America Through European Eyes (event archive)

March 14, 2012 by  

Details: A discussion with Alan Levine, Associate Professor at American University, and Founder of the Washington, DC Political Theory Colloquium.

The idea of America has fascinated the European imagination ever since Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the centuries, European thinkers from Michel de Montaigne to Jean Baudrillard and Alexis de Tocqueville have cultivated different and often contradictory images of the continent and its inhabitants. Following the foundation of the United States, America stood for the great political experiment in liberty and natural law, and served as an inspiration to many European nations. For some Europeans today, however, the U.S. has come to epitomize everything negative about modernity: rampant individualism, materialism and cultural poverty. Undoubtedly, Europe has things to learn from America, and vice versa. Professor Levine asked: What if European thinkers have never been truly interested in getting to know the real America and used it only as an ever-changing symbol to prop up their own political beliefs? What are the implications of such willful ignorance?

Read our event summary on Paprika Politik

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