Renowned author and anthropologist Rich Benjamin will speak at the Raue Center


Renowned author, speaker, and cultural anthropologist, Rich Benjamin, joins the Raue Center on October 14, 2022 at 7 p.m. for “The Divided States of America: Big National Transformations, Small Towns,” a special presentation and lively Q&A about his engaging personal experiences with small town American communities and his skillful observations of modern society, culture, and politics with the goal of building understanding and openness.

“It’s important for us to have honest conversations about Race,” Raue Center executive director Richard Kuranda said. “It helps us move forward. Over the past 5 years, we have opened our eyes to the power of a community that wants to confront the ugly truth that racism exists here. Hopefully this discussion will help deepen this conversation in McHenry County.”

Rich Benjamin is a political analyst, cultural anthropologist, speaker, author. Benjamin’s cultural and political analysis appears regularly in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Times Sunday Book Review and National Public Radio (NPR). His academic research has received support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, Brown University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Benjamin was recently Fellow in Literary Arts at the Bellagio Center (Italy), Rockefeller Foundation. Rich holds a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. He sits on the board of directors of the Authors’ Guild, the national writers’ union that has protected authors’ rights and freedom of expression since 1912.

He is the author of “Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America” ​​selected as Editor’s Choice by Booklist and the American Library Association (2009). This groundbreaking study is one of the few that foresaw the rise of white anxiety and white nationalism in contemporary American public life. Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, calls Searching for Whitopia, “A daring feat of 21st century exploration that will make you laugh and shiver at the same time.” The book is now in its second printing. He is currently working on a new book, Talk to Me.

“I believe adaptation requires openness. It requires a willingness to understand others, a willingness to understand yourself. And I believe that with that willingness comes an openness to change.” – Rich Benjamin

Don’t miss this timely discussion, “America’s Divided States: Big National Transformations, Small Towns,” with one of America’s top scholars. Moderated by James Knight. Tickets are $20. A student discount is available. For tickets or more information, visit or call Raue Box Office at 815.356.9212.


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