Book Talk | "Left Is Not Woke" | Susan Neiman & Sean Wilentz

Mar 20, 2023, 6:00 pm7:30 pm


Event Description

Left Is Not Woke

Susan Neiman, Director of the Einstein Forum, Potsdam

with Sean Wilentz, Princeton University

Location: 122 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542 & Crowdcast (online)

If you’re woke, you’re left. If you’re left, you’re woke. We blur the terms, assuming that if you’re one you must be the other. That, Susan Neiman argues, is a dangerous mistake. Please join us for a discussion that promises once again to show, as all of Neiman’s influential work does, that philosophy is a living force for contemporary thinking and action.

In-person event at Labyrinth.

The intellectual roots and resources of wokeism conflict with ideas that have guided the left for more than 200 years: a commitment to universalism, a firm distinction between justice and power, and a belief in the possibility of progress. Without these ideas, Neiman argues, they will continue to undermine their own goals and drift, inexorably and unintentionally, towards the right. In the long run, they risk becoming what they despise.

Susan Neiman is an American philosopher and writer. She has written extensively on the Enlightenment, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and politics. Currently, she is Director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam. Neiman is the author of eight prize-winning books, including Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of PhilosophyMoral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists; and most recently the celebrated and influential Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of EvilSean Wilentz is Professor of History at Princeton University. His major work to date is the Bancroft prize-winning The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. His most recent book is No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding.

This event is cosponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study ad the Center for Collaborative History.