Week Two :: July 1–July 8

American Identity

Who are we as Americans? Everyone has their own definition of the American identity, and most agree it’s being lost. A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 71 percent of Americans feel the United States is losing its national identity — that is, the beliefs and values the country represents. During this week, we reach across the aisles of both politics and faith. We examine how we’ve defined American identity throughout our history and the stories we’ve told to shape that identity; the political, economic and social factors that shape our contemporary definitions; and what these different national identities — at times in conflict with one another — mean for our democracy and the prosperity of all Americans. We’ll consider whether a new foundation of American identity is necessary — or even possible.

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10:45 a.m. Lectures

Morning Lectures

10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday, Amphitheater

Ideas and opinions are exchanged in an open, challenging atmosphere, and Chautauqua's knowledgeable audiences have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of the lectures.


  • Monday, July 02, 2018 | 10:45am

    Taína Caragol

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    Curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history, National Portrait Gallery

    Taína Caragol is curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history at the National Portrait Gallery. Since 2013 she has led the effort to increase the representation of Latino historical figures and artists at the museum.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Tuesday, July 03, 2018 | 10:45am

    Jelani Cobb

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    Staff writer, The New Yorker

    As a staff writer at The New Yorker, Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Wednesday, July 04, 2018 | 10:45am

    James and Deborah Fallows

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    Authors, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America; Creators, The Atlantic’s City Makers: American Futures project

    For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations and ideas re-shaping the country.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Thursday, July 05, 2018 | 10:45am

    David Brooks

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    Columnist, The New York Times

    David Brooks became an op-ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and is currently a regular commentator on the “PBS NewsHour.”

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Friday, July 06, 2018 | 10:45am

    Amy Chua

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    Author, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

    Amy Chua is the John M. Duff Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the author of several books, including her most recent: Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.

    Location: Amphitheater