The 2019-2020 "What Is America?" COMPAS will focus on the question of what unites us as Americans, and how this shapes our thinking about the ethical and political challenges that we face.
There is mounting evidence that Americans are losing the ability talk to each other in public life. The evidence takes many forms: the increasing polarization of public opinion along partisan lines, the formation of selective information “bubbles,” the growing tendency to label political opponents as enemies, the decline of trust in a variety of social institutions that were once key sites of civil discourse, the emergence of a “winner take all” economy and the sharp rise of economic inequality, the recent surge in open expressions of bigotry and hatred, and the inability of political leaders to respond to a wide range of pressing problems even when there’s strong public support for doing so.
The question of what America stands for, and of what it means to be an American, has never been more urgent.
- September 27, 2019
Who Is an American?
- January 24, 2020
What Is the American Dream?
[Video of first session with Darrick Hamilton and J.D. Vance below]
- February 28, 2020
Money and American Democracy
- March 20, 2020
What Is America's Role in the World? CANCELED
COMPAS Colloquia & Featured Events
- September 12, 2019
Keynote Lecture: Danielle Allen (Harvard University), "The Meaning of America"
[Video highlights below]
- October 21, 2019
Elisabeth Anker (George Washington University), "Ugly Freedoms: Boredom, Dysfunction, and Other Challenges to American Neoliberalism"
- November 7, 2019
America in the Classroom
- March 20, 2020
Concluding reception feat. Mother Nature CANCELED