Jedediah Purdy is one of the leading thinkers of his generation on the subject of the American politics and its relationship to ethical and ecological thinking. A professor of law at Duke University where he teaches constitutional and environmental law, Purdy is author of a several widely-discussed books on American political identity, including the bestseller For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today (1999) and A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom (2009). His legal scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Cornell Law Review, and Harvard Environmental Law Review, among other venues. His essays have appeared in Slate, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and, most recently, the Huffington Post, where his essay, “Why I Got Arrested in Raleigh,” examined North Carolina’s “Moral Mondays” social justice campaign.
Purdy’s lecture focuses on the political, ethical, and scientific challenges the nation must face in the “Anthropocene” — the geological epoch in which human influence has become the world’s defining characteristic.