Society Must Be Defended: A Call to Intellectual Arms

Jamie Warren at IDIO Gallery

Sun, Feb 19 at 4 p.m.   |   90 minutes

In the days before the Inauguration of Donald Trump, several academic groups and associations sent out a general call to scholars everywhere: host a read-in of Michel Foucault’s “Society Must Be Defended.” Drawing on the old leftist tradition of radical teach-ins, this call to scholars was a call to intellectual arms. As socially engaged activists and thinkers, we have a duty, many believe, to challenge the extreme anti-intellectualism of the far right, as well as the general attack on critical thinking and higher education. In this spirit, we invite you to join us for Think Olio’s first radical read-in. In the spirit of mindful protest, we will gather together on the eve of President’s Day to read Foucault’s insightful and provocative lecture on the role of race and racism in the making of the modern nation-state.

The event will last two hours, with structured silent reading interspersed with short five-minute lectures by Professor Jamie Warren, to help navigate our way through Foucault’s complex and important argument. Finally, we will conclude with an open group discussion on how we might transform what we have learned into meaningful action.

Please note, this event is open to all, regardless of education levels, or reading capabilities. If, for example, you are dyslexic and find reading under such circumstances to be too exhausting, we will provide one area for folks to listen in as someone reads aloud. We are committed to making this event welcoming, encouraging, and chill. We will take a complex piece of scholarship, and make it accessible and usable for all. Hope to see you there.


*Price includes a printed copy of Foucault's “Society Must Be Defended.”

Teacher: Jamie Warren

Jamie Warren has a Ph.D. in American History from Indiana University, and she is an Assistant Professor at BMCC-CUNY where she teaches American history, the history of women and gender, and women’s studies. Her research focuses on slavery in antebellum South with a particular focus on death, the body, and the philosophy of history.


Venue: IDIO Gallery

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.