Sherry Turkle: the Empathy Diaries (A FAN Event)

We are so happy to support Family Action Network (FAN) as they welcome Sherry Turkle, Ph.D. author of the new book, The Empathy Diaries. Prof. Turkle will be interviewed by Rabbi Wendi Geffen, senior rabbi at North Shore Congregation Israel. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Click HERE to reserve your spot!

This event will be recorded and available later on the FAN website and YouTube channel.

AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of The Empathy Diaries from The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Prof. Turkle that will start immediately after the webinar. The link to register for the AFTER-HOURS program will appear in red font at the top of an email from The Book Stall. Look for it right after your receipt arrives!

About the Book: Since the earliest days of computer culture, MIT researcher and preeminent media scholar Sherry Turkle, Ph.D., the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, has been sounding an alarm about our engagement with digital technology. In her 2011 book Alone Together, Prof. Turkle diagnosed how living behind our screens undermines our social connections and emotional lives. Her 2015 New York Times bestseller Reclaiming Conversation proposed a solution: to look up from our screens and talk to each other. Yet the past year has forced many of us into more screen-dependent isolation than ever before. What does Sherry Turkle make of our post-pandemic landscape?

In her new memoir The Empathy Diaries, Prof. Turkle explores a counterintuitive pattern across her lifetime of work devoted to keeping people connected: that empathy and connection can arrive when we feel the most alone and unfamiliar. Reflecting on her coming-of-age and a path-blazing career, The Empathy Diaries is full of honest and surprising lessons that meet our moment when empathy seems in short supply. Prof. Turkle traces her interest in empathy back to her childhood in postwar Brooklyn, when a turbulent relationship with her family showed her the importance of open communication from an early age. She reflects on her college days studying at Radcliffe and in Paris in the late 1960s, when social norms were rapidly being upended. She writes compellingly about her struggles in the 1970s as a young woman researcher in a male-dominated discipline, and of her battles to achieve tenure at MIT where she was often (and incorrectly) labeled as “anti-technology.”

Throughout, Turkle shares insight on her most personal relationships — with family, spouses, friends, and with colleagues as diverse as Jacques Lacan and Steve Jobs — as object lessons in developing the empathy necessary to make and maintain deep connections.

About the Author: Sherry Turkle, Ph.D. has spent the last 30 years studying the psychology of people's relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Prof. Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She writes on the "subjective side" of people's relationships with technology, especially computers. She is an expert on culture and therapy, mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics.

Prof. Turkle is the author six books and three edited collections, including a trilogy of three landmark studies on our relationship with digital culture: The Second Self, Life on the Screen, Alone Together, and Reclaiming Conversation. Her latest book, The Empathy Diaries, is a candid memoir that traces her lifetime passion for connection and empathy.

Profiles of her have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She has been named "woman of the year" by Ms. magazine and among the "forty under forty" who are changing the nation by Esquire magazine. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, the Harvard Centennial Medal, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prof. Turkle is a featured media commentator on the social and psychological effects of technology for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the BBC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Frontline, Dateline, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.

About the Interviewer: Rabbi Wendi Geffen is the senior rabbi at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, IL, where she has been a part of the rabbinic team since 2002. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, and also serves on a number of local Jewish and communal boards.


Event date: 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Online Zoom webinar!
The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525560098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - March 2nd, 2021

“A beautiful book… an instant classic of the genre.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice