Evenings with an Author at the American Library in Paris is thrilled to announce our marquee series spotlighting exceptional thinkers of our age. Join inaugural speakers W. David Marx and B.J. Novak as they confront the mystery of culture.
Since the dawn of human society, writers have argued about what culture is. Where does it come from, and who makes it? Is it dictated by behaviors, or does it determine them?
We are delighted to host culture expert and author of Status and Culture and Ametora W. David Marx, in conversation with author and actor B.J. Novak, as they offer a fresh perspective on these questions. All social animals use hierarchy to relate to one another, yet humans have developed a particularly complex system for signaling their rank: appearance, possessions, and behaviors, both conscious and ingrained, from the price of your shoes to the way you hold your fork, reveal your position and background to those around you. Marx and Novak will explore how these everyday choices are informed by hidden economic, social, and educational influences, considering the different ways that demand and distinction emerge. Join them as they break down fashion, fads, fame, and the enduring mystery of taste, revealing to us why we behave the way we do, and how we learn to want what we want.