America: Writers talk politics

Part of the series



21 May 2016


Walsh Bay, Sydney


Public forum



American critic Vivian Gornick joined New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, Chicago adoptee Aleksandar Hemon and politics and foreign policy expert Dr David Smith to discuss what drives and divides the greatest superpower in the world, from guns and borders to controversial presidential candidates. Hosted by former New Yorker editor, now Good Weekend editor Amelia Lester.

This was a Sydney Writer's Festival event.


  • Dr David Smith
    Dr David Smith
    Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre

    David Smith is jointly appointed between the US Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.

  • Roger Cohen
    Columnist for The New York Times

    Roger Cohen was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in May 2016.

    He has worked for The New York Times for 25 years as a foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and now a columnist. Prior to that he worked for The Wall Street Journal and Reuters. He is the author...

  • Vivian Gornick
    Author of The Odd Woman and the City

    Vivian Gornick was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in May 2016. Gornick is an American critic, journalist, essayist, and memoirist. Her most recent book is a memoir, The Odd Woman and the City.

  • Aleksandar Hemon

    Aleksandar Hemon was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in May 2016. Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Love and Obstacles (2009). His most recent novel is The Making of Zombie Wars (2015).

  • Amelia Lester
    Editor, Good Weekend

    Amelia Lester was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in May 2016. She is the editor of Fairfax Media’s national insert magazine, Good Weekend. Previously, Lester was the Managing Editor of The New Yorker.


Part of the series

Election Watch

Since 2008 the United States Studies Centre has been helping make sense of the US presidential elections with a series of events featuring Centre experts and visitors.

View all events in this series