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Anger as a tool for change: The role of rage and hostility in politics

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By Melissa De Witte

“A free society is a passionate society,” UC Santa Cruz politics professor Daniel Wirls observed during “Anger in Politics: From the Bard to the Donald,” the latest in the Institute for Humanities “Questions that Matter” lecture series.

Speaking at the Kuumbwa Jazz center Tuesday evening (Oct. 18) Wirls was one of three UC Santa Cruz professors who discussed the role rage and hostility plays in the political process. Sociologist Deborah Gould also spoke and literature professor Sean Keilen facilitated the discussion.

Wirls was responding Keilen’s question on how passion shapes collective life. Keilen had been talking about Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s Roman tragedy about an angered and misunderstood war hero who seeks political leadership in a volatile state.

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