University of Leicester eBulletin

A Hero of Our Times - The Role of Courage and Creativity in Strengthening Democracy

May 2004

No 130 

The hero, the pioneer, the dissident and the champion - the impact of all four types of people on society will be discussed at a University of Leicester free public lecture.

Courage and creativity will be the subject matter explored by Professor Barbara Misztal, of the Department of Sociology, during her inaugural lecture. 

She will explore how democracy is strengthened through selfless acts of courage or creativity by individuals.

Her lecture Civil Courage and Creative Imagination: Intellectuals and the Public Good takes place on Tuesday 25 May at the Ken Edwards Building, starting at 5.30pm. It is free and open to the public.

Professor Misztal said: "Since the proper conduct of democratic debate needs a model of independent and critical rationality, it is increasingly important not only to recognise the relevance of civil courage and creative imagination to the enhancement of democracy but also to identify the various ways in which they both make their contributions. 

"The lecture proposes a typology of civic courage which incorporate a wide range of disinterested, often dissenting, acts by public intellectuals in different social and political contexts. It is illustrated through discussion of a sample of Nobel Peace Prize laureates who as public intellectuals exemplify four major types of courageous public intellectual: the hero, the pioneer, the dissident and the champion. 

"The individuals selected in the lecture to exemplify these categories display the courageous behaviour, creative achievements and disinterested contributions to public life which are urgently required to strengthen democracy." 

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information Barbara A. Misztal on 0116 252 2459

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