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Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Of Democracy and Its Deficits

Seminar Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Peter Swirski

Teaching Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

With Ars Americana, Ars Politica as our guidebook, we will try to peel American democracy out of the candy wrapper to see if it tastes as good as advertised. After puncturing a few myths surrounding the birth of democracy, we will highlight some of the anomalies of the current electoral system, tour the alternatives to the “one man, one vote” clunker we have in place, and travel abroad for a short lesson in history and in people’s power.


Featured in Canadian Who's Who, Peter Swirski is Professor and Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Honorary Professor at Jinan University, China. His research ranges from American Literature and American Studies to interdisciplinary studies in literature, philosophy, and science. He is also the world's foremost critic on the late legendary writer and philosopher, Stanislaw Lem.

Featured on European, Russian, and Chinese TV, he is the author of twelve acclaimed books, including the bestselling From Lowbrow to Nobrow (2005) and the National Book Award nominated Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010). With several foreign translations, his books have been reviewed from the Guardian to the Financial Times and from Philosophy and Literature to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies.

Assigned Reading

Peter Swirski, Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in Contemporary American Literature and Culture (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010).


A reception will be held at 5pm at the UNE Art Gallery


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4335

6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public