Do Artists' Morals Matter?
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM
“Cancel culture” has invaded the Aotearoa New Zealand literary and arts worlds – principally sparked off by the revelation, in The Spinoff, that in John Weir’s edition of James K Baxter’s letters the famous New Zealand poet admitted that he had raped his wife. This provoked outrage, including calls for Baxter’s legacy to be critically re-examined in light of the revelations. One academic has stated, "If I were a prospective graduate student now, I wouldn't go near [Baxter]. There are many other good writers to study who aren't tainted in this way."
This session, chaired by broadcaster and polymath, Ian Fraser and featuring a feisty and opinionated panel – of writer and lawyer Bran Gnanalingam, senior North & South editor Madeleine Chapman and biologist Danyl Mclauchlan (Tranquillity and Ruin) will explore these questions and more. Expect sparks to fly and literary and artistic reputations to be ruthlessly reviewed.