March 9, 2012
WHAT WOULD JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU SAY ABOUT OUR DEMOCRACIES IF HE WERE AMONG US TODAY?
Distinguished intellectuals, political leaders, activists, and artists from both Geneva and the U.S. join forces to ask that question. Rousseau was an ardent defender of equality, justice and democratic participation. His moral and civic anger at the ways in which the Enlightenment “threw garlands of ﬂowers over our chains” speaks directly to today’s protest movements, from Occupy Wall Street to the populist side of the Tea Party. What is the relevance and urgency of Rousseau’s political and social ideas today? How does the author of Discourse on Inequality help us explore the disturbing and destabilizing cracks that have led to democracies in crisis, perhaps in demise?
Participants will include:
Pascal Couchepin, former President of the Swiss Confederation
Guillaume Chenevière, former Director of Télévision Suisse Romande; author of Rousseau, une histoire genevoise
Benjamin Barber, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Simon Schama, Professor of Art and Art History, Columbia University
Thomas Kean, former Governor of New Jersey
Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York
Victor Gourevitch, Rousseau scholar
Amin Husain, Organizer with OCCUPY WALL STREET
Laura Flanders, Host of The Laura Flanders Show in development for public television
Nannerl Keohane, former President of Duke University and Wellesley College
Co-Presented with ThinkSwiss: Genève Meets New York, a Festival of Global Ideas Born in Geneva, taking place in venues throughout Manhattan, March 6-12, 2012.
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LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.