Jim Dwyer, Masha Gessen, and Siri Hustvedt will be among the speakers at “What’s Going On: Reflections on Truth, Politics, Democracy, and Language,” a two-day conference, Nov. 9-10, at NYU’s Deutsches Haus (42 Washington Mews location [at University Place]).
With the ascendency of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union, and the rise of right-wing populism across Europe, the last year marked a significant political shift.
In “What’s Going On,” NYU’s Deutsches Haus brings together thinkers, writers, scholars, and journalists for an in-depth and challenging discussion about the complicated issues at hand, including the redefinition of journalism’s role in a post-truth world, the threat right-wing populist movements and their leaders pose to Western liberal democracies, and the ways in which authoritarianism can warp the very language we rely on to describe our reality.
Thursday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.
“The Fourth Estate in a Post-Truth World”
This panel discussion will feature New Yorker staff writer and New York Times columnist Jim Dwyer* and the Tageszeitung’s Dorothea Hahn; it will be moderated by author Marcia Pally.
Though fake news is not a new phenomenon, it has taken on a new dimension today with the broadened reach of digitization and social media proliferation. The panelists will discuss the erosion of public trust in the media and what strategies journalists can pursue to maintain or restore credibility in a post-truth world; how to counteract the amplification of misinformation campaigns and fake news, and whether/how journalism and media companies need to evolve from here in order to ensure that fact prevails over fiction.
Friday, November 10, 5:30 p.m.
“Democracy in Decline: Populism and Democratic Deconsolidation in Europe and the U.S.”
This panel will feature Professor Claus Leggewie (the Institute of Cultural Studies Essen) and NYU Professor Adam Przeworski; it will be moderated be Christian Martin, Max Weber Chair at NYU’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies.
In recent years, populist movements have been on the rise across Europe and the United States, feeding off mounting public discontent and the resentment of those feeling left behind by the global economy, technological change, and growing inequality. This panel of scholars will examine the disconcerting trends in U.S. and European politics as well as the phenomenon of “democratic deconsolidation,” which reveals a gradual erosion and deterioration of democratic principles, endangering the very political system many have taken for granted.
Friday, November 10, 7:30 p.m.
“The Politics of Language”
This panel discussion will feature Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, author of “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” and Siri Hustvedt, whose works include “The Summer Without Men”; it will be moderated by NYU Professor Ulrich Baer.
The panel will discuss what Hannah Arendt called “the conflict between truth and politics” and examine the fracturing of realities and the erosion of a shared language in the public sphere. Is this an indication of a broader decline in the standards of truth in political discourse? Have the consequences politicians face, when telling lies, diminished over time?
The conference is a DAAD-sponsored event.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive 10 minutes prior to the event.
Please call 212.998.8660 for more information. Subways: R, W (8th St.); 6 (Astor Pl.)
*Jim Dwyer replaces the New Yorker's Jelani Cobb.