CANCELED -- "Talking to Strangers": An Evening with Malcolm Gladwell

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 6:00 PM to 7:15 PM
Center for the Arts

UPDATE: In light of increasing concerns regarding the imminent spread of COVID-19 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, George Mason University is taking a number of precautionary measures to limit exposure and minimize risk. In accordance with CDC and WHO recommendations to limit events and gatherings in order to reduce risk, we are canceling this event.

We regret any inconvenience and disappointment this may cause. The health and safety of our community is, and will always be, our top priority.

Please refer to the Mason coronavirus website for updates and further communications regarding Mason’s plans and procedures.


Steven Pearlstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Weisburd.

Join George Mason University’s Department of Criminology, Law and Society and esteemed guest Malcolm Gladwell on March 18th for “Talking to Strangers”: An Evening With Malcolm Gladwell. Robinson Professor of Public Affairs Steven Pearlstein and Criminology, Law and Society Distinguished Professor David Weisburd will be in conversation with bestselling author, journalist, and speaker Malcolm Gladwell on his new book Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know. Attendees will be able to submit questions for Gladwell prior to the event.

The event begins at 6pm in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on George Mason Fairfax campus. Doors open at 5:30. This event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required and can be reserved online through Eventbrite.

Parking is available in Lot K and in Mason Pond Parking Deck. Learn more about visitor parking here. In the event of inclement weather, check the Center for the Arts page for updates.

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of five international bestsellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy‘s Top Global Thinkers.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know is a journey through history and headlines to demonstrate how the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know lead to conflicts and misunderstandings. From Sandra Bland being arrested at a traffic stop, to the Amanda Knox trial; to Hernán Cortés meeting Aztec ruler Montezuma II, to the Cuban mole in the Defense Intelligence Agency: Gladwell shares these infamous stories of strangers colliding to make a compelling case for how our difficulties in communicating have a profound effect on our lives and the world. Having showed us that we often misinterpret strangers, Gladwell describes how the idea of “coupling” can help us in interpreting the behavior of strangers, and how it can be used to create more effective and just public policies. He places particular emphasis on the importance of recognizing the importance of the coupling of crime and place in policing.

Mason Criminology, Law and Society Distinguished Professor David Weisburd’s research on the “law of crime concentration” is highlighted as a critical part of Gladwell’s argument. Read more about Weisburd’s work in Talking to Strangers here.

Hosted by Criminology, Law and Society.