You are cordially invited to attend the "Liberalism Under Fire: New York in the 1950s" conference, sponsored by the Herbert H. Lehman Suite and Papers, Columbia University. The conference takes place Friday, April 6 and begins at 9:00am at the Kellogg Center, 15th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118th St., New York, NY 10027.
Admission is $15. Students with CU ID admitted free.
Professor Joshua Freeman of Queens College, and author of Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II, will keynote.
The conference grows out of a desire to revisit one of Senator Lehman's central concerns: the condition of liberalism in the 1950s.
In a 1958 speech at Columbia University, Senator Lehman declared that "so far as liberals and liberalism are concerned, the very present period is largely overshadowed by a pall of sterility, conformity, compromise and confusion. It is a dark period for liberalism and for America."
The conference will assess Lehman's claim. Was the period as dark as Lehman believed? What precisely was the crisis of liberalism in the 1950's?
Participants will consider these questions and others, interrogating 1950s liberalism from a variety of angles, including party politics, culture both "high" and "low," and the social issues that emerged in 1950s New York.
Liberalism Under Fire: New York in the 1950s
Tentative Program Schedule
April 6, 2001
James Henretta, University of Maryland
"The Changing Dimensions of Liberalism in New York, 1900 – 1940"
Erik Van Den Berg, Leiden University, The Netherlands
"Heir to the Liberal Legacy: Triumph and Tragedy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., 1949 – 1954"
David Greenberg, Columbia University
"New York Liberals Any Origins of Nixon-hating: Democracy in Cultural Elitism in the 1950s"
Robert D. Parmet, York College, CUNY
"Dubinsky in Distress: Ending an Era"
Jonathan Soffer, Polytechnic University
"The Politics of Process, and the Creation of the New York City Reform Democratic Movement"
Coffee until 11:20
Nicole T. Rustin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"‘The Mystery of Black: Nat Hentoff and the Liberal Discourse of Jazz Politics and Race in the 1950s"
Barry Seldes, Rider University
"Leonard Bernstein in the 1950s: the Liberal from the Black List to the Podium"
Jeffrey Encke, Columbia University
"‘New York Is Everywhere like Paris': the New York School, Moma, and the Culture Wars of the 1950s"
Race and Social Problems
Dan Wishnoff The Graduate Center, CUNY
"Liberalism at the Crossroads: Public Housing and Integration During the 1950s"
Maura Spiegel, Columbia University
"Dear Officer Krupke: Liberalism, Parenting and Juvenile Delinquency and Hollywood's 1950s New York"
Wendell E. Pritchett, Baruch College, CUNY
"Race and Community in Postwar Brooklyn"
Thank you and goodbye
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