fellow colleagues and students over common concerns such as: the transformation of the university, the politics of knowledge production and the ethics of political responsibility, the critique of the West by those thus far excluded and marginalised, the (re)emergence of religious sensibilities and the challenges faced by academics qua intellectuals in the twentieth-first century.
The present volume consists of seven essays which, however distinctive in their focus, revolve around three major areas of interest: i) the recent public turn in humanities and social sciences and the call of academics for engagement with a wider audience ii) the intellectuals’ long quest for the unity of theory and political practice as well as the dilemmas of spokenpersonship and iii) the question of modernity as a fundamental sociological problem, its crises and critiques.
The book’s main avenue of investigation are interviews, or better, conversations around areas of common interest with the authors’ interlocutors: John Tosh (Visiting Professor at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck-University of London); John Holmwood (Professor of Sociology at Nottingham University); Suman Gupta (Professor of Literature and Cultural History at the Open University); Nicos Mouzelis (Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics); Gregor McLennan (Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol); Gurminder K Bhambra (Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick).
Eleni Andriakaina is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens.
Rosa Vasilaki is a Research Associate at the Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science.