Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and former Trump White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci are among the speakers with confirmed dates to address the University Philosophical Society (the Phil) this year.
Other well-known names have confirmed that they will visit the society but have not confirmed a date, such as feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot, actor and former gubernatorial candidate for New York Cynthia Nixon, and Anthony Fantano, a popular Youtube music critic.
Omarosa Manigault Newman (commonly known only by her first name, Omarosa), a reality TV star and former Trump aide, is confirmed to address the society but has not yet confirmed a date. Omarosa was named Director of African-American Outreach for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign before gaining a position as a White House staff member. She left the Trump administration in December 2017 amid rumours that she had been fired. Shortly after, she published a book critical of Trump, titled Unhinged.
The Phil has invited well-known names in film, television, music, science, philosophy, and politics. A statement from the Phil said: “This is not an exhaustive list of all speakers which the society shall host this year, but is an exhaustive list of those speakers we are currently confident enough to announce at this point in time.”
Eight speakers have confirmed dates with the society. Hailing from the film world, Ian Ziering, the star of the made-for-television film Sharknado, is set to address the Phil in early September, while Jennie Livingstone, director of the documentary film Paris is Burning, which follows the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in 1990s New York ball culture, will be visiting on November 29.
Alternative rock band The Pixies will be addressing the Phil on September 26, while Composer Howard Shore will be visiting on November 28. Shore has composed the scores for over 80 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
On either March 13 or 20, Trinity will be visited by Daniel Dennett, the philosopher and cognitive scientist referred to as one of the “Four Horsemen of New Atheism”, along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens.
Nina Khrushcheva, a political scientist and Soviet princess is set to address Trinity students in November. Khrushcheva is the granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War.
Aside from Pussy Riot, Anthony Fantano, Cynthia Nixon and Omarosa, speakers with unconfirmed dates include three economists: former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis; Marxian economist Richard Wolff; and Harvard economist Dani Rodrik.
Irish rapper and producer Kojaque, Swedish rapper Yung Lean, and the electronic band Chromatics will be discussing their music with the debating society.
Naomi Wolf, the feminist and former advisor to the Clinton administration; Susan Faludi, an outspoken feminist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist; and Iskra Lawrence, a body positive model and mental health advocate are expected to offer their perspectives to the Phil this year.
Actors Aiden Gillen, known for his portrayal of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish in Game of Thrones, and Rachel Bloom, the creator and star of the television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, are scheduled to discuss their experience in the entertainment industry.
Professor David Carroll, a data privacy advocate and star of The Great Hack is also expected to visit the Phil. The society is collaborating with Trinity College Law Review to co-host Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Phil President Ryan Grunwell told Trinity News: “I am very happy to share this list of this year’s Honorary Patrons we are looking forward to hosting this year! In each and every case case, the Honorary Patron invited possesses a unique perspective that I felt important to bring to campus this year.”
“We look forward to announcing further Honorary Patrons – including some of the biggest names in Irish and British politics from the last decade – closer to the dates of their visits.”
Debating societies the Phil and the College Historical Society (the Hist) invite well-known speakers every year. Last year, the Phil was addressed by London mayor and prominent Remainer Sadiq Khan, and the Hist hosted Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer and EU Commissioner Margarethe Vestager.