States of Change / States of Civil War

October 9 @ 12:00-1:30pm (Zoom)

A Panel featuring Vijay Prashad, Chip Berlet, Fred Lee, and Manisha Sinha

In recent years, there has been an ongoing narrative of political “polarization” as an intrinsic danger to democracy and the nation.  When is “polarization” something that threatens to cross the line into civil war, and when is it a sign that consensus/hegemony is being called into question in generative ways?  Or is there always a danger of civil war at moments of genuine rupture from below?  Panelists will address the current dangers of political violence — in historical perspective — while also addressing the narrative that “polarization” is always a sign of decay, to be replaced by a fantasy of past “unity.”

Chip Berlet is an investigative journalist, research analyst and scholar who has written widely on the far right and has been going undercover in right-wing movements.  Fred Lee is a political theorist, scholar of race, and author of the recent book Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States.  Vijay Prashad is an internationally known scholar and writer on global politics and author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.  Manisha Sinha is a historian of the U.S. Civil War, slavery, abolition and Reconstruction who is widely known for her recent book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.

Sponsored by UConn American Studies

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