academics and activists explore cons and scams and their place in American culture

Hosted by The New School's Center for Public Scholarship in collaboration with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University

Monday, April 23, 1-5:30 pm. Keynote event at 6 pm. and Tuesday, April 24, 12:30-4 pm at Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 W 13th St., The New School


The Center for Public Scholarship at The New School and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University host Cons and Scams: Their Place in American Culture, the 37th Social Research conference.

Academics and activists will explore cons and scams in their many guises and what makes us vulnerable to them, with particular attention to the current political scene in the US. This symposium will feature sessions focusing on the history of cons and con men, as well as case studies on finance, education, art, law, science and medicine.

Cons abound, from Bernie Madoff’s billion dollar Ponzi scheme to street corner crooks and their games of three-card monte; from art forgeries to fraudulent scientific articles; from predatory universities and pseudo-academic journals to magical cures for incurable diseases.

Keynote event: a reading of "The Pot of Broth," a 1903 play by William Butler Yeats, in collaboration with Lady Gregory, read by actors from the Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of “The Pot of Broth.”


Edward Balleisen (Duke University), Noah Isenberg (The New School), Geoffrey O’Brien (former Editor in Chief, Library of America), Mark Greif (The New School), Diana Henriques (New York Times), Robert Shireman (The Century Foundation), Barak Orbach (University of University at Arizona), William Deringer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Elaine Salisbury (SUNY – Albany), Maggie Cao (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), María González Pendás (Columbia University), Daniel Kevles (Yale University), Nina Shapiro (UCLA), Heidi Hausse (Columbia University)


Monday, April 23, 1-5:30 pm. Keynote event at 6 pm.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 12:30-4 pm.


Theresa Lang Community Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th St.

TICKETS Members of the media should RSVP with Scott Gargan at or 212.229.5667 x 3794.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at


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Media Contact:

Scott Gargan
The New School
212.229.5667 x 3794

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