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Anbar Lecture with Michele Moody-Adams: Controlling the Narrative: Meaning, Value and Power in Public Life

April 8, 2022 at 4:00pm6:00pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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The Philosophy Department is pleased to welcome Michele Moody-Adams for the 2022 Anbar Lecture. Moody-Adams (Ph.D.  Harvard University) is Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory at Columbia University, where she also served as Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education. She has published widely on equality and social justice, moral psychology and the virtues, and the philosophical implications of gender and race. She a lifetime Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


There is a powerful insight in the saying that “those who tell the stories rule the world.” Narrative is the most important means that we have of giving meaning to diverse actions, events, and states of affairs and asserting the value that they have for us. This is why we can remedy injustice only if we can first replace socially and politically significant narratives that help to sustain injustice and to disempower the people harmed by injustice. This requires understanding and exposing those narratives’ stigmatizing and disempowering effects. It also requires disseminating alternative narratives that more accurately reveal the faces and facts of injustice and that serve, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie urges, to “repair the broken dignity” of those who have been stigmatized and dispossessed. Alasdair MacIntyre was correct to argue that we are never more than “co-authors” of the narratives that shape our lives. Yet the only narratives that can empower a people and affirm their dignity are narratives they have themselves helped to tell—most often through narrative activism in and by social movements.

This is an online event. If you are interested in attending, please contact Christopher Noble ( for the Zoom link.

This event was published on March 28, 2022.

Event Details