College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University


As part of our collective effort to minimize the impact of Coronavirus/COVID-19 to our community, all performances and events have been cancelled through May 18, 2020. Information for ticket holders can be found here. If you have tickets to a performance that is cancelled, please fill out this form with your preference or contact the Ticket Office.

CANCELLED: "Talking to Strangers": An Evening with Malcolm Gladwell

When/WhereWednesday, Mar 18, 2020 6:00pmCenter for the Arts, Main Lobby, Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts, Concert Hall Stage, Fairfax Campus

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.

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of five international bestsellers: The Tipping PointBlinkOutliersWhat 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.