What Every American Should Know

In 1987, E.D. Hirsch sparked a national debate with his book Cultural Literacy, claiming that there is a foundation of common knowledge every American should know — and codifying it in a list of 5,000 facts and cultural references. Hirsch’s famous list was attacked for being too focused on “dead white men.” But now, amidst giant demographic and technological shifts, we need such common knowledge more than ever, and it needs to be radically more diverse and inclusive. What should today’s Americans know to be civically and culturally literate? Find out in this lively and participatory session. (You Can Learn Anything session, preregistration required)

Festival: 2015

Watch and Listen: U.S.A.

As consumers increasingly get their news online, and many news outlets shift from advertising-based business models to... See more
An opportunity to hear Axios Founder and Executive Editor Mike Allen discuss journalism and politics of the day with... See more
The president of the Texas Civil Rights Project sits down with the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart to discuss human... See more
Join Damian Woetzel, incoming president of the Juilliard School, for an interactive breakfast interview led by Eric Liu... See more
Ever wondered why mandatory minimum sentences are so controversial? Pay a visit through film to the family of Cindy... See more
Enter the world of Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund), a taciturn repo man rising through the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan in... See more

Pages