Tuesday, November 15th, 4-5:30pm
UCHI Seminar room (Babbidge Library, 4th Floor, Room 4/209)
Sandy Grande (Quechua) is a Professor of Education as well as the Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Connecticut College.
This talk is part of the Political Theory Seminar Series.
Please Join us for a Livestream today 11.10.2016 at 7:00 PM ET.
What will politics look like in the United States after the tumultuous 2016 election? On November 10, 2016, Humility and Conviction in Public Life will host Alexander Heffner, Host of PBS’s The Open Mind and a discussion on “Picking up the Pieces” of U.S. political discourse. “Humility and conviction are indeed the path forward if we are going to break through the cycle of incivility in American politics that has defined our 2016 presidential campaign, I am delighted to join the UConn community just days after we vote…to reflect on this unprecedented election, and to consider a vision for more civil American democracy.”
Heffner will be joined by UConn professor of political science Evelyn Simien and UConn professor of history, Micki McElya. Professor Simien’s most recent book, Historic Firsts: How Symbolic Empowerment Changes U.S. Politics, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015 and considers the historic firsts in American politics, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Published earlier this year by Harvard University Press, Professor McElya’s most recent book, The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery, examines the larger political and cultural implications of the history of Arlington National Cemetery. The discussion will be hosted by Michael Lynch, a professor of philosophy, the director of the UConn Humanities Institute, and the Principal Investigator of ‘Humility and Conviction in Public Life’ project which was the recent recipient of $6 million in grant funding from the John Templeton Foundation. He is the author of the recent book, The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data.
Babbidge Library, 4th Floor, Room 4/209
From Trotskyism to Proletarian Democracy: China, 1930s
This paper explores the trajectory of the political thought of Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) through the 1930s. Chen’s ideas changed dramatically over his lifetime but a utopian vision of true democracy was central to his thought. He is best known as a co-founder and first general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, and he dismissed democracy as regressive “bourgeois democracy” during the time of his membership in the Party from 1921 to 1929. However, Chen was a leading advocate of democracy both before the 1911 Revolution and especially in its wake in the 1910s. And again he returned to the theme of democracy in the 1930s. This paper focuses on how Chen “returned” to democratic thinking over the course of the 1930s. I argue that Chen’s conversion to Trotskyism allowed him to make sense of the CCP’s defeat (1927-1928) and stimulated him to rethink revolutionary goals as well as strategies. Though he eventually abandoned Trotskyism, he did not precisely return to either the liberal or communitarian democracy he had earlier advocated, but rather developed the notion of proletarian democracy. In Chen’s understanding, democracy was a kind of universal force unfolding through history and realized through class struggle.