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The Rhyme and Rhythm of Democracy

February 2, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm


Since 2016 those who are concerned about the health of American democracy have been lamenting the easy spread and amplification of bogus claims, vast conspiracy theories, and massive lies through media both social and traditional. This concern is necessary but insufficient. This talk will argue that pro-democracy Americans must also rediscover the poetry and music of democracy — the stirring rhymes and rhythms. From Walt Whitman to Woody Guthrie to Aaron Copland to Nina Simone to Bruce Springsteen, American democracy has been moved and expanded by stirring appeals to community and humanity, solidarity and freedom. As we rush into a world governed by data and computer code, committed to raw utilitarianism, this talk argues for a revival of more humane American values that could generate better visions and conversations about the America we can build.

Vaidhyanathan serves as the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, is a columnist for The Guardian and Slate and a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues for various publications. His lecture encourages audiences to consider how technology and social media shape the way we think. Option to attend virtually or in person.


February 2
7:00 pm-8:30 pm
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Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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Room/Location in Building
Adelson Auditorium


Tyrrell Hall
2930 East 6th Street
Tulsa, OK 74104 United States
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