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EIHS Lecture: Who “Invented” Identity Politics?: The Role of Twentieth Century Frameworks and Histories in the Twenty-First Century Debate

Terrence J. McDonald (University of Michigan)
Thursday, September 14, 2023
4:00-6:00 PM
1014 Tisch Hall Map
One of the striking features of contemporary political commentary and related historical work is the denunciation of "identity politics" by those on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. Both sides in the debate deploy historical understandings of “when” identity politics was “invented,” but neither is very self-conscious about the histories they deploy or the history of those histories. More than they may realize, a politically informed search for and claims about an “unidentified” political subject, beginning in the “Progressive” era and continuing through the twentieth century, has hugely influenced perspectives on both “sides” of the twentieth century debate.

Terrence J. (Terry) McDonald has returned to the University of Michigan Department of History after serving as interim and permanent dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for eleven years and director of the Bentley Historical Library for nine. As professor of history and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor he has written and taught in the history of the American city and is currently finishing a book manuscript contracted by the University of Chicago Press entitled: “Close Encounters: Jane Addams, Johnny Powers, and the Progressive Political Imagination.”

This event presented by the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
Building: Tisch Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Department of History