Hannah Arendt Center and Center for Civic Engagement present:
"REAL TALK: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex and Religion" October 20-21, 2016
The Hannah Arendt Center Annual Fall Conference
Thursday, October 20, 2016 – Friday, October 21, 2016
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
ROBERT BOYERS is Editor of the quarterly magazine Salmagundi, Director of The New York State Summer Writers Institute and Professor of English at Skidmore College. He is the author of ten books, including two critical works on the intersection of politics and literature, the first entitled Atrocity and Amnesia, the second The Dictator’s Dictation. His most recent book (2015) is The Fate Of Ideas. A frequent contributor to such publications as The Nation, The New Republic and Harpers, he is the author of an essay entitled “How ‘Safe Spaces’ Stifle Ideas” published in the March 13, 2016 Chronicle Review (published by The Chronicle of Higher Education).
Author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (Free Press, 2014). A frequent speaker on college campuses, Bill taught English at Yale from 1998-2008. He is a Contributing Writer for The Nation and a Contributing Editor for The American Scholar. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's, and elsewhere. He was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing of the National Book Critics Circle (2012), and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture's Hiett Prize in the Humanities (2013).
Jennifer Doyle is Professor of English at UC Riverside. She is the author of Campus Sex/Campus Security (2015), Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (2013) and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire (2006). She was awarded an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital | The Andy Warhol Foundation (2012), in support of her writing on the intersection of art and sport. In 2015, she curated Nao Bustamante: Soldadera for the Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles; she is currently curator of a feminist performance art series for The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. In 2013-2014, she held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of the Arts, London.
Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Philosophy at Yale. He is author of The Color Of Our Shame: Race and Justice In Our Time (2013)and is currently at work on his second book, The Making of ‘Black Lives Matter’: A Brief History of an Idea. Lebronwasawarded First Book Prize by the American Political Science Association Foundations of Political Theory section. His article, “The Agony of a Racial Democracy,” was published in Theory & Event vol 15, no. 3, 2012, a symposium on the shooting of Trayvon Martin.VIEW MORE >>
President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom From Speech, and is co-author of FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus, as well as The Atlantic's September cover story entitled "The Coddling of the American Mind" written in partnership with Jonathan Haidt. He has testified before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives about free speech issues on America’s campuses.VIEW MORE >>
Distinguished professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of The Anxiety of Freedom: Imagination and Individuality in the Political Thought of John Locke and Liberalism and Empire. The American Political Association awarded him the J. David Greenstone Book Award in 2001 for the best book in history and theory. In 2002, Mehta received the prestigious “Carnegie Scholars” prize given to “scholars of exceptional creativity.” His forthcoming book is titled, A Different Vision: Ghandi’s Critique of Political Rationality.
New York political commentor Deroy Murdock is a Fox News Contributor; a former Media Fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University; and a Senior Fellow with the Atlas Network, which supports and connects some 462 free-market think tanks in the USA and 94 countries world-wide.
Mr. Murdock’s weekly column — “This Opinion Just In…” — appears in the New York Post, The Washington Times, the Boston Herald, The Orange County Register (CA), and other newspapers across America. He has been a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and other TV and radio outlets. He has been a contributing editor with National Review Online since June 2000.VIEW MORE >>
Judith Shulevitz is an essayist and editor who has helped found or relaunch several magazines, including Lingua Franca, New York Magazine, and Slate. Currently a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, she has served as editor of Lingua Franca, founding cultural editor and columnist at Slate, deputy editor and columnist for New York Magazine, columnist for The New York Times Book Review, and a senior writer and editor at The New Republic. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and other publications, and she has taught at New York University and Barnard College. She is the author of The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.
Mr. Stern is the Executive Director of the Justus & Karin Rosenberg Foundation, which works to combat – and to increase the serious study of – hatred and antisemitism. The Foundation emphasizes projects that impact college students and promote academic freedom, including those that help students engage difficult issues like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and learn how strong passions may influence thinking. Mr. Stern – a Bard alumnus, visiting assistant professor of Human Rights, and a Fellow of Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement – is an award-winning author and attorney, who was director of the division on antisemitism and extremism at the American Jewish Committee, where he worked for 25 years.VIEW MORE >>
Mr. Stern’s op-eds and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Forward, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and elsewhere. Mr. Stern has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Dateline, Nightline, the History Channel, PBS, and many other television and radio programs.
He has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before Congress (as well as before committees of parliamentarians in Canada and the U.K.), was an invited presenter at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes, and served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Stockholm Forum on Combating Intolerance.
Mr. Stern’s report on the militia movement, released 10 days before the Oklahoma City bombing, predicted attacks on the government, and the covering memo to the report said such attacks might occur on April 19, 1995, the anniversary of the deaths of members of the Branch Davidian sect. Mr. Stern’s report was called “prescient,” and his resulting book – A Force Upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate – was nominated for the National Book award.
Mr. Stern was the lead drafter of the “working definition” of antisemitism now adopted by the U.S. Department of State. He was also an integral part of the defense team in the historic London Holocaust denial case of David Irving vs. Deborah Lipstadt.
Mr. Stern was also defense counsel for Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (chronicled in his award-winning book Loud Hawk: The United States vs. The American Indian Movement), and was co-counsel in a successful libel suit by Jack and Micki Scott against heiress Patricia Hearst. He also represented various organizations advocating for the homeless, enforced environmental laws in New York City, and was director of an organization advocating for victims of terrorism.
Mr. Stern has written extensively on just about every aspect of antisemitism (his two other books are Holocaust Denial and Antisemitism Today), especially on how institutions should understand and approach the topic. He has trained over 200 college and university presidents on how to respond to instances of bigotry on campus, and helped establish courses and programs on the study of hate at Gonzaga University and at Bard College. He is also the author of a model college syllabus about antisemitism (which he is teaching at Bard this semester), and another about antisemitism and the law (see http://jkrfoundation.org/resources/).
Dina ToubasiDina (2018) is a an Economics major at Bard College.
Mark Williams Jr.
*** TENTATIVE SCHEDULE: SUBJECT TO CHANGE ***
Thursday, October 20
10:15 am Introduction by Roger Berkowitz
10:45 am Opening Roundtable with:
Moderator: Jennifer Doyle
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Greg Lukianoff
Moderator: Suzanne Nossel
Discussant: Angus Johnston
2:30 pm Erica Hunt, Christopher Lebron and Deroy Murdock
Moderator: Samantha Hill
4:00 pm Jennifer Doyle and Annie Seaton
Moderator: Dima Khalidi
5:15 pm Final Round Table:
6:15 pm Wine & cheese reception
Friday, October 21
10:00 am Göran Adamson and Judith Shulevitz
Moderator: Roger Berkowitz
11:00 am Claudia Rankine
Moderators: Roger Berkowitz
Discussants: Robert Boyers, Carolyn Lazard, and Ariana Stokas
12:30 pm Lunch
3. Real Talk About Class and Race on Campus, Olin 102 (Art History Room)
Moderators: Jana Schmidt and TBA.
2:00 pm William Deresiewicz
Moderator: Wyatt Mason
Sam Reed ‘17
Dina Toubasi ’18
Mark Williams Jr. ‘17
3:15 pm Ken Marcus
Moderator: Ken Stern
4: 35 pm Wine and cheese reception
Tuesday, October 18: Public Debate (OPTIONAL)Resolved: The rapid rise of “safe space” rhetoric on college campuses has done more harm than good. The Bard College debate team will host this public debate in conjunction with the conference – “Real Talk: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex and Religion” (October 20-21, 2016). The debate will feature both the Bard and West Point debate teams on mixed teams. Co-sponsored by the Bard Debate Union, the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College, the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Bard-West Point exchange.
- Free & Open to the Public
- Date: October 18, 2016
- Time: 7:00 pm
- Location: Bard College, Campus Center MPR
Online Registration Is CLOSED.
Due to overwhelming demand, Online Registration Is CLOSED.
If you missed online registration, please do not worry. Visit the On-Site Registration Table and our student volunteers will assist you. We will not turn anyone away! However, if you wish to see a certain panel, we strongly recommend you arrive early!
- Members of the Hannah Arendt Center
- Bard College staff and faculty
- Bard College Students (Matriculated Students - does not include LLI)
Franklin W. Olin Humanities Building
35 Henderson Cir Dr
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504
If you are driving, take Rt. 9G and enter onto campus using the west entrance with the stone sign for Bard College across from the Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center at Bard. After turning into Bard College, make a left at the Stop Sign, and Olin Hall will be on your right. Additionally, a security guard will be available at the Main Entrance to Bard College between 8:30 am and 11:00 am to assist drivers. Also, please check out Travel to Bard for more helpful hints.
Please click HERE to see venue map. The black objects represent Parking Lots.
Parking is free!
Resolved: The rapid rise of “safe space” rhetoric on college campuses has done more harm than good
October 18, 2016, 7:00pm
Bard College, Campus Center MPR
Public debate in conjunction with the annual Hannah Arendt Center Conference – “Real Talk: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex and Religion” (October 20-21, 2016). This debate will feature both the Bard and West Point debate teams on mixed teams. Co-sponsored by the Bard Debate Union, the Hannah Arendt Center, the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Bard-West Point exchange.
Free & Open to the Public
Questions: [email protected]
Recommended Readings by our Speakers
Randall Kennedy, Black Tape at Harvard Law
Christopher Lebron, I'm Fine How I am: A Response to Randall Kennedy's Defense of Respectability Politics
Jeannie Suk, The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law
Alexandra Brodsky, End the Rape Culture at University
Janet Halley, Trading the Megaphone for the Gavel in Title IX Enforcement: Backing off the Hype in Title IX Enforcement
Jennifer Doyle, Campus Sex Campus Security
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
JENNIFER SCHUESSLER, Can Cries of ‘Free Speech’ Be a Weapon? Students Say Yes
PEN report, And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion and Freedom of Speech at US Universities, HERE.
There will be a Student Opinion Contest in conjunction with The Hannah Arendt Center’s ninth annual fall conference "Real Talk: Difficult Questions About Race, Sex, and Religion." The author of the winning Response will receive $500 and have the response featured on the Hannah Arendt Center Blog. If appropriate, the response will also be printed in HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center.
4. Please email your completed entries to [email protected] by no later than noon on Monday, October 30th, 2016. Responses will be judged blindly by a panel of judges from the Arendt Center, including Roger Berkowitz and Samantha Hill. Winning responses should be bold, creative, and persuasive. If you have questions, please email Daniel Fiege, our Media Coordinator, at [email protected]. Thank you, and good luck!
WebcastFor those unable to attend the conference in person, we offer a live webcast of the full event for you to enjoy from wherever you're located.
The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College will host its ninth annual international conference from Thursday, October 20 to Friday, October 21 in Olin Hall, on Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus. The two-day conference, “REAL TALK: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex, and Religion,” asks: How can college be a safe and inclusive space for asking hard and uncomfortable questions essential to our democracy?
Hannah Arendt understood that as difficult and offensive as speech may be, free speech is at the heart of intellectual inquiry and political discourse: “Only in the freedom of our speaking with one another does the world, as that about which we speak, emerge in its objectivity and visibility from all sides.”
Students, faculty, and administrators across the country, however, are questioning whether colleges are safe spaces for talking about difficult and divisive issues. As campuses become more diverse, can colleges and universities confront issues surrounding racial, sexual, gender-based, and religious discrimination or harassment without limiting free and open discourse and a diversity of ideas? How can colleges maintain safe spaces for difficult and contested thinking while honoring their unshakable commitment to justice and equality?
“REAL TALK: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex, and Religion” convenes a diverse group of thinkers to ask questions such as: How can colleges bring racial and social justice into the heart of higher education? Should colleges and universities limit speech in the name of civility? Should trigger warnings be incorporated into college curricula? Can we balance the right to practice one’s religion with the desire for inclusiveness? Are “microaggressions” the kinds of speech that should be disciplined? Does civility limit free speech?
Arendt Center conferences are attended by nearly a thousand people and reach an international audience via live webcast. Past speakers have included maverick inventor Ray Kurzweil, whistleblower Edward Snowden, irreverent journalist Christopher Hitchens, businessman Hunter Lewis, author Zadie Smith, New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, and presidential candidate and political activist Ralph Nader. Previous conferences have explored the intellectual roots of the economic crisis, the future of humanity in an age increasingly dominated by technology that’s changing how humans live, the crisis in American education, and American exceptionalism.
For a full conference schedule, registrations, and bios of featured speakers, please visit hac.bard.edu/con2016. For more information or any questions about the conference, please contact [email protected] or 845-758-7878.