The Center for Public Scholarship is pleased to present the 32nd Social Research conference, "The Fear of Art," on Thursday and Friday, February 12 and 13, 2015, at The New School in New York City.

Ai Weiwei will give the keynote address with a video he is creating especially for the conference, "The Censorship of Artists: Artists in Prison, Artists in Exile."

We have chosen this theme for our next conference because freedom of expression remains under threat in both totalitarian and democratic states. Artists continue to be imprisoned and exiled and art continues to be banned and destroyed, all of which gives evidence of the power of images to unsettle, to speak truth to power, to question our cherished cultural norms and what we hold sacred.

The conference aims to examine how art can threaten, terrify, and provoke the wrath of political, religious, and cultural regimes. Speakers will examine the history of art censorship and the role of artists as collaborators and rebels. The agenda also pairs artists and scholars to discuss activist art, the threat posed by art, the potency of art, artists at risk, and artists in exile. Museum and gallery directors will discuss who does the policing and ask: What is the role of self-censorship?

The conference is co-sponsored by the Vera List Center for Art and PoliticsPEN American Center, and the India China Institute at The New School. The conference has been made possible with generous support from Agnes GundThe Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Larry Warsh, the Ford Foundation, and ArteEast.

The director and founder (1988) of the Social Research conference series is Arien Mack, Alfred and Monette Marrow Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research, who has been the editor of Social Research since 1970. For the history of the conference series, visit the Social Research conference series site. For information about other public events at The New School, see the university calendarFind information about the more than 70 degree programs offered at The New School. For general information about The New School, visit the Quick Facts page.