OHC speaker to discuss American identity in the age of Trump

George Packer

The Oregon Humanities Center will continue its exploration of the theme “We the People” this winter with American journalist George Packer. 

Packer will present lectures on the topic of “American Identity in the Age of Trump” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 in Room 182, Lillis Hall at the UO and at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at UO Portland’s White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St. 

In Packer’s view, “The Trump Presidency is a symptom of the fracturing in American society that goes back years and runs deeper than economics and politics to the meaning of being an American. None of the currently available narratives of national identity point a way out of our failure. Is there another way to think of ourselves as Americans?”

George Packer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 2003. His most recent book, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” a New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2013 National Book Award for nonfiction, is considered his most ambitious work to date.

Packer tells the story of the past three decades by journeying through the lives of several Americans, including a son of tobacco farmers who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money, and a Silicon Valley billionaire who arrives at a radical vision of the future.

“The Unwinding” focuses on the sense of crisis currently gripping America, and the seismic cultural, political and socio-economic shifts that, in a single generation, have turned it into a country of winners and losers.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information go to ohc.uoregon.edu  For disability accommodations, which must be made by Jan. 17, contact 541-346-3934 or ohc@uoregon.edu.