Center for American Studies: “Revisiting Richard Hofstadter in the Time of Trump”
Columbia’s Center for American Studies, a JMC partner program, recently hosted Sean Wilentz, Eric Foner, Arlie Hochschild, and Ira Katznelson for a virtual event on the topic of Richard Hofstadter and how his thought is applicable to our current political climate:
In his Pulitzer Prize–winning “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” (1963) and in “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” (1965), Richard Hofstadter explored the persistent strains of irrationality and conspiratorial thinking in American culture and their threat to our democratic politics.
How can Hofstadter help us make sense of 2020, a year when fringe conspiracy theories moved into the political and media mainstream? Acclaimed scholars Sean Wilentz, editor of LOA’s authoritative Richard Hofstadter edition, Eric Foner, Arlie Hochschild, and Ira Katznelson discuss Hofstadter’s work as a touchstone for navigating the most polarized and unstable political climate of our lifetime.
The Center for American Studies at Columbia University offers students the opportunity to explore the experiences and values of the people of the United States as embodied in their history, literature, politics, art, and other enduring forms of cultural expression. American Studies takes advantage of Columbia’s location in New York by involving students with the life of the city, working with community service organizations such as the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center, and by inviting leading figures on the New York political and cultural scene to participate in colloquia, public conferences, and classroom activities. The center seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the pressing problems that face our society. Alumni have pursued careers in teaching, journalism, law, the arts, museum fields, and other professions.
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