2012 Fifth Annual Fall Conference06-29-2012
THE HANNAH ARENDT CENTER
FIFTH ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE
SEPTEMBER 21-22, 2012
OLIN HALL, AT BARD COLLEGE
DOES THE PRESIDENT MATTER?
A CONFERENCE ON THE AMERICAN AGE OF POLITICAL DISREPAIR
We are suffering a crisis of leadership. From Europe to Japan, from Russia to Egypt, and from China to the United States, political leaders are proving singularly inept at addressing the turmoil of our times. It is as if leaders have gone on strike; unwilling—or unable—to make decisions anymore, except when forced to. Amidst this worldwide need for leadership, the United States is about to elect a President. But what will be the effect?
Arendt believed that freedom requires courage. Political leaders, she argued, are those who act in unexpected ways and whose actions are so surprising and yet meaningful as to inspire the citizens to re-imagine their sense of belonging to a common people with a common purpose. How can our overly cautious and hyper-critical age encourage the kind of action that Arendt saw was necessary in politics?
Our Conference will bring together artists, ex-politicians, businessmen, academics, and public intellectuals to explore how we can re-imagine presidential leadership for today.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
- Ralph Nader (presidential candidate, political activist)
- Bernard Kouchner (the former Foreign Minister of France and the co-founder of Doctors Without Borders)
- John Zogby (founder of the Zogby Poll and author of The Way We'll Be)
- Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party)
- Jeffrey Tulis (author of The Rhetorical Presidency and The Limits of Constitutional Democracy)
FEATURED SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
- Eric Liu (CEO of the Guiding Lights Foundation and President Clinton's Domestic Policy Advisor)
- Ann Norton (author of 95 Theses on Politics, Culture & Method)
- Walter Russell Mead (blogger at the American Interest and author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World)
- Tracy Strong (author of Politics Without Vision)
- Bernadette Meyler (professor, Cornell Law School)
- Todd Gitlin (chair of Communications Dept. at Columbia University and author of Occupy Nation)
- Ian Buruma (Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College)
- Richard Aldous (Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature at Bard College, and author of Reagan and Thatcher)
Please consider supporting the Hannah Arendt Center and all that we do by becoming a member. Learn more here.
Click here to watch footage from last year's conference, "Truthtelling: Democracy in an Age Without Facts."