Wendy Kaminer

Wendy Kaminer, a lawyer and social critic, writes about law, liberty, feminism, religion, and popular culture. She is a correspondent at theatlantic.com, and her latest book is Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU (Beacon Press). A former Guggenheim fellow and recipient of the Smith College Medal, she is the author of seven previous books, including Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today; Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety; True Love Waits: Essays and Criticism; It’s All the Rage: Crime and Culture; I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement & Other Self-Help Fashions; and A Fearful Freedom: Women’s Flight from Equality.

Her articles and reviews, dating back to the 1980s, have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The American Prospect, Dissent, The Nation, The Wilson Quarterly, Free Inquiry, Slate.com, thefreeforall.net and spiked. Her commentaries have aired on National Public Radio.

Before embarking on her writing career, Ms. Kaminer briefly practiced law, as a criminal defense attorney for the New York Legal Aid Society and a staff attorney in the New York City Mayor’s Office. Law has remained one of her primary subjects, and her writings on such apparently disparate topics as feminism, criminal justice, free speech, religion, spirituality, and popular culture are shaped by common concerns for liberty, individualism, ethics, and rationality. A former board member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Kaminer is an ardent civil libertarian and currently serves on the advisory boards of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Secular Coalition for America. She does not tweet.

(Photo: Kathy Chapman)

Related Sessions
Saturday 30 October 2010, 10.30am Upper Gulbenkian Gallery
Sunday 31 October 2010, 1.45pm Henry Moore Gallery
Monday 8 November 2010, 6.30pm The Wollman Hall, The New School, 65 West 11th St, New York, USA

Worst Instincts: cowardice, conformity & the ACLU (Beacon Press, 2010)
Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today (Beacon Press, 2002)

Festival Buzz

What is China Thinking? - Alan Hudson

"I was stunned at the incisive level of debate, the packed venues, the calibre of the panellists and audience... getting out for face-to-face intelligent, gritty and gloves-off exchanges of views."
Humphrey Hawksley, BBC World Affairs Correspondent