Whether you are a writer or a visual journalist, your challenge is to distill information into a meaningful perspective. Adam Hochschild has unfolded elements of political analysis in George Orwell’s life and work. Lawrence Weschler has written deeply about how the artist David Hockney now presents people and places both in paintings and with photography, arguing against the tyranny of one-point perspective and insisting that “wider vantages are called for now.” Come meet Hochschild and Weschler, two brilliant masters of cultural interpretation and nonfiction craft to learn how they, too, find a point of view from which to see what others miss.
Adam Hochschild is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism and author of acclaimed books of political history. He has written seven books, including King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and the New York Times bestseller To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, a seminal narrative about the Great War that was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His 2005 book, Bury the Chains won the L.A. Times Book Prize. For the body of his work he has received a Lannan Literary Award, the Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Historical Association, and a 2012 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His books have been translated into fourteen languages.
In addition to his books, Hochschild has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Review of Books, Granta, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and many other newspapers and magazines.
He is currently writing a book about the Spanish Civil War that encompasses how George Orwell and other writers covered the war.
Lawrence (Ren) Weschler, currently a guest lecturer at the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley was for over twenty years a staff writer at The New Yorker. The list of his writing subjects, according to Matt Frassica, “reads like the contents of a puréed card catalogue. Brazilian torturers, Jan Vermeer, Bosnian war criminals, Breyten Breytenbach, the Polish Solidarity movement, Roman Polanski.”
His seminal book, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, (1982) a biography of the artist Robert Irwin, was instrumental in the development of True to Life: Twenty Five Years of Conversation with David Hockney (2009).
Weschler is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award and was also a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award. He is a contributing editor to McSweeney’s, the Threepeeny Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review; the recently retired chair of the Sundance Documentary Film Fund and director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, where he has been a fellow since 1991 and was director from 2001-2013.
Deirdre English is the director of the Felker Magazine Center and lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism. She has written and edited work on a wide array of subjects related to investigative reporting, cultural politics, gender studies, and public policy. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones magazine where she worked for eight years. She has contributed articles, commentaries and reviews to The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and to public radio and television.