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Living in Utopia

Tue October 11th 2022, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center
Free and open to the public

In-person event. RSVP Required: 

Akash Kapur grew up in the intentional community of Auroville, in South India. In 2004, he returned there as an adult, to live with his wife and two sons. Better to Have Gone is a personal, historical and sociological account of this “aspiring utopia,” as well as a more general meditation on the age-old human quest to build a perfect world. In this conversation, he and New Yorker staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar (who spent time in Auroville in the 1980s) discuss the attractions and perils of utopian thinking, the thin line between idealism and extremism, and the possibilities of intentional living.

This event is co-sponsored with the Center for South Asia. 

Free and open to the public. Masks are strongly recommended.

Akash Kapur is the author of India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India; and Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia, which was selected as book of the year by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the New Statesman. He is the former “Letter from India” columnist for the New York Times, and writes regularly for the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He is a Senior Fellow at the GovLab at NYU, and a founding member of the academic advisory board for Krea University. He has a BA (Anthropology) from Harvard, and a DPhil (Law) from Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Larissa MacFarquhar is the author of Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help. She is a longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, where she has written articles about the child welfare system, dementia care, the Falkland Islands, Barack Obama, John Ashbery, and Noam Chomsky, among many other subjects.

Contact Name
Diana Aguilera