The Wheeler Centre
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Spoken Nerd: Criticism in Conversation
What does it mean when we get our cultural criticism through our ears rather than our eyes?
Culture podcasts such as Slate Culture Gabfest, The Final Cut, The Rereaders and The Canon are among the most popular in Australia and across the world. Many of these shows combine exhaustive analysis with robust debate of new books, films and music. They’re edging into the turf of serious cultural criticism – terrain formerly dominated by the written word.
In this conversation, Slate Culture Gabfest's Dana Stevens and Stephen Metcalf join Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, Mel Campbell and Cerise Howard for a chat about the form and craft of criticism, exploring new and evolving formats and the implications for artists, audiences and working critics themselves. Our panelists – who work across podcast, radio and prose – weigh up the differences between conversational criticism versus the traditional model of the solo, written perspective.
Is it time we pushed snooty critics off their high horses and embraced more democratic forms of criticism, where competing views are aired and challenged? How important is the singular, informed, authoritative voice in arts opinion and coverage? And what does all this mean for critics, artists and audiences in the context of shrinking arts pages in newspapers?