Constitutional Studies Program: “Nicholas Buccola’s The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America”
On September 29, 2020, the Potenziani Constitutional Studies Program, a JMC partner program, and the Tocqueville Program at the University of Notre Dame will be hosting JMC faculty partner Nicholas Buccola for a virtual lecture on his book, The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America.
On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America’s most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was “the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro,” and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola’s The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate racial division today.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 12:45 PM, EDT
A virtual lecture through Zoom
Nicholas Buccola is the Elizabeth & Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College. His teaching and research interests are in political theory and public law. Professor Buccola is the founding director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, a partner program in JMC’s Pacific Northwest Initiative, and has written extensively on the political thought of Frederick Douglass. He has published essays on a wide variety of topics including the debate over same-sex marriage, Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of socialism, and the political philosophies of Judith Shklar and Leo Strauss. He is a recipient of the Allen and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar Award, and a two-time recipient of the Samuel Graf Faculty Achievement Award. Professor Buccola is also the book review editor for the JMC supported journal, American Political Thought.
Professor Buccola is a Jack Miller Center faculty partner.
The Constitutional Studies Program, a JMC partner program, is a minor that seeks to educate students on constitutional governments and how they may be used to secure the common good. Thoughtful and educated citizens must possess certain virtues; they must understand and be able to implement, defend, and, if need be, reform constitutional institutions. By creating informed citizens, the program contributes to the University’s mission to pursue truth and to nurture a concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.
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