Igo talks 'culture of confession'
Vanderbilt professor discusses changing privacy norms
Vanderbilt History Prof. Sarah Igo held a conference at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture yesterday to discuss the history of privacy in modern America. The public lecture drew about 40 faculty members and students mostly from the sociology and history departments.
Citing legal debates, artistic movements, technological innovations and shifting social norms throughout the 20th century, Igo explored the central question, “What happened to our privacy?”
Igo also discussed the 21st century’s “culture of confession” — characterized by constantly-updated Facebook statuses, personal blogs and exhibitionist reality TV shows.
“Americans are eager to divulge [thier privacy],” Igo said. “Citizens have experienced a virtual invasion of our own privacy since the 1890s with journalism, photography, postcards and ‘wire thrillers.’”
Upcoming speakers in the biweekly seminar include Allan Boesak, a South African anti-apartheid activist and theologian, and Leonidas Donskis, a Lithuanian philosopher and author of the book “Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity in Liquid Modernity,” said Joseph Davis, director of research and head of the biweekly seminar for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.
compiled by Annie Crabill