“The Future of American Democracy”: The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures, delivered by Jamelle Bouie, Part II

Wed. Jun 22, 2022 6:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
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THIS IS A TWO-PART PROGRAM. YOU MUST REGISTER SEPARATELY FOR PART I, ON June 21, AND PART II, ON June 22. To register for Part I on June 21 click here.

Jamelle Bouie will deliver the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures on American Civilization and Government in two parts: Part I on June 21, Part II on June 22. This biennial lecture series at The New York Public Library, established by the estate of the historian Eric F. Goldman in honor of his wife, aims to encourage provocative comment and analysis concerning contemporary issues of deep, long-term significance for American democracy.

“The Future of American Democracy”: Part II of the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures.

The common fear is that our democracy is on the road to autocracy. Many Americans are afraid that we will eventually find ourselves with a Viktor Orbán or a Vladimir Putin, a singular autocrat who closes the curtain on our democratic experiment. But what if the danger to American democracy — what if the future of American democracy — isn’t from above? What if it’s horizontal, that is, what if the real threat is the extent to which our counter-majoritarian institutions can be used to shield tyrannical state governments from federal oversight and intervention? How does that relate to our history, and what does it mean for our future?

To register for Part I on June 21 click here.

Doors will open around 5:30 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

The video recording of both lectures will be made available on the Library’s YouTube channel later in June. The lectures will not be livestreamed.


As of March 14, 2022 The New York Public Library no longer mandates proof of vaccination at large-scale public events.

Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at LIVE from NYPL events.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email accessibility@nypl.org or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

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Based in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington D.C., Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News, covering history and politics. He has served as chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and a staff writer at the Daily Beast, and has held fellowships at the American Prospect and the Nation magazine. Bouie attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a degree in political and social thought, and government.



Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email sarabethjoren@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email cullmancenter@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.

The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.

Jamelle Bouie © The New York Times

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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum 476 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10018