Upcoming Talks and Other Things

I’ll be speaking at the following venues this semester. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello.

Friday, February 24, 5 pm

“The Death of American Conservatism.”

University of Hawaii, Saunders Hall 624

Friday, March 3, noon

Public Intellectuals: Bringing a Public Into Being.” In conversation with Jedediah Purdy.

Duke University, Old Chemistry Building 011

Tuesday, March 28, 5:30 pm

“The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump.”

Manhattan College, room TBA

Wednesday, March 29, 7 pm

Harper’s Forum on Trump. With Masha Gessen, Lawrence Jackson, and Sarah Schulman.

McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street, New York

Friday, April 14/Saturday, April 15

Keynote Address, Princeton Graduate Political Theory Conference

Princeton University, room and time TBA

In addition to these talks, I wanted to alert you to the fact that, all this week, The New Republic has been running a five-part series of excerpts from my book Fear: The History of a Political Idea, a topic that has sadly achieved a new prominence of late. In case you missed the series, here are the posts:

Monday, February 6: “How Political Fear Works.” A decade ago, few Americans were interested in the risks dissidents face. Trump has changed that.

Tuesday, February 7: “Beware of Self-Censorship.” It takes a whole society to create an atmosphere of fear: elites and collaborators, bystanders and victims alike.

Wednesday, February 8: “Who Benefits from Trump’s Chaos.” Elites have always used a climate of fear to push their own agendas.

Thursday, February 9: “What’s In It For the Collaborators.” The U.S. government has enlisted powerful informants in the past without difficulty. Here’s why.

Friday, February 10: “There Are No Good Reasons Not to Fight.” We would do well to remember the costs of keeping quiet.

Finally, the writer Daniel Oppenheimer wrote a very thoughtful essay putting my work on conservatism in conservation with that of Mark Lilla. Oppenheimer offered these generous words, not only about me and my work but also about all of you, the readers of this blog and other places where I write:

Very much because of this very big argument, and the force with which Robin made it, The Reactionary Mind has emerged as one of the more influential political works of the last decade. Robin himself has become, since the book’s publication, one of the more aura-laden figures on the intellectual left. Paul Krugman cites him and the book periodically in his New York Times columns and on his blog. Robin’s Facebook page, which he uses as a blog and discussion forum, has become one of the places to watch to understand where thinking on the left is. Another key node of the intellectual left is Crooked Timber, a group blog of left-wing academics to which Robin is a long-time contributor, and another is Jacobin, an au courant socialist magazine that often re-publishes Robin’s blog posts sans edits, like dispatches from the oracle. The book itself, in the aftermath of November’s earthquake, is being revised, republished and re-subtitled, with Trump subbing in for Sarah Palin as the avatar of 21st century reaction.



  1. Guerre February 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm | #

    You are going all the way to Hawaii, but not stopping in California?

  2. LFC February 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm | #

    Oppenheimer’s piece is subtitled “two thinkers on the left offer a guide to navigating the stormy seas of modernity.”

    Personally I don’t think of Mark Lilla as being “on the left,” but in fairness I haven’t read that much of his work.

    I also wonder, based on the above excerpt from Oppenheimer’s piece, how much time, if any, he spent reading the comments section of Crooked Timber. Even after the switch to moderation there (an event that seems to have coincided with Corey R’s ceasing at least temporarily to post there), the CT comments section still contains, imho, a fair amount of less-than-illuminating bickering. YMMV, needless to say…

  3. Carolyn Doric February 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm | #

    Again, thank you for the links. Much appreciated.

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