KENAN MALIK, SUSAN NEIMAN, DAVID RIEFF, GARY YOUNGE IN CONVERSATION WITH LEONARD BENARDO
SONNTAG, 01.10. 2023 / 18h30,
AKADEMIE DER BILDENDEN KÜNSTE WIEN, AULA
A specter is haunting the Western world—the specter of identity politics. It widens the field of struggle for individual rights and promises dignity to the oppressed, but it is also a third-rail issue and antagonizes more than a few. It is often dismissively labeled “woke,” is blamed for tearing societies apart, and is even seen as the harbinger of civilization’s end. How progressive is this “woke turn” in Western societies? Can it reinvent the Left and make it fit for the twenty-first century, or does it unwittingly enact a disservice? Can it elevate the conditions of the socially deprived and make Western societies more just?
The closing event of the Vienna Humanities Festival 2023 brings together some of the world’s most prominent thinkers that have reflected on this new phenomenon. The panel discussion will feature the British writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and author of Not So Black and White, KENAN MALIK; the American philosopher, cultural commentator, essayist, and author of Left is not Woke, SUSAN NEIMAN; the British journalist, author and academic, author of Dispatches from the Diaspora: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter, GARY YOUNGE; and the American intellectual and author of Desire and Fate: Notes on a Dying Culture (forthcoming), DAVID RIEFF. It will be moderated by OSF’s Executive Vice President and Ideas Workshop Director, LEONARD BENARDO.
© TOM TREVATT
Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and a columnist for the Observer. His latest book, Not So Black and White, is a history of ideas of race and identity. Previous books include From Fatwa to Jihad, The Search for a Moral Compass, Multiculturalism and its Discontents, Strange Fruit, Man, Beast and Zombie, and The Meaning of Race.
© JAMES STARRT
Susan Neiman is an American philosopher and writer, who has written extensively on the Enlightenment, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and politics. She is the author of widely translated and awarded books, among which are Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy, Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil, and most recently Left Is Not Woke. Her shorter pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and many others. Currently, she is the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam.
© CECILIA NUIN
David Rieff is a New York-based journalist and author. During the nineteen-nineties, he covered conflicts in Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Liberia), the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), and Central Asia. Rieff has written extensively about Iraq, Latin America, and is now covering the war in Ukraine. He is the author of eight books, including Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West and A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis. He has published numerous articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El Pais, The New Republic, World Affairs, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, and other publications. His book The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the 21st century was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2015. Rieff’s latest book In Praise of Forgetting: The Irony of Historical Memory was published in April 2016 by Yale University Press.
© CIAN OBA-SMITH
Gary Younge is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester. Formerly editor-at-large for The Guardian he has written for a number of publications including The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books,The New Statesman and Granta among others. Author of six books, including: Another Day in the Death of America, A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives; The Speech and Who Are We? - And Should it Matter in the 21st century?. He has made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from gay marriage to Brexit. His most recent book: Dispatches from the Diaspora, was released in March.