What Does Democracy Demand? Another Reconstruction

Featuring David Bromwich, Jedediah Purdy, Leah Wright Rigueur, and Brandon M. Terry.

The second online town hall in Humanities New York’s “What Does Democracy Demand” series, a part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s national initiative, “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.”
The 2020 election and its continuing aftermath have occurred in a pivotal moment for American democracy.

In this second town hall, “Another Reconstruction,” we focused on the current state of the nation, more broadly, and offered thoughts on how we the United States can move beyond its current, unproductively polarized state and restore the promise of our democratic principles and ideals.

It is not necessary to watch the first town hall “First Principles,” but highly encouraged.

About the speakers:

David Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University. His books include Politics by Other Means, Moral Imagination, The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence, and How Words Make Things Happen.

Jedediah Purdy is William S. Beinecke Professor of Law at Columbia University. His books include This Land Is Our Land: The Struggle for a New Commonwealth, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today, The Meaning of Property: Freedom, Community and the Legal Imagination, and A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom.

Leah Wright Rigueur is the Harry S. Truman Associate Professor of American History at Brandeis University. She is the author of the books The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power and Mourning in America: Black Men and Women in a White House.

Brandon M. Terry is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. He is currently completing two books, tentatively titled, The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement and Sovereignty, Soulcraft, and Suffering.

These programs were funded by the “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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