THE NEW YORK SALON in association with WNYC Radio and the CUNY Graduate Center:
Reflections on the Future: Politics in the 21st Century
Friday 30 September 2005, 6.30 pm.
CUNY Graduate Center Free Event. Arrive early.
The NY Salon proudly announces Reflections on the Future, a public debate featuring renowned authors Russell Jacoby, Richard Sennett, and Frank Furedi, and moderated by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.
Reflections on the Future will examine the nature of politics at the start of the 21st Century. It seems that the traditional conception of Left and Right means less than ever. This trend was vividly apparent in the 2004 election, when few on either side were excited by their party’s own platform. Political positions were defined negatively. Liberals were rarely for Kerry so much as against Bush. Conservatives were not so much united behind Bush as they were against liberals. Even the categories ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ seemed increasingly meaningless amidst independent, libertarian, neoconservative, moderate, or simply apathetic voters.
This is true on both sides of the Atlantic. There are few big ideas on the agenda, and traditionally predictable electorates are proving whimsical. Britain’s recent election was epitomized by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s off-the-cuff comment to one journalist: ‘The voters just have one choice, vote Labour otherwise they’ll end up with a Tory government.’ (Guardian, April 21st, 2005). Meanwhile, France’s ‘non’ to the European Constitution, brought together an eclectic range of unionists, anti-globalizers and right-wing nationalists.
The panel, featuring British professor, Frank Furedi, and trans-Atlantic sociologist, Richard Sennett, is well placed to comment on such international trends. The latest books by Russell Jacoby, Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age, and Frank Furedi, The Politics of Fear, speak perfectly to our theme. All three speakers are thinkers in the best tradition of the ‘public intellectual’; accessible to a general audience, but also rigorous and profound.
Reflections on the Future does not just bring together a set of experts. Partnering with WNYC creates an exciting opportunity to reach a wide audience whom we hope to involve in the discussion. The authors will submit short papers before the event to be posted on the web as part of a WNYC reading project. In this way, the discussion can take place in an informed manner, and run before and after the event itself. This promises to be an exciting opportunity to launch a public debate about what politics means today and in the future.
Professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, U.K., and visiting lecturer at M.I.T., has authored many books on the interconnection between authority, modernism and public life; including, most recently, Respect in a World of Inequality.
Visit Professor Sennett’s LSE webpage:
Buy Richard Sennett’s latest book, Respect in a World of Inequality
Professor in residence at U.C.L.A., has been engaged in public discussion about the history of ideas and political life for over 30 years. His most recent books include, Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age, and The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in the Age of Apathy.
Visit Russell Jacoby’s UCLA webpage:
Buy Russell Jacoby’s latest book, Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age
Professor of sociology at the University of Kent, U.K., has written about the anti-political trends in both public and private life; his books include Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone? Confronting 20th Century Philistinism and the forthcoming Politics of Fear: Beyond Left And Right.
Visit Frank Furedi’s website:
Buy Frank Furedi’s latest book, Politics of Fear: Beyond Left And Right
Host of WNYC, New York Public Radio’s highly-acclaimed daily talk and call-in show, “The Brian Lehrer Show,” has been an anchor and host of broadcast news and information programs for over 20 years. Time Magazine has proclaimed Lehrer’s show “New York City’s most thoughtful and informative talk show,” while The Daily News called it “The sane alternative in talk radio.” Visit Brian’s WNYC webpage:
WNYC, New York Public Radio, is New York’s premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820. As America’s most listened-to public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC FM and AM extend New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country and air the best national offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio® and Public Radio International®. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting.
For more information: http://www.wnyc.org
CUNY Grad Center’s Continuing Education and Public Programs extends The Graduate Center’s intellectual and cultural resources to the general public, offering access to a wide range of events, including lectures, symposia, performances, and workshops. Since 1999, The Graduate Center’s vibrant campus has been housed in a landmark building, formerly home to the B. Altman Department Store and redesigned as a new, state-of-the-art facility. http://www.gc.cuny.edu/