Linfield hosts symposium on the Baldwin Buckley debate

Buckley_BaldwinThe Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice at Linfield College will host a scholarly symposium on “James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the American Dream.”

The symposium, scheduled May 7-8 at Linfield, will commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the classic 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr. at the Cambridge Union on the motion: “The American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro.” Eddie Glaude, professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University will give the keynote speech “James Baldwin and #BlackLivesMatter” Friday, May 8, at 12:30 p.m., in Nicholson Library.

The symposium schedule is:


4:30 p.m.: Screening of the Cambridge Debate, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, T.J. Day 219 and 222

5:30 p.m.: Reception with Baldwin and Buckley scholars, Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall


FRIDAY, MAY 8 (all events are in Nicholson Library)

9-10:30 a.m.: William F. Buckley and American Conservatism

Chair: Nick Buccola (Linfield College)


Lecture one: “William Buckley and the Decline of American Conservative Racism: 1955-95,” Patrick Allitt (Emory University)

Lecture two: “On the Beaches, in the Hills, in the Mountains: William Buckley’s Legacy in the Politics of Denial,” William Hogeland (author)


11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: The Political Ideas of James Baldwin

Chair: Barbara Seidman (Linfield College)


Lecture one: “‘Hideously Loaded:’ James Baldwin’s History of the American Dream,” Lawrie Balfour (University of Virginia)

Lecture two: “On the Faiths of (and in) Our Fathers,” Susan McWilliams (Pomona College)


12:30-1:30 p.m.: Lunch/Keynote Lecture: “James Baldwin and #BlackLivesMatter,” Eddie Glaude (Princeton University). Lunch will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.


2-3:30 p.m.: The Political Ideas of William F. Buckley

Chair: Dimitri Kelly (Linfield College)


Lecture one: “Buckley’s Political Romance with Racism,” Joe Lowndes (University of Oregon)

Lecture two: “Buckley and America’s Engines of Concern,” Will Barndt (Pitzer College)


4-5:30 p.m.: Civilization and Freedom in Baldwin’s Political Thought

Chair: Joe Wilkins (Linfield College)


Lecture one: “Representing Civilization: Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge Union,” Chip Turner (University of Washington)

Lecture two: “James Baldwin Bearing Freedom,” Michele Elam (Stanford University)


This event is sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Program for the Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE), and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

All the events listed are free and open to the public. For more information contact Nick Buccola, associate professor of political science, 503-883-2246,