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With Edward Balleisen (Prof. History, Duke), Noah Isenberg (Prof. Culture & Media, New School), Geoffrey O'Brien (ex-Editor-in-Chief, Library of America), Diana Henriques (Author, Wizard of Lies), Robert Shireman (Sr Education Fellow, Century Foundation), William Deringer (Prof., MIT).
Monday, April 23, 2018 at 01:00 PM   Absolutely Free
Theresa Lang Community Center, 55 W 13th St

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The Center for Public Scholarship at The New School & the Society of Fellows & Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia Universityinvite you to the 37th Social Research Conference: Cons & Scams: Their Place in American Culture.
Cons & con men have long been present in American culture & are often represented as romantic figures. This symposium will explore cons & scams in their many guises & what makes us vulnerable to them, with particular attention to the current political scene in the US.
*This event is free. Guests are encouraged to register to reserve their seat.

DAY 1: Monday, April 23
SESSION I: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
(LOCATION: Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, 55 W. 13th Street, NY, NY)

Edward Balleisen, Professor of History & Public Policy; Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University; author of Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff (2017)

Noah Isenberg, Professor of Culture & Media at the New School's Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, director of Screen Studies program; author of We'll Always Have Casablanca (2017)

Geoffrey O'Brien,American poet, essayist, & cultural historian;former Editor in Chief, Library of America andauthor ofStolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows: Writing on Film, 2002-2012(2013)

Moderator:Mark Greif, Associate Professor of Literary Studies, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School

SESSION 2: 3:30 - 5:30 PM
(LOCATION: Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, 55 W. 13th Street, NY, NY)

Diana Henriques, financial journalist for theNew York Timesfrom 1989 to 2012 & now a contributing writer, author ofThe Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff & the Death of Trust(2011)

Robert Shireman, Senior Education Fellow, The Century Foundation

Barak Orbach, Professor of Law & Director of the Business Law Program, The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law; author of the article Scamming: The Misunderstood Confidence Man (2015)

Moderator: William Deringer,Assistant Professor, Program in Science, Technology & Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DAY 2: Tuesday, April 24
SESSION 3, PART 1: 12:30 - 2:00 PM
(LOCATION: Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, 55 W. 13th Street, NY, NY)

Elaine Salisbury, author of Provenance: How a Con Man & a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art (2009) & The Conman: How One Man Fooled Britain's Modern Art Establishment (2010); Lecturer, University at Albany

Maggie Cao, David G. Frey Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Art History, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Moderator:Mara Gonzlez Pends, Lecturer in Art History & Mellon Research Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University

SESSION 3, PART 2: 2:10 - 3:40 pm
(LOCATION: Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, 55 W. 13th Street, NY, NY)

Daniel Kevles,Stanley Woodward Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University

Nina Shapiro, Director of Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat at the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA & Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; author of Hype: A Doctor's Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims & Bad Advice - How to Tell What's Real & What's Not(2018)

Moderator: Heidi Hausse, Lecturer in history & Mellon Research Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University

This event is cosponsored by:
The Center for Public Scholarship seeks to promote free inquiry & public discussion, bringing the best scholarship in & outside of the academy to bear on the critical & contested issues of our times. For more information, visit:

The Heyman Center for the Humanities provides the intellectual & physical space for interdisciplinary discussions among members of the Columbia community & the New York City public. For more information,

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