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Public Intellectuals: Bringing a Public into Being

Corey Robin and Jedediah Purdy
March 3rd, 2017
12:00 PM


Banner image: © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Friday, March 3, 2017

Noon - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building 011)

Light lunch served beginning at 11:45

Free and open to the public

Join us for a discussion with professors Jedediah Purdy and Corey Robin, two scholars who write frequently for non-academic publications. What does it mean to write to "bring a public into being"? Why do this sort of writing? How does the practice of writing for a public affect other, more academic-focused forms of scholarly writing?

Read some of Corey Robin's public writing:

How Intellectuals Create a Public.” The Chronicle Review (January 22, 2016), B10-14.

"Judith Butler as a Public Intellectual." (June 29, 2016),

"From the Talmud to Judith Butler: Audiences as Co-Creators with -- and of -- the Public Intellectual." (July 2, 2016),

Read some of Jed Purdy's public writing:

"Environmentalism Was Once a Social-Justice Movement." The Atlantic (December 7, 2016).

"What I Had Lost Was a Country". n+1 Magazine (December 20, 2016).

"America's New Opposition". The New Republic (February 1, 2017).

Corey Robin

Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center

Corey Robin is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin —”the book that predicted Trump” (The New Yorker)—and Fear: The History of a Political Idea. His articles have appeared in the London Review of Books, Harper’s, The New York TimesThe Nation, and the American Political Science Review. He is currently writing a book on Clarence Thomas and is also at work on a larger project about the political theory of capitalism. Robin is an active blogger, both at his eponymous blog and at Crooked Timber, and a contributing editor at Jacobin. He and his work have been profiled in the The New York Times (“the quintessential public intellectual for the digital age”), the Chronicle of Higher Education (“one of academe’s most persistent brawlers”), and Tablet (“a Sartre for the social-media age”). Robin has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, and other media outlets.

Jedediah Purdy

Duke University

Jedediah Purdy, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at Duke University, teaches constitutional, environmental, and property law and writes in all of these areas.  He also teaches legal theory and writes on issues at the intersection of law and social and political thought.

He is the author of five books, including a trilogy on American political identity, which concluded with A Tolerable Anarchy (2009), all from Knopf.  The Meaning of Property appeared in 2010 from Yale University Press. He has published many essays in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Dissent, The New Republic, The New York Times Op Ed Page and Book Review, Die Zeit, and Democracy Journal, and his legal scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, Duke Law JournalCornell Law Review, and Harvard Environmental Law Review, among others.  His most recent book is After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene.