The Public Self in the Virtual Present

A Conversation with Richard Rodriguez

Young boy attends class virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.

October 22, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Online

Richard Rodriguez is an author and essayist, most widely known for his autobiographical trilogy on class, ethnicity, and race: Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992), and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002). His most recent book, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (2013), a fourth book of autobiography, is focused on desert ecology and the Abrahamic religions after the September 11 attacks.

In their second Faith and Culture Series conversation, Rodriguez and Berkley Center Senior Fellow Paul Elie extended a core idea from Hunger of Memory into the present: namely, the idea that through education we develop public selves. The discussion centered on Rodriguez’s idea of developing public selves from private space – an idea challenged in this moment of virtual education due to COVID-19 restrictions. Elie and Rodriguez explored these questions: What is the significance of this change? What does it spell for our notions of education, of the public self, of the private self? What does it mean for Rodriguez’s conception of the Catholic tradition, which in Hunger of Memory is presented as a liminal space between public and private? This conversation was introduced by Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia.

This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Office of the President; Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Center for Latin American Studies; Office of Mission and Ministry; and Georgetown College Dean's Office.

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