On Intergenerational Justice
Each generation transfers a world to those who come after. We can think of this as tradition, the passing on of a culture, a language, a stock of knowledge, a way of life. The transfer can take the form of the wealth amassed during a lifetime and passed on to the next generation. Or the world that is transferred can be understood literally, as the planet earth as it has been handed on from generation to generation. That passing on can, however, take the form of an injustice: my generation is handing on a natural world degraded by pollution, climate heating and species extinction; and the transmission of wealth can act as one of the central mechanisms for the consolidation of class differences. My talk explores some of the ethical dilemmas posed by the intergenerational transfer of the world.
Speaker: Professor John Frow
John Frow is a graduate of the ANU and Cornell University and is currently Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Sydney. He was formerly Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Melbourne (2004-2012), the Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University (2000-2004), and Darnell Professor of English at the University of Queensland (1990-1999). He works at the boundary between literary studies and cultural studies, and his books include Marxism and Literary History (1986), Cultural Studies and Cultural Value (1995), Time and Commodity Culture (1997), Genre (2006/ 2015), Character and Person (2014), and On Interpretive Conflict (2019). A collection of essays, The Practice of Value, was released in 2013, and the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory is just about to be published. He is a member of numerous editorial boards, including New Literary History, Textual Practice, the Journal of Cultural Economy, and Cultural Studies Review, of which he was the editor from 2006-12, and with two colleagues he edits the series Approaches to the Novel for Oxford University Press. He is currently working on a book on theories of value.