Is a pioneering initiative designed to address major issues with wide relevance in a way that crosses academic disciplines and involves all members of the college community. Each year the college selects a specific focus or theme for Girton Conversations and different college constituencies (Fellows, students and staff) are encouraged to adopt the theme for all or some of their existing activities in the year.
In addition, Girton Conversations actively encourages informal debates, discussion and other activities, including across different subject areas. It also provides opportunities for the College to hear about the interests and work of our alumni and is a focus for our engagement with the local community.
Events are being planned around this year’s theme – look out for further details below, in emails and on social media.
“A Just World?”
This year in Girton Conversations we will consider what it means to speak of creating a just world and whether such an ideal could ever be realised. Many of us react strongly against anything we consider unjust, whether it is the way we have been treated by others or when we become aware of gross inequalities in our community or the wider world. Numerous sources throughout history — from archaeology to healthcare, from literature to law—testify to the fact that justice is heavily contested and must be fought for. In the twenty-first century as in previous epochs, multiple economic, political and social factors contribute to perpetuating unfair systems and practices. Unequal distribution of wealth, status and opportunities favour the rich and powerful at the expense of those with limited resources and can lead to social and political unrest and ultimately to war. Injustice has also often resulted in a ‘silent epidemic’ where countless people are marginalised and forced to tolerate inequalities at every level. From our position of privilege and relative affluence in a Cambridge college, in what ways does injustice impact us in our communities, in our different areas of study, or more widely?
So this year’s theme, A Just World?, invites us to think further about the world we inhabit, with all its strengths and vulnerabilities.
Questions to consider:
- What does a just world mean in reality and what are the hindrances to achieving this?
- Does treating people fairly mean that everyone should have the same?
- From our situation of relative privilege, what responsibility do we have for calling out injustice in other parts of the world?
- How do questions of justice impact specific issues (e.g. food security, access to education, scientific research, international politics, responses to climate change).
Join the Conversation:
We invite all members of our Girton Community (students, staff, Fellows and Alumni) to use these ideas and questions as a starting point for your own reflections, conversations and activities on the theme of A Just World? for this year’s Girton Conversations.
Please keep us updated with events you are planning around the theme to add to the website and showcase on social media.
Email your updates to email@example.com.