Professor of History

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Find media about Sophia Rosenfeld including talks, interviews, and more.





“Democracy and Truth”

Radio Times (WHYY) - June 12, 2019

Sophia Rosenfeld argues in her new book, Democracy and Truth, that in a democracy there has always been an argument about what is true.


“Truth and Democracy, with Sophia Rosenfeld”

Free Speech 50 Podcast - May 28, 2019

“Fake News. Post-truth. Alternative Facts. Conspiracies. Bot-generated posts. Lies, lies, lies. When will it stop?! We are living in an exciting and disorienting time when truth, it seems, is up for grabs.” Sophia Rosenfeld speaks with teacher, writer, and translator Uli Baer

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“Ideas and Ideals with Sophia Rosenfeld”

KPFA - March 1, 2019

Ideas and Ideals: is a weekly live radio program that discusses thought and imagination. Arts, politics, religion and belief systems are examined. Hosted by Larry Bensky.

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“JHIBlog Podcast: Simon Brown interviews Sophia Rosenfeld”

JHIBlog - March 25, 2019

Simon Brown takes on our post-truth moment with a wide-ranging interview with Sophia Rosenfeld.


“Democracy and Truth”

Your Weekly Constitutional (WETS) - August 29, 2019

These days it seems that the words "democracy" and "truth" are mutually exclusive, but historian Sophia Rosenfeld tells us that that's often been the case in our history. She does, however, acknowledge that today may be a special case, primarily because of the march of technology and also because of the intense political polarization we face. Join us for a disturbing, but fascinating, discussion.


“Truth and Democracy: An Interview with Sophia Rosenfeld”

Age of Revolutions Blog - June 10, 2019

Interview with Sophia Rosenfeld about her book, Democracy and Truth.

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“What Is Truth? with Sophia Rosenfeld”

Good Law | Bad Law - March 1, 2019

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by University of Pennsylvania History Professor Sophia Rosenfeld to talk about the tenuousness of the truth in democracy.


“Is "Wisdom of the Crowd" an Oxymoron?”

Interview on The Brian Lehrer Show - January 25, 2019

Sophia Rosenfeld explores democracy's inherent conflict between the "wisdom of the crowd" and the need for elite vetting of information.


“Truth and Faith”

Interview on The Democracy Test: A Six Part Radio Series and Podcast - November 2, 2018

What happens in a democracy when we can’t believe in anything?  When we don’t even believe in our nation’s ability to govern itself?  Faith in democracy decays. Participation erodes. The politics of possibility in our nation demand some sense of shared reality and basic level of belief that government  can serve the common good. What will be the lasting impact of our current break in truth and faith?


“Does Democracy Need Truth?: A Conversation with the Historian Sophia Rosenfeld”

The New Yorker - January 31, 2019

Two years into Trump’s Presidency, the historian Sophia Rosenfeld reminds us that “democracy insists on the idea that truth both matters and that nobody gets to say definitively what it is.”

“American Democracy”

CSPAN - October 6, 2019

The Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education hosts Sophia Rosenfeld, author of "Democracy and Truth: A Short History." She talks about the long-held tensions among citizens in a democracy to determine what the truth is -- rather than relying on an elite class to determine the truth for them.

“Democracy and Truth”

The University of Pennsylvania - November 15, 2018

How, historically, have democracy and truth been connected to one another? Why is that relationship seemingly in peril now in the U.S. and in much of the world? And what, if anything, can be done in our “post-truth” age?

“Populism, Conspiracy and Common Sense from Thomas Paine to Donald Trump”

CRASSH: The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at Cambridge University - June 1, 2017

Populism is best understood as a style of politics rather than a specific doctrine. But ever since the eighteenth century, its appeal has depended upon a kind of built-in conspiracy theory: that the current crisis stems from the fact that the real people have been robbed of a power that they once naturally possessed, and the situation can only be rectified by a return to their unjustly neglected 'common' sense. In the age of Paine, this theory helped spur the development of a democratic political order. Yet already by the time of the French Revolution – and to this day, as the current Trump regime in the US demonstrates – a common sense populism threatens to undermine democracy at every turn in ways that this talk spells out. 

“Conspiracies and Common Sense - From Founding to the Trump Era”

Chicago Humanities Festival - January 10, 2018

What is the history of civic beliefs-the convictions that ground our political lives?

“Common Sense: A Political History: Interview with Sophia Rosenfeld”

CSPAN Book TV - March, 2011

Sophia Rosenfeld talks about her book, Common Sense: A Political History on the University of Virginia campus while at the Virginia Festival of the Book.