On October 24, 2015, The Nation feted its 150th anniversary with an unprecedented celebration at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in a renovated Civil War–era Tobacco Warehouse. Featuring acclaimed writers and activists channeling iconic Nation voices from the past, plus music and comedy, the evening was hosted by Nation writers and MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry and featured readings and reflections by Tony Kushner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Calvin Trillin, Victor Navasky, Laura Flanders, Kai Wright, Zephyr Teachout, Mychal Denzel Smith, along with a moving live performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
In this inimitable reading, Eve Ensler, the pathbreaking feminist playwright, reads from an essay on political exiles by the great anarchist Emma Goldman, whom Ensler calls “my revolutionary mother and inspiration,” someone who understood that “there is no revolution with sex and dancing.” Published in The Nation in 1932, Goldman’s essay spoke of “the cruel plight of the political refugees” after World War I, who continued to believe that someday “the workers will wake up from their leaden sleep, that they will once more take up the battle for liberty and well-being.”
The Lost Time Accidents is the triumphant, outsize return of Whiting Award-winning novelist John Wray. Coming on the heels of the best-selling Lowboy, it’s a wild ride through time, space, history, and science, with a burning core of heartbreak. Telling the story of a man unstuck in time, it’s a blisteringly inventive work that cements Wray’s reputation as a vanguard talent in American fiction.
John is joined in conversation by another wide-ranging 21st-century talent, New York Times columnist and novelist Colson Whitehead, He's the author most recently of The Noble Hustle, as well as Zone One, The Colossus of New York, and sundry other modern classics, the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, and a fellow Whiting Award winner.
Hanna Pitkin, Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, talks about her life and career with Nancy Rosenblum, Professor of Ethics and Politics in Government at Harvard University and Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Political Science. Dr. Pitkin discusses her childhood, growing up between two "Jewish intellectual left-wingers" who fled 1930s Germany to Oslo, Prague, and eventually Los Angeles. She describes how her refugee status and acquisition of new languages led her to become a scholar in political science. In 1967, she published "The Concept of Representation," which won the 2003 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science "for her groundbreaking theoretical work, predominantly on the problem of representation." She went on to study other topics such as gender and politics in Machiavelli and Hannah Arendt's concept of "the Social." "I am just blown away by the fact that we — all of us, no matter how smart we are, how skeptical we are — how, you know, intelligent — scientist, physicist, it doesn't matter — journalist — how incredibly vulnerable we are in the right circumstance to being fooled, even though we think we aren't. And I wanted to explore that. You know, why do incredibly smart people become victims of confidence artists? How do they do it? What is it about them?" Maria Konnikova, author of "The Confidence Game." The full interview airs on PBS on February 24, 2016. Sheila P. Moses discusses "Dark Girls" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Poet, author, playwright and producer Shelia P. Moses was raised the ninth of 10 children. She is the co-author of Dick Gregory's memoir, "Callus on My Soul," as well as the award-winning author of several books for young readers: "The Legend of Buddy Bush," "The Return of Buddy Bush," "Joseph's Grace," "I, Dred Scott" and "The Baptism." Her latest work is "Dark Girls," a full-color picture book companion to the NAACP-nominated documentary of the same name, which celebrates dark-skinned women from all walks of life.
Donald Lopez Jr., Jane McAuliffe and Jack Miles discuss "The Norton Anthology of World Religions" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link distinguished university professor of Buddhist and Tibetan studies at the University of Michigan. He has a doctorate in Buddhist studies from the University of Virginia and specializes in late Indian Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. Lopez has delivered numerous lectures and written extensively on Buddhism. His published books include "From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha," "Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed" and "Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West." Most recently, Lopez edited and contributed to "The Norton Anthology of World Religions."
Speaker Biography: Jane McAuliffe is the director of National and International Outreach at the Library of Congress, where she previously served as the director of the John W. Kluge Center and head of the Office of Scholarly Programs. She is a distinguished scholar specializing in Islamic studies and was the eighth president of Bryn Mawr College. Previously, McAuliffe served as the dean of Georgetown College at Georgetown University and worked at Emory University and the University of Toronto. Her published books include "Qur'anic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis," "Cambridge Companion to the Qur'an" and "Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an." Most recently, she edited and contributed to "The Norton Anthology of World Religions."
Speaker Biography: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Miles is a distinguished professor of English and religious studies at the University of California at Irvine and a fellow for religious affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and other publications. His published books include "God: A Biography" and "Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God." Most recently, Miles was the general editor of "The Norton Anthology of World Religions."