What you will learn:

In this interactive Elective, Professor Buccola utilizes the 1965 Baldwin v. Buckley debate as a vehicle for participants to explore how they think, speak, and listen to one another in the context of diversity and disagreement. Baldwin and Buckley prove to be perfect for this task, not only because of their radically different life experiences and worldviews, but also because of each man’s prolific writing.

Every day, members of your team are engaged in difficult conversations about things happening in the world and challenges confronting them in pursuit of the organization’s mission. Through participation and discussion, your team will have the opportunity to examine their own assumptions and realities, and to consider how their system of reality might differ from other team members'. By achieving this deeper understanding, members of your team will sharpen their ability to communicate about diversity and disagreement in the workplace and in the broader community.

For added context about the debate: On February 18, 1965, James Baldwin, the leading writer associated with the civil rights revolution, squared off against William F. Buckley Jr., the most prominent writer associated with the American conservative movement, at the Cambridge Union, the world’s oldest formal debating society. These two towering public intellectuals were brought before the Union that night – at the high tide of the civil rights movement – to discuss race and the American dream. Baldwin and Buckley were almost exact contemporaries, but their life experiences and worldviews could not have been more different. Baldwin’s childhood in Harlem was marked by marginalization based on his race, sexuality, and poverty. Buckley’s childhood in Connecticut was marked by all of the components of privilege: a 47-acre estate, countless servants, and in-home tutors. As Baldwin and Buckley came of age intellectually, each sought to use his voice and pen to advance his worldview. Baldwin’s quest was to get his readers to see the world through the eyes of those at the margins of society. Buckley’s quest was to conserve the political, economic, and social structures that made it possible for his family to achieve such immense wealth.

About the instructor:

Nicholas Buccola is the award-winning author of The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America. He has also written or edited books on Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. His essays have been published in numerous scholarly journals as well as popular outlets such as the New York Times, Salon, and Dissent. He is also an award-winning teacher at Linfield University, where he is the Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science.
Get in Touch
Suggested Length:75 min(Flexible)
# of Employees: Flexible
Delivery: Live via Zoom
Available Formats:
  • Keynote Followed by Q&A
  • Lecture with Discussion
  • Interactive Workshop

Get in Touch

Other classes by this instructor

© 2022 Electives. All Rights Reserved|Terms of service|Privacy policy