New York University will host “Shocked! Shocked!! Just How Many Times Can a Country Lose Its Innocence,” a day-long symposium on Sat., Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at NYU’s Cantor Film Center. The event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information on the symposium, call 212.998.2100.
New York University will host “Shocked! Shocked!! Just How Many Times Can a Country Lose Its Innocence,” a day-long symposium on Sat., Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at NYU’s Cantor Film Center (36 E. 8th Street at University Place). Subway Lines: A, B, C, D, E, F, V (West 4th Street); N, R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place)
The event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information on the symposium, call 212.998.2100 or visit www.nyu.edu/fas/institute/nyih. The event is sponsored by the New York Institute for the Humanities and the NYU Humanities Initiative.
The symposium’s speakers include the following: Academy-Award-winning director Errol Morris (The Fog of War); artist Art Spiegelman; author Katha Pollitt; Lawrence Weschler, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities; author Jonathan Schell; critic Greil Marcus; Johns Hopkins Professor Richard Halpern; and others.
The United States always seems to be losing its innocence-the Kennedy assassination, the urban disturbances of the sixties, Vietnam, the Church committee’s CIA revelations, Three Mile Island, the smoking cancer scandals, the John Lennon assassination, Iran Contra, the priest pedophile imbroglio, September 11, Abu Ghraib-and yet Americans never seem to learn anything, repeatedly emerging as resolutely innocent as they were before the latest brief seizure of lucidity. Or is that the right way of thinking about things? Halpern, in his Norman Rockwell: The Dark Side of Innocence, considered a series of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers depicting his perennial boy perennially shocked at his discovery of the true identity of Santa Claus-when, for example, he happens upon Saint Nick’s outfit in his father’s dresser drawer, regarding which, Halpern observes: “There are sometimes moments of shocked discovery, to be sure, but these usually release a built-up reservoir of previously unacknowledged doubt.”