Online Premier! Puffin Interview Series with Dr. Joe Chuman: Susan Neiman
Event Date and Time: June 11, 2023 4:00 pm
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The Puffin Cultural Forum continues its monthly author interview series with Dr. Joe Chuman. Susan Neiman’s “Left is Not Woke” argues that blurring the line between “left” and “woke” is a dangerous mistake. The intellectual roots and resources of wokeism conflict with ideas that have guided the left for more than 200 years: a commitment to universalism, a firm distinction between justice and power, and a belief in the possibility of progress. Without these ideas, Neiman argues, they will continue to undermine their own goals and drift, inexorably and unintentionally, towards the right. In the long run, they risk becoming what they despise.
One of the world’s leading philosophical voices, Susan Neiman makes this case by tracing the malign influence of two titans of twentieth-century thought, Michel Foucault and Carl Schmitt, whose work undermined ideas of justice and progress and portrayed social life as an eternal struggle of us against them. A generation schooled with these voices in their heads, raised in a broader culture shaped by the ruthless ideas of neoliberalism and evolutionary psychology, has set about changing the world. It’s time they thought again.
Susan Neiman is an American philosopher, author, and the director of the Einstein Forum in Germany. Born in Atlanta, Neiman studied philosophy at Harvard and the Free University of Berlin. Her previous works, translated into many languages, include Slow Fire, The Unity of Reason, Moral Clarity, Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age, Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil. Among other honors, Neiman has received the International Spinoza Prize and the PEN American Center award for a first work of non-fiction. She has given the Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh and the Tanner Lectures in the Humanities in Britain and the U.S. Neiman is a member of the American Philosophical Society as well as the Berlin-Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Thomas Mann House. Visit her website: www.susan-neiman.com/en