The public intellectual - dying, or dead already?

Cassandra Atherton names names ... In So Many Words.

Dr Cassandra Atherton
Dr Cassandra Atherton

‘What is it that public intellectuals do for us? Many things. In these vibrant interviews, Cassandra Atherton brings a range of stirring voices before us.’ - Chris Wallace-Crabbe.

If name-dropping ever became a competitive sport, Deakin University researcher Dr Cassandra Atherton would win the gold medal every time.

In recent times, Dr Atherton has sat down in thoughtful conversation with the cream of American thinkers, the likes of Noam Chomsky, Camille Paglia, Todd Gitlin, Harold Bloom, Howard Zinn, Stephen Greenblatt, Paul Kane, Jim Cullen, Dana Gioia and Kenneth T Jackson.

The result of those chats are to be found in her new book: In So Many Words - Interviews with Writers, Scholars and Intellectuals.

As noted by Australian poet and academic, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Dr Atherton delightfully engages with her subjects, and responds to arguments that the public intellectual is endangered, in decline, or even already dead.

One of the leading Australian experts on contemporary American public intellectuals, Dr Atherton is also an award winning writer.

As So Many Words hits the book stores, she is also finishing a critical monograph: Wise Guys - The Changing Role of the Public Intellectual.

In addition, Dr Atherton has published a novel, The Man Jar, a book of prose poetry, After Lolita, and a book of literary criticism, Flashing Eyes and Floating Hair: A Reading of Gwen Harwood’s Pseudonymous Poetry.

So Many Words is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing.

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