September 13, 2017
What Happened to the Public Intellectual?
Verso Books
September 13, 2017
6.30pm - 10.00pm
Verso Books
20 Jay Street, Suite 1010
Brooklyn, New York 11201 United States

Please join the New Republic to debate "What Happened to the Public Intellectual?"–an official Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event. Moderated by New Republic literary editor Laura Marsh, the panel will discuss an exciting new generation of writers emerging in an increasingly divided culture.


  • Laura Marsh - literary editor, New Republic (moderator)

  • Jeet Heer - senior editor, New Republic

  • Rachel Rosenfelt - Founder and Co-Publisher of The New Inquiry, The New School professor

  • Bhaskar Sunkara - editor and publisher, Jacobin

  • Dayna Tortorici - editor, n+1


  • 6:30pm Doors open

  • 7:00 - 8:00pm Panel discussion

  • 8:00 - 8:30pm Audience Q&A

  • 8:30 - 10:00pm Reception

Great minds, we are told, no longer captivate the public as they once did. Newspapers and magazines are cutting their books sections. University humanities departments are shrinking. Think tanks increasingly hew to the agendas of their corporate sponsors. Across the board, the country’s super-rich have used their wealth to promote jargon-fueled “thought leaders,” who serve moneyed interests, at the expense of intellectuals. But at the same time, we have seen a new generation of intellectuals on the left emerge as editors, writers, and organizers.

New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer, Founder and Co-Publisher of The New Inquiry and The New School professor Rachel Rosenfelt, Jacobin editor and publisher Bhaskar Sunkara, and n+1 editor Dayna Tortorici join New Republic literary editor Laura Marsh to discuss this new generation and how they are changing the public discourse.


Jeet Heer is a senior editor at the New Republic, and author of In Love With Art: Françoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays & Profiles.

Rachel Rosenfelt is Founder and Co-Publisher of The New Inquiry, Associate Director of Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at The New School, Creative Director of Verso Books, Associate Research Scholar at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University, and 2017-2018 Fellow at the New Museum's NEW INC.

Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine, editor of The ABCs of Socialism, and co-editor of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century.

Dayna Tortorici is editor of n+1.

Laura Marsh is the literary editor at the New Republic. She has written for BookforumThe Times Literary SupplementSalon, and The Times of London and Literary Review. Previously she was an editor at the New York Review of Books.