The conference is over but you can still hear from our invited speakers by watching the panel discussions on our YouTube playlist and reading “Provocations” published in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
American Identity and the Ideal of Democracy in the 21st Century
The program schedule and registration information can be found the conference website here.
The United States is facing a peculiar time in which it’s unusually difficult to take stock of ourselves. If we had to say what underpins America today, if we were forced to choose our core beliefs or values as a nation, it’s not clear that we could readily do so.
Do we still believe, for example, in liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness? That all men are created equal? Do we still believe in the right to religious freedom? In free speech and freedom of the press? How about our electoral system? Due process? Do we still believe in democracy and representative government? Do we still care, or even give lip-service to caring, about the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable at home and around the world? Do we still hesitate to use weapons of mass destruction?
These are all questions with which the Trump presidency, the rise of the extreme right and recent gerrymandering lawsuits have forced us to reckon. Do we instead believe, with the president, that might and money should rule the country and the world? Do we believe that political parties have the right to shape the electorate to keep themselves in power? Do we believe that some Americans are more American than others?
Our keynote speaker and our panels, which comprise thinkers and visionaries from all over the world along with a diverse group of American experts, will focus on the many complicated ways to address and to answer the most important question of all: Who Do We Think We Are?
This event takes place on February 9-10, 2018. It is free and open to the public. Preregistration recommended
“Who Do We Think We Are?” is presented by UCI’s Forum for the Academy and the Public and organized by Professor Amy Wilentz. Co-sponsored by the School of Humanities, School of Law, Literary Journalism Program, Illuminations, Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Program, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Department: Humanities Commons
Date and Time: April 27, 2017 – 2:30 PM
Event Location: Social Science Gateway 1517
Strongman Leaders and Digital Media
Thursday, April 27, 2017
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Social Sciences Gateway, 1517 (Map)
Strongman Leaders and Digital Media
What role does digital media play? A buffer against corruption? A platform for causes? An arena for discourse? A tool for propaganda?
How about… all of the above? Join a multi-dimensional discussion on the digital media landscape in the face of strongman leaders in power player countries like China, Russia, India, and the U.S. with frontline experts, Emily Parker (Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground), David Folkenflik (NPR), and Noopur Raval (UCI Informatics), moderated by Jeff Wasserstrom (UCI Chancellor’s Professor of History).
To attend, please register here. For more information, contact Christine Chiao at email@example.com.
About the Guests
EMILY PARKER is the author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground which was published by Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The book tells the stories of Internet activists in China, Cuba and Russia.
Previously, Emily was a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Policy Planning staff at the U.S. Department of State, where she covered 21st-century statecraft, innovation, and technology. While at State she advised on issues related to Internet freedom and open government. Before her time in government, Emily spent over five years working for The Wall Street Journal, first as a writer in Hong Kong and later as a writer and editor in New York. From 2004 to 2005 she wrote a Wall Street Journal column called “Virtual Possibilities: China and the Internet.” She is also a former editor at The New York Times.
Emily is currently digital diplomacy advisor and Future Tense fellow at New America. Emily was the Chief Strategy Officer at Parlio, a Silicon Valley start-up that was co-founded by Egyptian activist and former Google executive Wael Ghonim. In 2016, Parlio was acquired by Quora.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK has been NPR’s media correspondent since 2004. His stories, analyses and commentaries appear on such shows as All Things Considered and Morning Edition and he also writes columns and articles for NPR’s website. Folkenflik is author of Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires and the editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism.
Folkenflik previously covered media and politics for the Baltimore Sun. A frequent commentator in news outlets across the English-speaking world, Folkenflik has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the 2017 Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism.
NOOPUR RAVAL is a third year PhD student in Informatics at UC Irvine. Her research focuses on evolving technologies and their impact on labor, especially in the developing world. In her past work she studied religious and political media campaigns in North India. She is also an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (Harvard University).
JEFFREY WASSERSTROM is Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine, where he edits the Journal of Asian Studies and holds courtesy affiliations with the Law School and the Literary Journalism Program. His most recent books are China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (2010 and 2013 editions), Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (2016), and, as editor, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (2016). In addition to writing for academic journals, he has contributed to many general interest venues, including The New York Times, the TLS, and TIME. He was a co-founder of the China Beat blog and is an advising editor for Los Angeles Review of Books.
Registration Link: (http://conta.cc/2oYdK3m)
Truth is the first casualty in war, and also in politics. This conference will look at how America views honesty and truth today, in light of the recent election and of ongoing trends in literature, law, and journalism. In the international sphere, we’ll also hear about truth, disinformation, and propaganda.
For more information about Future of the Truth, visit the conference website.
The event features:
Maggie Nelson, memoirist and MacArthur fellow, The Argonauts, The Red Parts
Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer-prizewinning author, The Sympathizer
Nicholas Lemann, New Yorker writer, former Dean of Columbia Journalism School
Joel Benenson, chief campaign strategist for Hillary Clinton
Mike Murphy, Republican political consultant for Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush
Bobby Grace, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney
among many others.