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Date & Time

Friday, July 5, 2019
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore




Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


"Lisa Duggan does a deep dive into Ayn Rand so that we don't have to. Instead, we can read Duggan's impassioned, insightful, sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous account of Rand's philosophy and influence. Calls to understand and reject the allure of cruelty rarely feel as lucid and timely." –Maggie Nelson, author of "The Argonauts"

Lisa Duggan discusses "Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed," in conversation with Lauren Berlant. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

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About the book: Ayn Rand’s complicated notoriety as popular writer, leader of a political and philosophical cult, reviled intellectual, and ostentatious public figure endured beyond her death in 1982. In the twenty-first century, she has been resurrected as a serious reference point for mainstream figures, especially those on the political right from Paul Ryan to Donald Trump. "Mean Girl" follows Rand’s trail through the twentieth century from the Russian Revolution to the Cold War and traces her posthumous appeal and the influence of her novels via her cruel, surly, sexy heroes. Outlining the impact of Rand’s philosophy of selfishness, "Mean Girl" illuminates the Randian shape of our neoliberal, contemporary culture of greed and the dilemmas we face in our political present.

About the author: I am a queer feminist and leftist journalist, activist, and Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. I have written some books, including "Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Sensationalism and American Modernity" (2000) and "Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy" (2003). I co-wrote the essays in "Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture" (1995; revised edition 2006) with Nan Hunter, and co-edited the collection "Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest" with Lauren Berlant. I just finished "Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and Neoliberal Greed," out in May 2019 in the new e-book series I co-edit with Curtis Marez for University of California Press–American Studies Now. I’m working on a new book now titled "Sexual Misconduct." I was president of the American Studies Association during 2014-2015.

About the interlocutor: Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the author of "The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship," both also published by Duke University Press, as well as "The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life." She the editor of the books "Intimacy; Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion;" and (with Lisa Duggan) "Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest."