UW School of Music: Carillon TowerEstablished in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984, the A. E. Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice is dedicated to promoting critical intellectual reflection and exchange, both within the academy as well as between it and the broader society. The Center is named in honor of the late Professor of Rural Sociology, A. Eugene Havens, whose life and work embodied the combination of progressive political commitment and scholarly rigor that the Center encourages.

The traditional tasks of critical social thought have been to analyze the sources of inequality and injustice in existing social arrangements, to suggest both practical and utopian alternatives to those arrangements, and to identify and learn from the many social movements seeking progressive social and political change. These tasks are as relevant today as ever. Indeed, we face a variety of challenges, both new and enduring, that demand creative critical reflection. These include the increasingly integrated and global character of capitalist economic development, the durability of racial and gender oppressions, the threats of global environmental catastrophe, and the failure of many traditional models of progressive reform.

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Upcoming events

Philosophy & the Contemporary World

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Alain Badiou
"Is Philosophy Able to Think the Present?"
Tuesday, December 9, 7:30pm, Elvehjem L160
"The Ideological Structure of the Contemporary World"
Wednesday, December 10, 7:30pm, Elvehjem L160
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, December 11, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the UW Center for the Humanities and the UW Philosophy Department

ALAIN BADIOU holds the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School (EGS). Badiou was a student at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in the 1950s. He taught at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis) from 1969 until 1999, when he returned to ENS as the Chair of the philosophy department. He continues to teach a popular seminar at the Collège International de Philosophie, on topics ranging from the great 'antiphilosophers' (Saint-Paul, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Lacan) to the major conceptual innovations of the twentieth century. Much of Badiou's life has been shaped by his dedication to the consequences of the May 1968 revolt in Paris. He is the author of several successful novels and plays as well as more than a dozen philosophical works.