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Abstract: The concept of the public intellectual has always been a somewhat contested term. This article serves as both an introduction to the debates around what it constitutes and an entry point into how the new media environment is producing a different configuration of the public intellectual. Through key thinkers who have addressed the idea of the public intellectual internationally and those who have focused on the Australian context, this essay positions the arguments made by the authors in this special issue. Via a short case-study of TED, the conference and online idea-spreading phenomenon, it argues that the contemporary moment is producing and privileging a different constellation of experts as celebrities that match the exigencies of online attention economy. A shifted conception of the public intellectual is beginning to take shape that is differently constituted, used and situated, and this article helps to define the parameters for further discussion of these transformations.

To cite this article: Marshall, PDavid and Atherton, Cassandra. Situating public intellectuals [online]. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 156, Aug 2015: 69-78. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=463797418003587;res=IELLCC> ISSN: 1329-878X. [cited 28 Mar 17].

Personal Author: Marshall, PDavid; Atherton, Cassandra; Source: Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 156, Aug 2015: 69-78 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1329-878X Subject: World politics; Intellectual life; Political sociology; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Chair, New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, Deakin University
(2) Senior Lecturer, Literary Studies/Professional and Creative Writing, School of Communications and Creative Arts, Deakin University

Database: Literature & Culture Collection