Our Favorite Events of 2020

Zócalo Went Virtual—But Managed to Stay Grounded in the Big Issues of the Moment

Connecting people to ideas and to each other—Zócalo’s mission for over 17 years now—was never going to be simple in 2020. Well before January, we knew that this year would bring a historically divisive election to America. And we saw how deep our inequalities and fundamental disagreements ran.

But we didn’t anticipate that the act of bringing people together in person for smart, thought-provoking discussions wouldn’t even be possible for most of 2020.

Since 2003, we’ve hosted live events in Los Angeles and beyond. This year, Zócalo—thanks to staff, partners, …

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Our Favorite Essays of 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Essays of 2020

This Year, While We Were Stuck at Home, Our Contributors Brought the World to Us

2020 was not a year that went as anyone expected. Amid a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a defining presidential election—not to mention the murder hornets—it’s been an unprecedented …

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Our Recent Speakers' Most Recent Books

Steve Viscelli

Speaker: “How Will Robot Trucks Change American Life?“

The Big Rig Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream
From the Publisher: The Big Rig explains how this massive …

Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes

From Why We Started Calling Ourselves 'America' to Brains With a Mind of Their Own, These 15 Books Examine Essential Questions About Who We Are

We at Zócalo have always been contrarians when it comes to what constitutes a summer reading list. Our idea of a perfect “beach read” has never been your usual summer …

Our Favorite Essays of 2019 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Essays of 2019

This Year, Our Contributors Wrestled With Humanity's Enduring Puzzles, Ranging From the Elusive Power of Silence to the Invention of Belief

At their best, Zócalo’s essays induce the same broad thinking as the most engrossing puzzles. A puzzle, by its very nature, forces us to confront tricky questions while resolving where …

Zócalo’s 2019 Summer Reading List Stares Unblinking Into the Sun

From the Cruel Logic of Misogyny to the Paradox of ‘Perfect Victims,’ These 11 Nonfiction Books Will Illuminate Your World

As the summer solstice draws near, the days in the northern hemisphere grow longer and hotter. And while there are countless things we can do with the season’s extra light, …