Big Thinking - Azar Nafisi - Humanities and the future of democracies
Azar Nafisi is an Iranian-American author, professor, and director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Her best-selling memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran made a passionate case for the imagination’s role in preserving the soul and combating totalitarian ideology. Her new book, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, explores fiction’s role in a democratic society. Her lecture addresses why we need humanities at times of crisis, the extent to which the imagination opens the spaces that totalitarian regimes close, and whether democracies can thrive without a democratic imagination.