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Departmental Seminar: Gray is Beautiful: Reflections on the Social Condition in Fractured Society

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

The Department of Political Science cordially invites you to the Departmental Seminar

Gray is Beautiful: Reflections on the Social Condition in Fractured Society

by Jeffrey Goldfarb,

New School, New York, N. Y.

19 March, 2020 / 1:30 pm / nador 9, Gellner Room

"In this talk, I will critically explore the proposition that “gray is beautiful,” that between the stark blacks and whites of political and cultural conflicts there is a gray beauty that supports promising political engagement. I am thinking about this, my longstanding position, as the future of “democracy in America” and many other polities around the world is far from certain. The exploration draws from an examination of intractable tensions and dilemmas knitted into social fabric, what I call “the social condition.” I believe there are enduring sociological grounds supporting the appreciation of the beauty of the gray. And, I think that studying these sorts of tensions, and the dilemmas they raise, should be understood as fundamental field of social and political investigation. The exploration also responds to a unique development of contemporary society, what I think of as the continuing structural transformation of the public sphere. […] Today, I will give an overview, with special attention given to Trump and Trumpism, and their opponents considering first the fractured society, then gray is beautiful and then the social condition."