Identity Conference Is A Pretty Big Deal, Or Should Be

Written by Executive Editor on November 7th, 2013
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You are not alone…. kinda.

People at Skidmore love talking about our identities. Personal identity: how we define ourselves, and cultural identity: how the society and the people around us define ourselves, is important, no? Well the English department thinks so, and so does resident washed-up, long-haired skinny man Robert Boyers (who–worth noting–is smart), and so, he and his literary journal Salmagundi, along with the Skidmore English department have decided to sponsor a conference all about identity.

For the next two days we’ll be hosting an identity conference in Gannett and Davis Auditoriums. The conference actual features some prominent scholars and thinkers and is kind of a big deal. Starting off the whole thing is Harvard professor of cultural and historical sociology Orlando Patterson, speaking later on is Chairman of the Foreign Fulbright Scholarship Board and poet Tom Healy, as well as former editor of The New Republic and professor of journalism Peter Beinart, amongst many others.

The full schedule, from Skidmore’s website, is as follows:

• Session One, Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. – Opening keynote remarks by Orlando Patterson (Is “Identity” a Problem?)

• Session Two, Friday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m. – Opening remarks by Tom Healy (Gay Identity, Bourgeois Marriage)

• Session Three, Friday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. – Opening remarks by David Steiner (Schools & “Cultural Narratives”)

• Session Four, Friday, Nov. 8, 2:30 p.m. – Opening remarks by Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn (Diversity Training & Identity Politics)

• Session Five, Friday, Nov. 8, 4:15 p.m. – Opening remarks by Peter Beinart (NOT Against Identity)

• Session Six, Friday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m. – Opening remarks by Carolyn Forche (Branding As “identity” in A Digital Society)

Thursday’s program will be in Gannett Auditorium; Friday’s will be in Davis.

I know nobody likes academic conferences and sitting in Gannett for hours on end, but this actually looks pretty interesting and Skidmore’s been able to secure some significant people in the world of academia and political and cultural criticism and scholarship. Take some time before your weekend and learn a thing or two about cultural and personal identity and what it all means about the present and future of the world we live in…. or something like that.


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. CG says:

    “Washed up” ? “Kind of a big deal” ? Please don’t belittle the most intellectually prestigious event to happen at Skidmore in years.

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