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Saturday, October 13 • 1:15pm - 2:15pm

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History provides us with many examples of authoritarian leaders and tyrants. So does Shakespeare. This session looks at our present political circumstances with an assist from the past. The great Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblattt will talk about his latest work, Tyrant, and show how the Bard’s plays, from Richard III to Julius Caesar to Macbeth, mirror our own times. Yale historian Timothy Snyder has spent his career studying twentieth-century European history. His latest book, The Road to Unfreedom, shows in forensic detail that authoritarianism is on the rise again, that the driving force is Putin’s Russia, and that the fruits of Putin’s malign influence, including the presidency of Donald Trump, are being sown in western democracies, which are more fragile than we imagined. To illustrate the current authoritarian threat, Amy Siskind’s The List enumerates the Trump regime’s actions that pose a threat to our democratic norms, from his acceptance of white supremacists to his demonization of the press. Our moderator for this chilling and important conversation is Harvard’s Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Director of Culture Change and Social Justice Initiatives at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and author of the forthcoming Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love.

avatar for Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning historian, teacher, activist, and public servant. He holds a joint faculty appointment in Harvard’s undergraduate honors program in history and literature, the Graduate School of Education, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government... Read More →

avatar for Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt

Pulitzer Prize–winning literary historian Stephen Greenblatt has made a career out of the study of William Shakespeare and the cultural output of the early modern era. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley for nearly thirty years before taking a position at Harvard... Read More →
avatar for Amy Siskind

Amy Siskind

Amy Siskind is an advocate, writer, and expert on fostering women’s success, and a national public face for these issues. She is the cofounder and president of The New Agenda, an advocacy nonprofit working for the economic  and gender-based advancement of women and girls. At the... Read More →
avatar for Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is a leading scholar and historian of European history. Currently the Housum Professor of History at Yale University, Snyder has taught a variety of courses, including European political history and the history of the Holocaust, since 2001. He earned his PhD from Oxford... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:15pm - 2:15pm EDT
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, USA