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Date & Time

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore



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Seminary Co-op Bookstore

(773) 752-4381


Justin Peters discusses "THE IDEALISTS: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet." He will be joined in conversation by Donna Seaman. The event will be co-sponsored by UChicago JAM.

At the Co-op

About the book: Aaron Swartz committed suicide in 2013, after being indicted by the federal government for illegally downloading millions of academic articles from JSTOR, a nonprofit online database, from the campus of MIT. A zealous advocate for the free exchange of ideas and scholarly material online, not just on rich college campuses that could afford high subscription rates but across the globe, Swartz had rebuffed several attempts to shut his downloading operation down, moving from IP address to IP address as campus officials shut off access. In "THE IDEALISTS: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet," Slate correspondent Justin Peters vividly renders Swartz's lifelong activism for free culture, from helping to develop Creative Commons and Reddit as a teenager to protesting copyright laws he believed were outdated to, of course, his early death and posthumous status as a cultural icon.

About the author: Justin Peters is a correspondent for Slate and a contributing editor at the Columbia Journalism Review. He has written for various national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Monthly, and Travel + Leisure, and was the founding editor of Polite, a general interest print journal. He divides his time between Boston and Brooklyn.

About the interlocutor: An editor for Booklist, Donna Seaman is a recipient of the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. She has written for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and other venues. Her interviews are collected in "Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books," and her new book, "Identity Unknown: Portraits of American Women Artists," is due out in June 2016.

About the co-sponsor: UChicago JAM is where journalism, arts and media converge and flourish at the University of Chicago. Through the University of Chicago's strong liberal arts curriculum, and the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, students pursue multiple interdisciplinary areas, even as they become experts in specific areas of interest.