The Academy 2012

The Academy was founded by the Academy of Ideas in 2011 and came under the auspices of the Battle of Ideas charity in 2019.

The theme of The Academy 2012 – which ran from Saturday 21 July to Monday 23 July, with an additional Youth Academy day on Friday 20 July aimed at young scholars – was Free will and determinism.

Schedule: lectures and lecturers

Youth Academy day

Being in History (Dolan Cummings)

Liberty: matters of life and truth (Dr James Panton)

Public intellectuals and the intellectual public (Claire Fox)

Day one

Plenary: The Reformation: Martin Luther; the death of God; and the election of Man (Professor Frank Furedi)


Classics: Heroic fate and Homer’s Iliad (Professor Ahuvia Kahane)

History: America’s ‘Manifest Destiny’ (Dolan Cummings)

Literature: Shakespeare and the curse of free will (Dr Michael Caines)


Plenary: Immanuel Kant and the purity of subjective experience
(Professor Roger Scruton)


Day two

History: Communism in our lifetime? Marxism and economic determinism (Professor Frank Furedi)

Classics: Destined for tragedy? Sophocles’ Theban Plays (Angus Kennedy)

Literature: Jane Austen, the Brontës and Thomas Hardy: the reality of social life (Claire Fox)


Sunday Short: Medieval Literature (Richard Swan)

Sunday Short: Philosophy of Freedom (Professor Dennis Hayes)


Plenary: Kierkegaard: alienated man and the ethics of subjectivity (Dr Joel Rasmussen)


Day three

Classics: Fighting for freedom in Herodotus’ Histories (Angus Kennedy)

History: Social Darwinism: the organic society? (Dr Ellie Lee)

Literature: Nihilism and hope (Jennie Bristow)


Classics: Petrarch and the Renaissance: how to cope with fortune (Alan Hudson)

History: Overthrowing authority: authenticity, rebellion and the new subjection (Bruno Waterfield)

Literature: The absurdity of freedom (Dr Tim Black)


Plenary: From Existentialism to neuroscience: condemned to be free? (Professor Frank Furedi)