This lecture course traces the work of leading American thinkers since the Civil War. The cast of characters includes Mark Twain, William James, W. E. B. Du Bois, Henry Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Thorstein Veblen, Margaret Mead, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dewey, James Baldwin, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Betty Friedan, Thomas Kuhn, Richard Rorty, John Rawls, and Sam Harris . Among the episodes addressed are Victorianism and the revolt agains...more
An intensive introduction to African American political thought that focuses on major ideological trends and political philosophies as they have been applied and interpreted by African Americans. Elements of the class include debates and conflicts in black political thought, historical contest of African American social movements, and discussions of the relationship between black political thought and major trends in Western thought. Mar...more
A special event to mark the publication of Professor Barrow's new book, 'The Book of Universes'. This is a book about universes, a story that revolves around a single unusual and unappreciated fact: that Einstein’s famous theory of relativity describe universes – entire universes. Not many solutions of Einstein’s tantalizing universe equations have ever been found, but those that have are all very remarkable. Some of them describe universe...more
Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform (PLSC 270) Professor Rae uses the Merck-Vioxx business case to highlight political elements of U.S. capitalism, including government regulatory agencies, federalism, lobbying, regulatory capture, tort law and liability, and patent law. Professor Rae discusses the importance and influence of concentrated business interests in Washington DC. The Merck legal battles underline how important political and...more
Yeats's late poetry is discussed and interpreted. The poet's interest in human knowledge and its relationship to the body, particularly the aging body, is traced from "Leda and the Swan" to "Sailing to Byzantium," "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz," "Two Songs from a Play," and "Vacillation." Yeats's late interest in the experiences of joy, madness, and "gaiety" is examined in "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop." Yeats's de-my...more
We previously established that the reality of scarcity invalidates Marx's core idea of superabundance, and mortally wounds his theory. Certainly, his historical predictions about worker-led socialist revolutions around the world were off-mark. Today, Professor Shapiro presents more of the shortcomings of the Marxian tradition. These include Marx's failure to account for the ability of the state to buttress capitalism and stave off the cond...more
Professor Bogdanor analyses the significance of coalition government for Britain and of the momentous constitutional reforms which the coalition is proposing, penetrating the cloud of polemic and partisanship to provide an objective analysis. The inter-party agreement between the coalition partners proposes a wide ranging series of constitutional reforms, the most important of which are fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on the altern...more
The Roman Empire in the West collapsed as a political entity in the fifth century although the Eastern part survived the crisis.. Professor Freedman considers this transformation through three main questions: Why did the West fall apart -- because of the external pressure of invasions or the internal problems of institutional decline? Who were these invading barbarians? Finally, does this transformation mark a gradual shift or is it right ...more
Peter the Great's historical significance stems not only from his military ambitions and the great expansion of the Russian Empire under his supervision, but also from his efforts to introduce secular, Western customs and ideas into Russian culture. Despite his notorious personal brutality, Peter's enthusiasm for science and modern intellectual concerns made an indelible mark both on Russia's relationship to the West and on its internal po...more
In this lecture on The Human Stain, Professor Hungerford traces the ways that Roth's novel conforms to and pushes beyond the genre she calls the Identity Plot. Exploring the various ways that race can be construed as category, mark, biology, or performance, the novel ultimately construes the defining characteristic of its protagonist's race to be its very concealment. Secrecy is, for Roth, the source of identity and the driving force behin...more
The speech that Stephen gives before his accusers in Acts shows how the author of Luke-Acts used and edited his sources. So, also, does the description of the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke, as compared to that in Mark. The major themes of Luke-Acts are 1) the Gospel going first to the Jews and then to gentiles and 2) that of the prophet-martyr, with Jesus as the prophet-martyr par excellence.
A common problem Mandelbaum sees in new companies is an unwillingness of the founder to let go. The mark of a great entrepreneur is the ability to recognize what skills you have and what tasks would better be left up to someone else, she says. Choosing the best people and board members is essential to the future of the company.