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Night of Philosophy & Ideas 2020 Live from Brooklyn

A Night of Philosophy & Ideas, an all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings, music, and virtual reality, returns to the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on February 1, 2020. Events will be streamed LIVE from Brooklyn between 7 pm and 11 pm EST. All footage will be archived at the same link


Livestream Schedule (subject to change): 

7:00 pm: Performance in the Grand Lobby by Ethel String Quartet
7:10 pm: Interview with Didier Fassin
7:20 pm: Interview with Rebecca Nagle  
7:25 pm: Performance in the Grand Lobby by Ethel String Quartet
7:30 pm: Keynote  by Esther Duflo, Good Economics for Hard Times
7:50 pm: Interview with Esther Duflo
8:00 pm: We Must Adapt, lecture by Barbara Stiegler
8:20 pm: Interview with Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Étienne
8:25 pm: Interview with Leila Taylor 
8:30 pm: When The US Stole Native Land Not With Guns, But Pen & Paper, lecture by Rebecca Nagle
8:50 pm: Hands in the Pockets: Juggling Performance with Jérôme Thomas, Jorg Muller & Martin Schwietzke
9:00 pm: One Life, lecture by Catherine Malabou
9:20 pm: Interview with Johanna Fernandez
9:30 pm: Philosophical Publics: Ruling Ourselves, Thinking Together, lecture by Astra Taylor
9:50 pm: Interview with Norman Ajari
10:00 pm: To Live Otherwise, lecture by Didier Fassin
10:30 pm: Theory Of Betrayal, lecture by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi
10:50 pm: Interview with Barbara Stiegler 
10:55 pm: Interview with Axelle Karera 
11:00 pm: Gabriel Royal Performance


Norman Ajari is Assistant Professor of philosophy at Villanova University. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Toulouse, France. His research interests include Africana philosophy, Critical Race Theory and continental philosophy. In 2019 he authored his first book La Dignité ou la Mort: éthique et politique de la race

Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of the poor, with the aim to help design and evaluate social policies. She has worked on health, education, financial inclusion, environment and governance. Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (with co-Laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer) and a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship (2009). With Abhijit Banerjee, she wrote Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty and the recently released Good Economics for Hard Times. Duflo is the Editor of the American Economic Review, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

Didier Fassin is a French anthropologist, sociologist and physician. Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies and Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, he occupies the Annual Chair in Public Health at the Collège de France. He is interested in political and moral issues in contemporary societies, from humanitarianism to punishment.

Johanna Fernández is the author of The Young Lords: A Radical History (UNC Press, February 2020), a history of the Puerto Rican counterpart of the Black Panther Party. She teaches 20th Century US history and the history of social movements in the Department of History at Baruch College (CUNY). Dr. Fernández’s recent research and litigation has unearthed an arsenal of primary documents now available to scholars and members of the public. Her Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) lawsuit against the NYPD, led to the recovery of the "lost" Handschu files, the largest repository of police surveillance records in the country, namely over one million surveillance files of New Yorkers compiled by the NYPD between 1954-1972, including those of Malcolm X. She is the editor of Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal (City Lights, 2015). With Mumia Abu-Jamal she co-edited a special issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy, titled The Roots of Mass Incarceration in the US: Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor (Routledge, 2014).  Among others, her awards include the Fulbright Scholars grant to the Middle East and North Africa, which took her to Jordan, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship of the Scholars-in-Residence program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. Professor Fernández is the writer and producer of the film, Justice on Trial: the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (BigNoise Films, 2010). She directed and co-curated, ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York an exhibition in three NYC museums cited by the New York Times as one of the year’s Top 10, Best In Art. Her mainstream writings have been published internationally, from Al Jazeera to the Huffington Post. She has appeared in a diverse range of print, radio, online and televised media including NPRThe New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Democracy Now!. Fernández is the recipient of a B.A. in Literature and American Civilization from Brown University and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Columbia University.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and theorist whose work explores the interplay between aesthetic and political valences in the public domain. Her most recent solo exhibition is Life of Mohammad at Recess. She lives and works in New York.

Axelle Karera is an assistant professor of philosophy at Wesleyan University. Her areas of specialization are in 20th century continental philosophy, the critical philosophy of race, contemporary critical theories, and the environmental humanities. She is currently working on her first monograph titled The Climate of Race: Blackness and the Pitfalls of Anthropocene Ethics, in which she assesses the ethical and political shortcomings of Anthroprocenean discourses on matters of race. Relying primarily on recent philosophical interventions in critical Black studies, she contends that to politicize the Anthropocene will require refusing to lose sight of those for whom the Anthropocene, as a discursive formation, does not necessarily hold any transformative value. Karera is also working on a series of articles concerning the question of displacement and disposability in relation to racial blackness. 

Catherine Malabou is a professor of Philosophy at Kingston University (UK) and UCI, where she teaches in the Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies departments. Her most recent books are After Tomorrow, Epigenesis and Rationality (Polity Press, 2016), and Morphing Intelligence, From IQ to AI (Columbia, 2018). She works mainly on cerebral plasticity and the relationships between philosophy and biology.

Rebecca Nagle is an award winning advocate, writer, and citizen of Cherokee Nation. As the host of the chart-topping podcast This Land, Nagle told the story of one Supreme Court case about tribal land in Oklahoma, the small town murder that started it, and the surprising connection to her own family history. Nagle has been covering the Murphy case since May of 2018. Her writing about Native representation and tribal sovereignty has been featured in the Washington PostThe GuardianUSA TodayTeen Vogue, the Huffington Post, and more. In 2016, Nagle was named one of the National Center American Indian Enterprise Development’s Native American 40 Under 40 for her work to support survivors and advocate for policy change to address the crisis of violence against Native women. She has also been named to the 100 Most Creative People by Fast Company, YBCA 100 List, and Best Editorial by the Native American Journalist Association. Nagle is from Joplin, MO and currently lives in Tahlequah, OK where she works for her tribe on language revitalization.

Barbara Stiegler has written several works on Nietzsche’s concept of biology and bodies. She is the authormost recently of Il faut s’adapter : Sur un nouvel impératif politique. In her work, she sheds lights on the evolutionist foundation of neoliberalism which expect human beings to adapt to their environment. Stiegler takes on Darwinian notions and the adaptation imperative/injunction, and sheds light on the importation of biological notions into politics.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of the philosophical documentaries What Is Democracy?Examined Life, and Zizek!; the author of the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age; and a co-founder of the Debt Collective. She has written for The New York Times, The London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Baffler, n+1, and many other outlets. Her latest book is Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone.

Leila Taylor is a writer and designer whose work examines the gothic in Black culture, horror, and the aesthetics of melancholy. She has essays published in the Journal of Horror Studies and the upcoming book The New Urban Gothic, and has given talks for the International Gothic Association and the Morbid Anatomy Museum. She lives in Brooklyn where she is Creative Director for Brooklyn Public Library. Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul is her first book.