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Crises of Democracy initiative results in a new publication 

January 30, 2023 - From the January 6, 2021 riots in the US to the recent storming of government buildings in Brazil, crises are increasingly engulfing democracies around the world, both new and old.  

The new volume Transatlantic Crises of Democracies: Cultural Approaches explores both the dismantling of democratic institutions across the globe, and the many forms of resistance that have been engaged to secure their future.  


Edited by Professor Laura P. Z. Izarra, Department of Modern Languages at the University of Sao Pãolo, and Dr Thiago M. Moyano from the University of Sao Pãolo’s School of English, the book features a transdisciplinary and transnational network of scholars from Brazil, Croatia, India, Hungary, Ireland, and the United States. Topics covered in the volume include cultural responses to the crisis of democracy in Germany, authored by Mary Cosgrove, a professor in German at Trinity; and the role of films in political right-wing popularity, by Rebecca Carr, a PhD candidate in Trinity’s School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies.

“The mirroring between the 2021 Capitol Hill riot post-elections in the US and the 2023 invasion of the Federal Supreme Court, Congress, and Presidential Offices in Brazil continue to show how important it is to look at these events from a global and transdisciplinary perspective, and not only from a single academic field”, Professor Izarra said.

Transatlantic Crises of Democracies: Cultural Approaches is a result of the CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute (GHI) on the Crises of Democracy, an 18-month project funded by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and the A.W Mellon Foundation.

Running from 2018 to 2020, the GHI sought to provide the nuanced and long-term perspectives overlooked by the short-term approach characteristic of current debate. It brought together 40 international arts and humanities researchers from different disciplines and career stages to examine crises of democracy through the lens of cultural trauma. The GHI was led by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin, in partnership with the University of São Paulo, Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Zagreb, and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, New York. 

“The Crisis of Democracy institute keeps on delivering four years later”, said Guillaume Ratel, Executive Director of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes. “This important publication is the fitting capstone to an impressive collection of publicly accessible resources. We could not be more pleased and proud to have supported this project.” 

“From the very beginning, when we came up with the idea of gathering essays from different scholars who participated in the project and those attending the seminars, CHCI has been extremely supportive of a co-funded printed publication”, Professor Izarra said. “The network that CHCI has facilitated was the foundation for the entire book.” 

Other initiatives to come from the Global Humanities Institute include a free online curriculum on the relationship between democracy and the trauma experienced by societies, launched in May 2020 and available here. In response to Covid-19, the Trinity Long Room Hub and the SOF/Heyman Centre for the Humanities organised the ‘Rethinking Democracy in an Age of Pandemic' webinar and podcast series. In September 2021, the Trinity Long Room Hub launched the Schuler Democracy Forum, which applies research in the Arts and Humanities to questions relating to democracy and the media. You can learn more about these initiatives here.  

Transatlantic Crises of Democracies: Cultural Approaches is available as an ebook through FFLCH Edições, University of São Paulo’s Humanities College. It is available for download at the university’s webpage and can be accessed at

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