Walter Benn Michaels - "Diversity Politics vs. Class Politics" - Marshall Sahlins

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Join us for the frist public session of the newly founded Free University of Chicago (details below), whose spring quarter will address the theme "Politics Now." Walter Benn Michaels, Professor of English at the University of Illinois Chicago, is the author of numerous theoretically important essays and volumes, most recently The Beauty of a Social Problem: Photography, Autonomy, Economy (University of Chicago Press, 2015).  Of most immediate relevance to his presentation, however, is The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (Metropolitan Books, 2006), a challenging and controversial work that was recently reissued on the tenth anniversary of its original publication (Picador, 2016).  Pursuing the argument of that book, Prof. Michaels will speak on "Diversity Politics vs. Class Politics," arguing that the more the left is focused on the issue of diversity, the easier it is for the right to ignore inequality.  Marshall Sahlins, the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of Chicago) will respond to Prof. Michaels, considering the place of diversity politics in the present political situation.


About the series: The Free University of Chicago provides a series of public presentations in which faculty explore social, political, and cultural issues of crucial importance locally, nationally, and internationally.  These presentations are intended to stimulate critical inquiry and open discussion on topics that are politically and emotionally charged, exploring a wide range of perspectives and entertaining alternatives to conventional wisdom.  All who are interested and concerned are invited to participate, within the University community and beyond. Read more here.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637