Politics Events

Civil political discourse on the internet?! Stranger things have happened.

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Past Events

Thursdays, Jun 10 & Jun 17, 5pm-6:30pm PT / 8pm-9:30pm ET

During the Trump era, pundits and critics repeatedly invoked the notion of the postmodern to describe the “post-truth” moment we were supposedly living through. In this seminar, we will revisit two seminal accounts of postmodernism and assess their relevance to recent political and cultural convulsions.

Wednesdays, Apr 14 & Apr 21, 5pm-6:30pm PT / 8pm-9:30pm ET

The philosopher Michel Foucault developed the concepts of “biopower” and “biopolitics” to analyze the state’s growing involvement in the biological life of citizens. This seminar will explore the applicability of Foucault’s theory to the politics of COVID-19.

Thursdays, Feb 11 & Feb 18, 5pm-6:30pm PT / 8pm-9:30pm ET

The interdisciplinary theorist René Girard’s work traces the sources of human conflict to the tendency to imitate, and identifies scapegoating as a fundamental means of social pacification. This interactive seminar will explore Girard’s core insights with reference to the fraught realm of contemporary social media.

Ronald Neumann
Tuesday, February 2nd, 5pm-6pm PT / 8pm-9pm ET

Join Ronald Neumann, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005-2007), Bahrain, and Algeria and President of the American Academy of Diplomacy, in an intimate seminar to discuss the US's presence and role in Afghanistan. The speaker's proceeds from this event will be donated to the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Ronald Neumann
Tuesdays, Jan 26 & Feb 2, 5pm-6pm PT / 8pm-9pm ET

Join Ronald Neumann, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005-2007), Bahrain, and Algeria and president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, in an intimate two-session seminar to learn and discuss the new and old foreign policy questions, tensions, and challenges the Biden Administration will face in the early months of the diplomatic transition of power. Build your understanding of American foreign policy guided by a leader who was there for it and engage in lively discussion with a small group of other curious learners.

Teresa Fry Brown
Saturday, October 3rd, 10-11:30am PT / 1-2:30pm ET

Over the past 40 years, Black women activists have built the womanist movement to advocate for the rights of all people. The inspirational Reverend Dr. Fry Brown will highlight the work of several womanist activists, from public figures to ordinary people committed to making change, and demonstrate how their actions illustrate the ideals of womanism.

John Sitter
Wednesday, September 23rd, 5-6:30pm PT / 8-9:30pm ET

As ice caps melt and temperatures rise, novels about climate change have moved from the margins to the center of world literature. In this seminar, we will explore the emerging genre of climate fiction (aka "cli-fi") and discuss how the best work in this genre helps us understand our moment and imagine possible futures.

Sundays, September 13th and 20th, 5-6:30pm PT / 8-9:30pm ET

Join Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence, award-winning sociology professor and director of the Spelman College Social Justice Fellows Program, for this two-part lecture examining the history of race and the criminal justice system.

John Finn
Friday, September 4th, 12-1:30pm PT / 3-4:30pm ET

Join award-winning professor of constitutional law John E. Finn for this timely seminar. We’ll explore what the First Amendment does—and does not—say about the place of hate speech in American political culture.

Krithika Varagur
Sunday, May 3rd, 12-1pm PT / 3-4pm ET

Award-winning journalist Krithika Varagur will discuss Saudi influence on the Muslim world and national security implications of the US-Saudi relationship.

Al Camarillo
Saturday, April 25th, 6-7pm PT / 9-10pm ET

How have Americans and their leaders responded in times of crisis throughout our history? Join acclaimed Stanford historian Al Camarillo for this timely discussion.

Eric Schwartz
Sunday, April 19th, 12-1pm PT / 3-4pm ET

Learn how machine learning has helped researchers and policy makers take a targeted approach to solving water crises in Flint and beyond.

Friday, April 10th, 7-8pm PT / 10-11pm ET

Spend the evening learning about human rights activism in the Arab world with law professor and historian Catherine Baylin Duryea.

Étienne Brown
Tuesday, March 24th, 8-9pm PT / 11pm-12am ET

Join philosopher Étienne Brown for a lively discussion about the tensions between free speech and fake news.