Diversity. You’ve heard the term everywherein the news, in the universities, at the television awards shows. Maybe even in the corporate world, where diversity initiatives have become de rigueur. But what does the term actually mean? Where does it come from? What are its intellectual precedents? Moreover, how do we square our love affair with diversity with the fact that the world seems to be becoming more and more, well, homogeneous? Join us for a conversation.
With a lucid, straightforward style that rises above the noise, one of America’s greatest intellectual gadflies, Russell Jacoby, takes these questions squarely on. Discussing diversity (or lack thereof) in language, fashion, childhood experience, political structure, and the history of ideas, Jacoby offers a surprising and penetrating analysis of our cultural moment. In an age where our public thinkers seem to be jumping over one another to have the latest correct opinion, Jacoby offers a most dangerous, and liberating, injunction: to stop and think. American historian Sean Wilentz will be joining him.
Russell Jacoby has written for newspapers and magazines from Los Angeles Times to The New Republic and Harper’s. His books include Social Amnesia: A Critique of Conformist Psychology; The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in the Age of Apathy; and Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present. The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe is considered an essential text in American letters. He is professor of history at UCLA. Sean Wilentz is the author, among other influential books, of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, for which he won the Bancroft Prize, and most recently of No Property in Man:. Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding. He is Professor of American History at Princeton University.