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Award-winning journalist examines Ruskin legacy

Published: 31 January 2020 at 14:00

John Ruskin

ARU to host talk by Andrew Hill about John Ruskin’s relevance today

An award-winning Financial Times journalist will examine the legacy and lessons of the work of the controversial Victorian thinker John Ruskin, in a free talk held at the university that took his name.

Andrew Hill, journalist and author of Ruskinland: How John Ruskin Shapes Our World, will speak at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge on 12 February and discuss Ruskin’s prescriptions for social and economic reform have a new relevance in tackling the problems of the modern age.

During the talk, entitled Ruskinomics Revisited, Mr Hill will show how the thread of concern about how we live and work ran through Ruskin’s life as art critic, scientist, environmentalist, philanthropist and social reformer.

Mr Hill said:

“What's striking is how modern Ruskin's controversial 150-year-old critique of free-market economics sounds. He addressed lots of the issues that we still worry about today, from social inequality, via executive pay, to the advance of machines. He was appalled at how orthodox economics was encouraging the breakneck accumulation of riches in the 19th century, at the expense of the worker and the environment. 

“I'll explain how relevant some of his ideas are - and how they still influence the way we live, work and learn - and I hope I'll stir up a debate about the application, and misapplication, of economics in the real world, just as Ruskin did in his day.”

Nigel Cooper, University Chaplain at ARU, said:

“We are privileged to welcome Andrew Hill, who has studied John Ruskin at length over several years, to discuss how his legacy has relevance to modern-day issues such as social inequality, excessive executive pay, automation and environmental disasters.

“This promises to be a fascinating and thought-provoking evening and I am looking forward to welcoming the community onto our Cambridge campus.”

The talk begins at 6pm at ARU’s Cambridge Campus on East Road. Light refreshments will be available from 5.30pm. Mr Hall will also sign copies of Ruskinland, which can be purchased here.

The event is free to attend, but tickets must be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ruskinomics-revisited-tickets-88629863307?aff=erelexpmlt