DARE Liberty Lectures

The DARE Lectures explore some of the most significant topics at the heart of contemporary society.

Paul Mason pic

Paul Mason: beyond resistance

Wednesday 4 June 2014: Howard Assembly Room
Paul Mason is an established and influential commentator on social change, tackling topics including poverty and power from across the political spectrum.  His Liberty Lecture looked at how the economic crisis, social networking and and a new political consciousness have come together to ignite a new generation of radicals.  What now for an alternative to capitalism that lies beyond resistance?


Saumus Milne - picSeumus Milne:  the enemy within, the secret war against the miners

Thursday 22 May 2014: Howard Assembly Room

Guardian journalist Seumus Milne explored the lengths to which the government and its intelligence machine were prepared to to go to destroy the power of Britain’s National Union of Miners.  On the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miner’s strike, Milne updated his blistering account to include recently declassified state papers that reveal the extent of NUM infiltration and surveillance.


SSignmund Bauman Liberty Lectureigmund Bauman: martyr to hero to celebrity

Friday 31 May 2013: Howard Assembly Room

Professor Bauman, one of the most eminent scholars of modernity, brought his huge intellectual appetite and searing analysis of the status quo to bear on the question: what makes a hero?  Why have we changed our idols in the (thus far vain) search for a reliable and trustworthy authority?   He is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, and his most recent publications are This is Not a Diary (2012) and Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All (2013).


Simon Critchley: is this what democracy looks like?simon critchley photo

Saturday 9 June 2012: Howard Assembly Room
Simon Critchley examined the world we live in post 9/11,  including how our ideas about terror and violence have changed; our understanding of democracy; and what the events of the Arab Spring and the OCCUPY movement tell us about the future world political environment.  Simon is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York.  The talk was chaired by Dr Brad Evans, a Lecturer in Political Violence at the University of Leeds. He also directs the multi-media forum Histories of Violence.


Tariq_Ali photoTariq Ali, writer, filmmaker and political campaigner

Thursday 21 April 2011
Tariq Ali discussed the causes and consequences of war over the last century, its impact on literature and music, and his own experience of US bombing raids in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa during the Vietnam War. His talk was followed by a performance by the Orchestra of Opera North of Oliver Messiaen’s masterwork, Quartet for the End of Time, written for fellow inmates in a German prisoner of war camp in 1941.


Gareth Pierce photoGareth Peirce, human rights lawyer

Friday 15 April 2011
Identified by the Guardian in 2011 as one of the world’s top 100 most inspirational and influential women, Peirce, whose clients have included The Guildford Four and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, presented her thoughts on imprisonment, torture, secrecy and the possibility for justice in the 21st Century. This talk was followed by a short concert by Kurdish singer and refugee, Nawroz Oramari, whose powerful music conveys the experience of being a refugee and the loss of one’s homeland.