• Symposium 2018
  • Symposium 2018
  • Symposium 2018
  • Symposium 2018
Program Committee

Anti-Intellectualism – An All-Day Symposium

Saturday, March 10, 1 pm through after-dinner talk

Anti-intellectualism refers to both a rejection of empirical reasoning as the primary way to arrive at truth as well as suspicion of, or hostility towards, those who are engaged in those professions, such as scientists, academics, artists, philosophers. It has taken on a topical significance recently regarding issues like climate change.

This challenging topic will be addressed at a day-long symposium, which includes two major talks and two panel discussions. This symposium revives a Club tradition of choosing a complex, topical subject and giving it more time than normal programming permits.

Price: $90, includes snack breaks, cocktail reception and dinner.

Keynote Address

E.J. Dionne
E.J. Dionne

The keynote address, “Anti-intellectualism in Today’s America,” will be given by E.J. Dionne, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Dionne provides regular political analysis for MSNBC, NPR’s All Things Considered and ABC News’s This Week. His most recent book is One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported (2017), co-authored with Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann.


Humanities Panel

Frederick M. Lawrence
Frederick M. Lawrence
David O. Stewart
David O. Stewart
Bert Foer
Bert Foer

The Humanities Panel, moderated by Bert Foer (’06), will tackle the definition of anti-intellectualism, historical recurrence and the role of creativity in intellectual endeavor. The panelists will include David O. Stewart (’14), author of American history books and founder of Washington Independent Review of Books, Frederick M. Lawrence (’17), CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.


Science and Religion Panel

The Science and Religion Panel, moderated by Barbara Parish Karn (’15), will include Rush Holt (’01), physicist, CEO of American Association for the Advancement of Science, executive publisher of Science and former congressman, and Abigail Evans (’01), Princeton theologian and scholar at Georgetown Center for Clinical Bioethics.


After-Dinner Speaker

Molly Smith
Molly Smith

After-dinner speaker Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage since 1998, says of the topic, “This is the most exciting time to be producing plays. The whole country is awake and politically active in a way I haven’t experienced in my lifetime. Theater and the arts will lead the way to a civil discourse that stems the tide of anti-intellectualism that has risen in our country.”

Her most recent directing credits include Snow Child, Sovereignty, Carousel, Oliver!, The Originalist and Fiddler on the Roof. Smith led the re-invention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning the theater as a national center for American artists.

 

David Holtzman (’08)
Program Committee