Retired US Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela, and Zambia; Cohen Group
March 1, 2017
Latin America’s move in recent decades to greater levels of democracy and economic development are undermined by weak institutions, corruption and the lure of populism. While it is a zone of peace with no international hostilities or significant internal insurrections at this time, the nations of the region must deal with complicated futures, which can impact the United States. Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela all face potential profound change.
Nicola di Cosmo, Jonathan Israel, Michael Walzer, and Siep Stuurman
March 1, 2017
During most of history, inequality was the habitual and reasonable standard, while equality stood in need of justification, if it was considered at all. Inequality was omnipresent, palpable and realistic, while equality had to be imagined, argued for, conjured up from somewhere. In short, equality had to be invented. In this public book talk, Siep Stuurman will discuss the themes of his book The Invention of Humanity (Harvard University Press) in a panel discussion with Nicola di Cosmo, Jonathan Israel, and Michael Walzer.
S.T. Lee Lecture: Philologists as Rogues?
Benjamin Elman, Gordon Wu ’58 Professor of Chinese Studies at Princeton University and former Mellon Visiting Professor (1999-2001) in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute, will deliver a public lecture, “Philologists as Rogues? The Life of a Confucian Classic Recovered in Early Modern Japan and Its Transmission Back to Imperial China,” on Friday, November 18, at 4:30 p.m. in West Lecture hall on the Institute campus.
The American Revolution had an enormous, but bitterly divisive impact on European (and Canadian and Latin America) political thought and attitudes. From 1776 began a furious ideological war within the USA over the question of democracy that helped precipitate an even more ferocious conflict between democratic and aristocratic forms of government in Europe. By the 1820s, it seemed that the aristocratic-monarchical system, led by Britain, had finally extinguished "Americanism" everywhere outside the USA.
What brought about the current chaos in the Middle East? Did the machinations of the Cold War exhaust the region leaving it unable to develop new relationships between governor and governed? As Americans, how much should we criticize our role or even a particular Administration? In this public lecture, Richard Murphy will draw on his experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of State for the region to attempt a reply.
Pablo Picasso did not speak often about abstraction, but when he did, it was either to dismiss it as complacent decoration or to declare its very notion an oxymoron. The root of this hostility is to be found in the impasse that the artist reached in the summer 1910, when abstraction suddenly appeared as the logical development of his previous work, a possibility at which he recoiled in horror. But though he swore to never go again near abstraction, he could not prevent himself from testing his resolve from time to time.