“Stupidity incessantly talks,” wrote the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. If true, it’s arguable that in no time in human history have conditions been so ripe for stupidity to flourish, birthing the likes of Trump and Bolsonaro. Don’t miss critically acclaimed Iranian author of Then the Fish Swallowed Him Amir Ahmadi Arian as he delivers a stirring lecture on why we must take account of idiocy. Drawing on philosophers who have taken up the subject through history, he pinpoints its modern coordinates and how to resist it. As Amir justly notes, “There is too much at stake for us to sweep such fraught topics under the rug.”

Amir Ahmadi Arian (International)

Amir Ahmadi Arian

Amir Ahmadi Arian is a critically acclaimed Iranian author. His English language literary debut is Then the Fish Swallowed Him. Starting out as a journalist in Iran in 2000, Amir left his home country in 2011 to complete a PhD in comparative literature at the University of Queensland. He has since published a collection of stories, a non-fiction book and two novels in Persian. His English short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Guardian UK and other publications. Amir has also translated novels by E. L. Doctorow, Paul Auster, P. D. James and Cormac McCarthy from English to Farsi. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in the NYU Creative Writing Program as The Axinn Foundation/E. L. Doctorow Fellowship recipient. Amir teaches literature and creative writing at CUNY City College and currently lives in New York.