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Our Common Purpose: The Complete Collection

In June 2020, the Kluge Center announced Danielle Allen as the winner of the Kluge Prize, launching the Our Common Purpose Campaign for Civic Strength at the Library of Congress. Allen hosted a series of exciting conversations at the Library to explore the nation’s civic life and ways that people from all political beliefs and social causes can build a stronger, more resilient democracy. Each event was accompanied by a workshop for K-12 educators and public librarians, in which teachers from across the country had the opportunity to connect, explore, experiment and create new ways of making civic ideals come to life in their classrooms.

“We all know that this is a critical and urgent moment in our nation’s history,” Allen said in announcing the series. “We have faced crises as a nation before. We can continue to watch and worry and tweet at each other – or we can emerge stronger and more resilient by taking real action now to save our constitutional democracy.”

One year later, we’ve completed the cycle of events and are thrilled to be able to share them with you here. Watch all three public events below, and click the links to read our blog posts that provide some background on each event’s themes as well as posts that pull out some of the highlights from each event.

Using Civic Media to Build a Better Society

Is Civic Media the Antidote to a Polarized World?

Is Civic Media the Answer to Trolls, Misinformation, and Abuse Online?

 

How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them

Our Common Purpose: Second Event Looks at Reforming Electoral Institutions

Why Reforming Electoral Institutions Might Be the Best Way to Change Policymaking

 

Finding a Shared Historical Narrative

What Makes Americans American? Why Origin Stories Require Negotiation

Wrestling with the Question of American Identity and Whether Consensus is Possible

 

Part 2 – Sarah Binder Weighs In: Institutional Hardball – in Congress and the White House – and the legislative road ahead

This is part two of  a guest post by Janna Deitz, Kluge Center Program Specialist in Outreach and Partnerships. Find the first post here. Sarah Binder is the most recent Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. […]

The Complicated History of US Isolationism

In an event released on February 11, Kluge Center Director John Haskell interviewed Charles Kupchan on his new book: Isolationism: A History of America’s Effort to Shield Itself from the World. Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on […]

African American History Month at the Kluge Center

As part of the Library of Congress’s commemoration of African American History Month, the Kluge Center will be hosting two events that honor the African American scholars and activists who have contributed so much to American democracy. On February 22 at 1pm, join us for A History of African American Political Thought with Melvin Rogers […]

The Kluge Center: A Place for Conversations on the Future of Democracy

No one needs reminding that democracy in the US, Europe, and elsewhere is under stress. Led by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, the Kluge Center has hosted some of the greatest thinkers from the academy and leading practitioners in the political and policymaking world for conversations on the future of democracy. In fact, the […]

Kluge Fellow David Stenner Answers Four Questions About His Scholarship and Experience as a Scholar at the Kluge Center

David Stenner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Christopher Newport University. Originally from Germany, David has lived in the United States for over a decade. He is the author of “Globalizing Morocco: Transnational Activism and the Post-Colonial State” (Stanford University Press, 2019.) I interviewed Dr. Stenner on his research project as […]

Alumni Outreach and India’s Social Movements: A Summer, Virtually, at the Kluge Center

This is a guest post by Kluge Center intern Julia Bliss. Interning for the Kluge Center this summer has been one of the most rewarding and enlightening experiences of my life. As a junior studying studio art and anthropology at the University of Vermont, I find great joy and satisfaction in research. Growing up on […]

Kluge Prize Recipient Danielle Allen Takes on the Hard Questions on Democracy and Public Life in Virtual Event Open to the Public

Join the John W. Kluge Center for a conversation with the new Kluge Prize recipient Danielle Allen, covering some of the difficult questions in public life today. The Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity is given biennially to a person whose career reflects the notion that ideas matter, that thought must inform public […]

Part Two: Ken Pomeranz Answers Five Questions About China’s Early Economy

This is part two of a two-part interview. Read the first part here. DT: We’ve covered philosophical traditions, and some key texts about commerce. What about banking and currency? What were the media of exchange? How did they develop over time? One thing that is striking, especially to somebody who is familiar with monetary history […]

Ken Pomeranz Answers Five Questions About China’s Early Economy

Kenneth Pomeranz is a University Professor of History at the University of Chicago. His work focuses on China, and on comparative and world history. He has researched and written about social, economic, and environmental history, as well as state formation, imperialism, religion, gender, and other topics. As the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of […]