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Presented By: Institute for the Humanities

High Stakes Culture: What Does It Mean to Take a Knee?

High Stakes High Stakes
High Stakes
In the last few months a series of “culture wars” have been ignited across the country. Activists from all points of the political spectrum, even the President of the United States himself, are turning to beloved cultural objects to stake a claim for their differing beliefs in a politically fraught moment. Black athletes are taking a knee. Anti-immigration voters are rallying for a wall. Long-standing Confederate monuments are coming down.

What is at stake in the ways we understand culture and cultural conflict? High Stakes Culture is a new series, presented by the Institute for the Humanities and the Humanities Collaboratory, that brings humanities perspectives to bear on current debates. Join us as we ask: How and why does culture matter so much now?

Join the conversation as humanities scholars Angela Dillard (Afroamerican and African studies and Residential College), Matthew Countryman (history and American culture), Mark Clague (music), and Kristin Hass (American culture) tackle these questions and others you might have about high stakesculture now.

When did sports and patriotism become so deeply linked?
Has the flag always been viewed as sacred and purely a symbol of the armed forces?
Where did the national anthem come from, and have people always stood when it is played?
Who gets to decide what symbols deserve respect and what counts as a gesture of respect?

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