I was fortunate to visit the Bauman Institute in August 2019 to give a seminar on emotion and the utopian imagination, and to work on my forthcoming book on the same topic.
I am grateful for the generous turnout at my seminar and for the spirited discussion that came out of it. I also want to thank Associate Professor Mark Davis for making the time to meet over lunch and coffee throughout the week. These conversations made a lasting impact on my thinking and my forthcoming book will benefit as a result.
Though I never met Zygmunt Bauman, I wrote my PhD thesis at Flinders University about the relevance of his work to the emerging field of critical happiness studies. Bauman’s ability to connect dimensions of lived experience with macro theories of modernity is something that I have always admired, and this is something I continue to adopt in my current work at the University of Wollongong.
My time in Leeds was split between writing sessions in the stunning Brotherton Library (pictured above) and sunny walks exploring the city. To spend a week working and writing in place where Bauman spent the majority of his academic life was an inspiring experience.
By Jordan McKenzie.