The Wednesday Lectures – Hosted by Raimond Gaita

The Wednesday Lectures, hosted by Raimond Gaita, are coming to Melbourne Law School. 

Professor Raimond Gaita hosted a public lecture series, which became affectionately known in Melbourne as The Wednesday Lectures, for ten years on behalf of the School of Philosophy at Australian Catholic University.

"The lectures were motivated by my belief that it is generally a good thing if academics can speak without condescension and without compromising the integrity of their subject matter to an educated lay audience that is serious and prepared to think hard," says Gaita, who is Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College London.

"The success of the Wednesday Lectures was due largely to the fact that almost always the invited speakers rose to that challenge."

Philosophers, political theorists, lawyers, Aboriginal leaders, poets and others spoke to often packed lecture theatres about reconciliation, the invasion of Iraq, torture, the environment, multiculturalism, the invasion of Gaza, the relations between morality, law and politics and, most recently, international law.

This year the lectures are being presented by the University of Melbourne, where Professor Gaita will soon take up half-yearly a post as Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School and the Faculty of Arts.

The Wednesday  Lectures  gave rise to three books: Why the War was Wrong (Text Publishing 2003); Gaza: Morality, Law and Politics (UWA Publishing 2010); and, last month, Essays on Muslims and Multiculturalism (Text Publishing 2011).

The Wednesday Lectures will be launched at Melbourne Law School on 8 June 2011 with a presentation by Guy Rundle on WikiLeaks.

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 5, May 2011.