SUMMARY: The focus of this colloquium will be citizenship, trust-building among citizens, and political friendship. “Don’t talk to strangers” is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. We will consider both the sources of interpersonal
distrust within our polity, the consequence of such distrust for citizenship, and modes of citizenship, in particular habits of political friendship, that might lead to healthier democratic practice.
Danielle Allen is the Dean of the Division of the Humanities and Professor in the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures, Department of Politics, as well as the Committee on Social Thought, at the University of Chicago. A 1993 Princeton graduate in classics, she is a 2001 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Her intellectual scope spans the fields of the classics, philosophy and political theory. Allen’s work contributes new perspectives to discussions of race and politics that go beyond the confines of traditional and canonical scholarship.
Allen has earned two Ph.Ds from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. In addition to Talking to Strangers, she is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens.