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Book Talk | Astra Taylor | The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart

11/01 Wednesday | 5:30pm

Join the Institute for Public Knowledge for a book talk on The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart with the author Astra Taylor, in conversation with Sarah Leonard, on November 1st at 5:30 PM. Cosponsored by Lux magazine.

Headshot of Astra Taylor.

Astra Taylor is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director, most recently, of What Is Democracy? and the author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone and the American Book Award winning The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is co-founder of the Debt Collective, a union for debtors, and contributed the foreword to the group’s new book, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition. Her new book, The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart (House of Anansi Press, September 2023), takes a curious, critical, and ultimately hopeful look at the uniquely modern concept of “manufactured insecurity” that drives much of our politics and economy. The ideas in the book form the basis of this year’s CBC Massey Lectures, an annual series where speakers are invited to explore the most important issues of the day. Mixing social critique, memoir, history, political analysis, and philosophy, this genre-bending book rethinks both insecurity and security from the ground up while illuminating a path toward meaningful change. By facing our existential insecurity and embracing our vulnerability, Taylor argues, we can begin to develop more caring, inclusive, and sustainable forms of security to help us better weather the challenges ahead.

Chenjerai Kumanyika is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at New York University. Alongside his scholarship and teaching, disciplinary service on the intersections of social justice and media, Kumanyika specializes in using narrative non-fiction audio journalism to critique the ideology of American historical myths about issues such as race, the Civil War, and policing. He has written in scholarly venues such as Popular Music & Society, Popular Communication, The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture, as well as public venues such as The Intercept, Transom, NPR Codeswitch, All Things Considered, Invisibilia, and VICE. Kumanyika is also the co-creator, co-executive producer and co-host of Uncivil, Gimlet Media’s podcast on the Civil War and he is the collaborator for Scene on Radio’s influential Season 2 “Seeing White,” and Season 4 on the history of American democracy.

Sarah Leonard is editor-in-chief of Lux magazine. She is a contributing editor to The Nation and Dissent, and has taught courses in media at NYU since 2014. Prior to founding Lux, she was features editor at The Nation. Her reporting and criticism has been widely published in outlets including the New York Times, Guardian, and New Republic. Her books include The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century (Metropolitan Books, 2016) and Occupy!: Scenes From Occupied America (Verso Books, 2011).

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