Critic of ‘humanities decay’ to speak at NSW Parliament

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Dr Bella d’Abrera. Photo: supplied

University humanities students are being offered a dumbed-down and ‘quite dull’ version of the past, says author and historian Dr Bella d’Abrera.

Dr d’Abrera is the director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a Melbourne-based think-thank. She believes that Australian universities, at least in the humanities departments, are dramatically failing their students by not teaching them the foundations of western civilisation and culture.

“Insofar as the teaching of history is concerned, they are offering a much less intellectually rigorous and frankly quite dull version of the past by framing everything in terms of identity politics,” she said.

“No matter what the subject or course, it will invariably be approached through the lens of class, gender or race. Young minds deserve much more than this.”

She says a classic liberal arts education is the only remedy to the current crisis of intellectual decay.

“It has been central to the education tradition of Western civilisation since the 5th Century.

“Started by the philosophers of Athens, adopted by the statesmen and public figures of the Roman republic and empire, and then carried forward by the Catholic Church, the tradition has flourished across Europe. The fact that it has survived into the modern era is testament to its strength.”

The regular media commentator and author of a series of books on Reformation in England will give a public lecture at NSW Parliament House on 17 May, titled ‘Stomping on the Shoulders of Giants: How Identity Politics is Corrupting our Youth’ from 6.30pm.

She will also lead an information session on Campion College and the value of a liberal arts education from 5.30pm.

Campion College is the sponsor of the evening with Dr d’Abrera. Located in Toongabbie in western Sydney, the college is the only tertiary education provider in Australia which offers a liberal arts degree. An RSVP is required by email to [email protected]