‘Dark Knight’ lecture explores conservative view of liberalism

Dr. Joseph Foy, UW Colleges’ Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will present an interesting and timely comparison of The Dark Knight (a superhero) and Political Liberalism on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm. The title of Foy’s talk is They Turned to a Man They Didn’t Fully Understand: The Dark Knight and the Conservative Critique of Political Liberalism. Foy’s talk will explore the conservative themes and critiques of American political liberalism presented in Nolan’s films, providing commentary on the superhero/ action hero genres of movies and their inherently illiberal elements.

The Dark Knight Trilogy, written, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan, successfully rebooted the Batman franchise. It has received a considerable amount of attention for its promulgation of neoconservative politics in a post 9/11 America. In the three films that make up the series (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), Nolan transformed Gotham City’s iconic defender into a character who is at odds with the very principles that form the foundation of the American political system. Nolan’s Batman is darker, more willing to violate rights in the interest of security, and practices vigilantism at a level that supercedes previous versions. According to Foy, the Dark Knight steps in when the government has failed, and pursues threats to society with a willingness to compromise the rights of criminals and the letter of the law in the interest of law and order. Ultimately, Nolan’s Batman acts as a hero who also steps aside and takes the blame to protect the institutions that seem incapable of solving Gotham’s problems.

The one-hour lecture takes place in the Wombat Room (Room 2114) on the UW-Sheboygan campus, located at One University Drive in Sheboygan. The Speaker’s Series presents a new topic each month (September – May) that is discussed in an open forum format. Admission and parking are free. For directions to the campus or more information, visit www.sheboygan.uwc.edu

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