Season II of “Wall and Bridges,” a series of conversations between French and US thinkers–organized by the Villa Gillet, one of France’s premier cultural institutions–was held in New York city in April.
Series participants included George Packer, Didier Fassin, Nina Berman, and Siva Vaidhyanathan. I had the good fortune to join a panel on “The Social Limits of Liberty” with Mitchell Cohen of CUNY and Dissent; Patrick Savidan, philosopher and director of Raison Publique; Romain Huret, a historian of the US and author of an important book about the social fissures brought into relief following Hurricane Katrina, and Fabienne Brugère, a feminist philosopher, who writes about “the ethics of care.”
The discussion provided an opportunity for me to speak about how the issue of African American citizenship and social liberty–and its many contradictions–was at stake in the Black Panther Party’s health politics. It was a free-ranging and energetic conversation about personal and collective goods; race, citizenship and the state; and the liberty versus freedom. Here is a video of the conversation and links to the short essays from which of all of the speakers’ comments were drawn. My text incorporates an excerpt from my forthcoming book Body and Soul.