National Pride, National Shame

Angela Davis, Richard Rorty and Gordon Wood with Kathleen Sullivan

Monday, January 13, 2003 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

What gives us pride in our country? What gives us cause for shame? If we have gone wrong somewhere, how can we get back on track?
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True Colors:
Myth, Meaning, and the American Flag

Carolyn Marvin with Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Thursday, March 4, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In 1989, a University of Pennsylvania professor, Carolyn Marvin, stood in front of her free speech class and, without speaking, set fire to an American flag. This dramatic gesture was intended to illustrate freedom of expression and provoke critical examination of a basic American right. In response to the fierce criticism she received for her action, Professor Marvin began a decade of research into the history, myth, and magic of our nation’s flag. Why, she asks, is the flag omnipresent in American culture at so many levels and for so many people? How does it function in the context of an American civil religion? What is the relation of the flag to nationhood?
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