NEW YORK — In response to vociferous cultural debates that have engulfed the Guggenheim Museum and other U.S. museums with in-person and online protests during the past year, the Guggenheim presents two days of public programming to examine the causes and effects of this growing phenomenon.
Taking place on April 6 and 7, a series of discussions titled “Culture and Its Discontents” will bring together prominent scholars and thought leaders to discuss the widening ideological divides in the United States, the impact of the digital sphere on public protest, and the role of museums as open spaces for experimentation and the exchange of ideas. Details about the program can be found at guggenheim.org/newculturewars.
Beginning Friday, April 6, at 6:30 pm, “Culture and Its Discontents” kicks off with a keynote conversation featuring Sally Kohn, a progressive political commentator and author of the forthcoming book The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity. She will be joined by Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, New York Times best-selling author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?, and contributor to Crooked Media; and Hank Willis Thomas, a conceptual artist living and working in New York City whose work focuses on themes related to perspective identity and commodity, media, and popular culture. Kohn will consider why hate is so prevalent in contemporary society, how it can be mitigated, and how seemingly intractable political differences can be bridged through civil engagement.
On Saturday, April 7, at 2:30 pm, Brian Lehrer, host of WNYC Radio’s daily call-in program The Brian Lehrer Show, will moderate two panel discussions. The first panel, “Contemporary Culture Wars, ” begins at 3 pm and features speakers Kurt Bardella, columnist for HuffPost, USA Today, and NBC THINK, and former spokesperson for Breitbart, Representative Darrell Issa, and Senator Olympia Snowe; Jehmu Greene, television commentator, social justice champion, and Distinguished Fellow at Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership; Angela Nagle, contributing writer for The Baffler and author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right; and Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, PEN America, who will look at the issues shaping cultural, social, and political polarization across U.S. campuses, media, and cultural institutions today. They will explore how museums can balance the inherent conflicts between free expression and hate speech, and creative provocation and moral righteousness. The second panel, “Outrage Activism,” begins at 4:30 pm and will include Danielle Citron, author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace and Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law; and Molly Crockett, Yale University Assistant Professor of Psychology and neuroscientist; in discussion about the ways the digital revolution has altered the nature of popular protest and how progressive institutions can manage conversations around political and social justice issues when faced with digital swarming, fake news and mistruth. Additional panelists to be announced.
This event is organized by the Guggenheim’s Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Senior Advisor, Global Arts; Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator; Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives; and Tina Vaz, Deputy Director, Global Communications.
$25, $20 members, $15 students. Tickets to each day of the program must be purchased separately.
For more information, visit guggenheim.org/newculturewars.