Watch Peter Beliharz and Mark Davis in discussion about Peter’s new book, ‘Intimacy in postmodern times: A friendship with Zygmunt Bauman’
As sociological data – as a record of how academic intellectuals at the turn of the century spent their time – Peter Beilharz’s memoir is valuable enough; but it is also a searching exploration of his debt to one of the great social theorists of our age, Zygmunt BaumanJ. M. Coetzee
Zygmunt Bauman (1925–2017) was one of the most remarkable thinkers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He did major work on the Holocaust, the postmodern and much else, up to fifty-eight books in English on almost as many topics.
In his new book, sociologist Peter Beilharz, a friend and collaborator for thirty years, revisits the work they did together, weighing up Bauman’s rich yet contested legacy. Beginning in the late 1980s, he traces Bauman’s prolific output right up to his death, paying particular attention to the ‘liquid modern’ period of the 2000s and 2010s. In doing so, he provides an account of two interweaving intellectual journeys and of the dramatic changes that have occurred in academic life over three decades.