Ruth Whippman

Author | Journalist | Filmmaker


Author Ruth Whippman Official Blog.

Uncharted- Berkeley Festival of Ideas

It’s hard to imagine a better place for an ideas festival than Berkeley. One of the things I love about living here is that the place has such a strong and vivid intellectual tradition. It’s a small city, but it punches way above its weight in terms of the interesting people you meet living here, and the ideas that get discussed at your average dinner party (or in my case, hurried preschool moms’ meet up.)

And a perfect example of this rich ideas culture is Uncharted, the annual Berkeley ideas festival (October 14th and 15th.) It’s an immersive two day experience (although you can also buy a one day ticket too) similar in style to the celebrated Aspen Ideas, with a huge range of speakers, talking about a fascinating selection of topics. I am lucky enough to be able to be part of it this year, in conversation with the amazing Lauren Schiller from KALW, talking about my book, America the Anxious and the American cultural fixation on happiness and why it’s leading to stress and anxiety.

I’m honored to be in some illustrious company- KQED’s Michael Krasny will be talking about laughter and discussing his new book about Jewish Humor. The amazing Eve Ensler, author of cultural game-changer The Vagina Monologues will be in conversation with Kevin Powell, talking about rape culture, race and social justice. Other highlights include philosopher Aaron James expounding on the topic of “Assholes- a theory of Donald Trump” and the fabulous Iranian-American comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh in conversation with Berkeleyside’s Lance Knobel. And even better, the ticket price includes a fabulous Friday night party. It’s going to be good. Full program and tickets available here.