This curated list is a round-up on what days to mark off on your calendar for foreign policy-related events in May. Most events below require RSVPs or tickets. If you have a suggestion for future events, please submit it here.
5/4 at 7:30pm: “The Future is Now,” PEN World Voices Festival. $10 for members and students. $15 for non-members.
For this flagship opening event of the PEN World Voices Festival, leading writers from around the globe present their worst- and best-case scenarios for where the world may be in the year 2050, offering insights they haven't yet published, and the opportunity to consider how our future is intimately tied to our present. With Fedor Alexandrovich, Mona Eltahawy, Richard Flanagan, Aminatta Forna, Zanele Muholi, Lola Shoneyin, Tom Stoppard, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Binyavanga Wainaina and Jackie Wang.
5/5 at 7:00pm: “The New Social Movements in Europe,” Instituto Cervantes/PEN World Voices Festival. $5 for members and students. $10 for non-members.
The economic crisis in Europe, and the austerity measures implemented to overcome it, have been accompanied by the emergence of social movements of very different character across Europe, which pose a threat to the status quo. Sociologist Fernando Vallespín and the writers Antonio Muñoz Molina and Elvira Lindo and will analyze this new situation from a writer’s point of view.
5/6 at 7:30pm: “Armenian Genocide: A Dark Paradigm,” Instituto Cervantes/PEN World Voices Festival. $5 for members and students. $10 for non-members.
This year, the world commemorates the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, which counted many noted writers and cultural leaders among the dead. A panel discusses this tragedy—a glimpse into the darkest regions of the human soul—and its significance as a “dark paradigm” for later attempts by governments to silence writers and cultural leaders.
5/6 at 6:30pm: “The Normalization of the Nazi Past,” Goethe-Institute. Free with RSVP.
The Goethe-Institut New York hosts a panel discussion that examines representations of Adolf Hitler in contemporary western culture, ranging from feature films and advertising campaigns to political caricatures and polemics.
5/11 from 6:30pm to 8:15pm: “An Iran Nuclear Deal: Too Big to Fail?,” New America Foundation. Free with RSVP.
As Iranian and P5+1 negotiators race to try to conclude a final deal on Iran's nuclear program by June 30, join New America NYC for a conversation on the state of play in Tehran and Washington, reactions from and implications for the region, and what a deal or no deal could mean for U.S.-Iran relations.
5/12 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm: “The UN’s Efforts in International Development: Relevant or Not?,” Carnegie Council. $25 for non-members. Free for students.
The UN is undertaking a herculean effort to produce a new generation of sustainable development goals, to be formally agreed upon this coming September. Is the UN the right place for this undertaking? Dr. David M. Malone joined the United Nations University in March, 2013 as its sixth rector. In that role, he holds the rank of under-secretary-general of the UN.
5/14 at 6:00pm: “Korea and Media Perceptions,” The Korea Society. $10 for members. $20 for non-members.
In 2011, Jean Lee became the first American reporter granted permission to work as a journalist in North Korea, and a year later opened AP's Pyongyang bureau. Lee, who now serves as a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., shares photos and videos of homes, factories, schools and farms typically off-limits to foreigners, and offers her personal insights on daily life in North Korea.
5/19 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm: “East Asia: Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Alliances,” Japan Society. $15 for non-members. $10 for non-members and students.
The U.S. alliance system has been the key to peace and prosperity in Asia since the end of World War II. Yet this system is being challenged today by both the rise of China and the downturn in relations between two key U.S. allies—South Korea and Japan. Join Japan Society for a discussion of the power transition in East Asia.
5/19 at 7:30pm: “Robert M. Gates in Conversation with Charlie Rose,” 92Y. From $45.
Robert M. Gates oversaw it all as US secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011, and now—with his highly acclaimed 2014 memoir, Duty—he’s telling his story. Hear this veteran statesman’s unflinching insider account of the nation’s war years—from the troop surges to WikiLeaks—and of working closely under Presidents Bush and Obama.
5/21 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm: “Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?,” Asia Society. $15 for non-members. $10 for students.
When political reform in the PRC began some three and a half decades ago, it was tempting to imagine that the revolutionary ideology and politics of Mao Zedong were destined for the ash heap of history. We now understand that China’s transition, wherever it may lead in the future, will not be quite as simple as it perhaps once seemed. Join Asia Society for a discussion of the ways in which Mao's thinking is still embedded in China's world view.
5/26 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm: “Ethics in U.S. Foreign Policy: Spymaster Jack Devine on the CIA,” Carnegie Council. $10 suggested donation for non-members. Free for students.
During his distinguished 32-year career in the CIA, Jack Devine headed many of the Agency's most important, dramatic, and successful operations. Devine makes that case that covert operations, not costly and devastating full-scale interventions, are the best safeguard of America's interests worldwide. Stephanie Sy, anchor at Al Jazeera America, will moderate the discussion.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of their employer or Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.