Cultural Postmortem 2020

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 4:30pm

How can artists and scholars help the nation contend with the peril in which we find ourselves—starting with our own campuses? The 2020 US presidential race was one of the most politically and ideologically divisive and contentious races that we’ve ever seen. And as the events of January 6, 2021 have illustrated, the nation remains divided to the point where political leaders at the highest level are challenging election results without any evidence or basis in reality and a largely white group of insurrectionists tried to overthrow the US government. Our humanities centers, located in three different states that also have a history of divided state government, have brought together three artist-scholars to reflect on the cultural, social, and political fall-out from the 2020 election—a fall-out that we will undoubtedly continue to feel the ramifications of long after the January 20 inauguration—and to imagine paths forward.

This joint collaboration among Carolina Public Humanities (UNC Chapel Hill), the Center for Humanities and the Arts (CU Boulder) and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies will feature humanities scholars discussing the state of culture, politics, and society in the aftermath of a tumultuous 2020.


  • Dr. Ruth Ellen Kocher, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Christopher Merrill, University of Iowa

This virtual event is free and open to all, but registration is required: REGISTER

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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Erin Hackathorn in advance at or (319) 335-4034.