©2020 The Aspen Institute. All Rights Reserved
Why cultivating a shared cultural core is more important than ever—and why such a project serves progressive ends by Eric Liu (Democracy Journal, Fall 2015)
"When we fail to build a common knowledge base, we're condemning our kids to something less than full literacy and citizenship" by Robert Pondiscio (US News & World Report, Jan. 11, 2016)
"Defining common cultural literacy for an increasingly diverse nation" by Eric Liu (The Atlantic, July 2015)
Aspen Ideas Festival 2015
In 1987, E.D. Hirsch sparked a national debate with his book Cultural Literacy, claiming that there is a foundation of common knowledge every American should know — and codifying it in a list of 5,000 facts and cultural references. Hirsch’s famous list was attacked for being too focused on “dead white men.” But now, amidst giant demographic and technological shifts, we need such common knowledge more than ever, and it needs to be radically more diverse and inclusive. What should today’s Americans know to be civically and culturally literate? Find out in this lively and participatory session.
Eric Liu, Anne-Marie Slaughter
Sign up for our email newsletter