PEN Out Loud x The Cooper Union: Maggie Nelson and Anand Giridharadas

Presented in collaboration with The Cooper Union, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Maggie Nelson and international bestseller Anand Giridharadas join PEN Out Loud in conversation. What is the meaning and experience of freedom and why is persuasion a key towards enacting change and progress? They will discuss this question and more in conjunction with the publication of their respective books, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint, and The Persuaders: At The Front Lines Of The Fight For Hearts, Minds, And Democracy.


Books will be available for purchase at the event. 

Presented in collaboration with The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

ASL interpretive services are provided by ProBono ASL.



Maggie Nelson is the author of several books of prose and poetry including the New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner, The Argonauts (2015), The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, and Bluets. Her work focuses on feminism, queerness, aesthetic theory, philosophy, and more. Nelson, who is a professor of English at the University of Southern, has received fellowships from MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, and the Andy Warhol Foundation. She was named a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.

Anand Giridharadas is the author of the international best-seller Winners Take All, The True American, and India Calling, and an on-air political analyst for MSNBC. A former foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times for more than a decade, he has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Time. He has received the Radcliffe Fellowship, the Porchlight Business Book of the Year Award, Harvard University’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Humanism in Culture, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.

About the Cooper Union

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a distinguished private college of architecture, art, and engineering founded in 1859 by inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist Peter Cooper. From its beginnings, Cooper has been dedicated to accessible, affordable education for all and is currently pursuing a 10-year plan to return to full-tuition scholarships for all undergraduates. For more information, visit