American University: Why We Are Restless – On the Modern Quest for Contentment

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Political Theory Institute: “Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment”


The Political Theory Institute at American University, a JMC partner program, will host JMC faculty partner Benjamin Storey and Jenna Storey to speak on restlessness and discontent in the modern world:

The modern Western world is prosperous beyond the wildest imaginations of any past age, yet we are plagued with nagging discontentment and restlessness. Why? Find out as PTI Director Alan Levine discusses this problem with Benjamin and Jenna Storey, professors at Furman University and co-authors of the recent book Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.

Thursday, December 2, 2021 • 5:30 PM EST
A live-streamed lecture • American University

Free and open to the public, registration required.

Click here to learn more and to register >>



Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey both teach in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University, where Benjamin is the Jane Gage Hipp Professor and Jenna is an Assistant Professor. Together they run Furman’s Tocqueville Program, an intellectual community dedicated to investigating the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life. Both have been recognized for outstanding teaching. Ben has been awarded the Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman award for Meritorious Teaching, and Jenna won the Silas N. Pearman award for her teaching in the Engaged Living Program. This year they are both Visiting Fellows in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies Division of the American Enterprise Institute. Ben has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton, and Jenna has published in edited volumes as well as in Perspectives on Political Science, The Washington Post, The Irish Times, First, The New Atlantis, VoeglinView, and The Boston Globe. Together they are the co-authors of Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment (Princeton University Press, 2021).

Professor Bnejamin Storey is a JMC faculty partner.

Learn more about Benjamin Storey >>

Learn more about Jenna Silber Storey >>



The Political Theory Institute at American University’s School of Public Affairs encourages the serious study of the great questions of political theory and brings insights of political theorists to bear on current issues and events. American University has a long tradition of vigorous political debate. Behind every serious political controversy, however, lies a disagreement about political principles, justice, what constitutes “the good life,” or fundamental assumptions about human nature. A thoughtful and morally serious engagement with the controversies of the day, therefore, requires serious reflection on the underlying questions of political theory.

Open to all ideas and perspectives, the Political Theory Institute promotes vigorous and thoughtful discussion and critical engagement by American University faculty, the national and international political theory community, and policy makers with the problems confronting liberal democracies. It supports scholarship that informs and enriches the larger conversation about political ideas. Above all, the Political Theory Institute fosters a spirit of enlightened citizenship—at once thoughtful and engaged—that takes intellectual disagreements seriously without being ideological.

Click here for more information about the Political Theory Institute >>



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