Peter Beilharz, Professor of Culture and Society at Curtin University speaks of the relationship between the city, society and culture.
I come from a tradition that reaches back to Marx and the dialectics of culture and technology. This lineage travels through critical theory and what I would now call southwestern marxism , whose signal thinker is Gramsci. Subsequently I was influenced by the Budapest School and Castoriadis. As part of this path I founded Thesis Eleven, the journal of international social theory, in 1980, and continue to edit it today, with a team of talented and good humoured colleagues based in Melbourne.
I joined Curtin in 2015, an exciting new prospect for me. Hitherto I have worked in cultural and historical sociology at La Trobe. My great enthusiasm at Curtin
is for the prospect of working with others around the clusters on writing and cities. I am best known for my work on maverick critical thinkers such as Bernard Smith and Zygmunt Bauman, and on the history of socialism, modernity and the history of ideas more generally.
I have published 27 books and 200 papers, as well as much journalism and reviewing. My most recent books, 2015, are Thinking the Antipodes, and The Martin Presence, the latter with Trevor Hogan and Sheila Shaver. At Curtin I take as my remit the sphere of Culture and Society, a nod to Raymond Williams, and a wink to the frames of culture, technology, words, texts, and contexts. I will be working on books of essays on Marx and Gramsci, and on a monograph called The Rationalization of the World.