School of Historical Studies

Book Talk: The Invention of Humanity

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.

World Disorder Lecture Series: Latin America: Walls or Bridges?

Jeffrey Davidow
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.

"Rogue Philologists: the Puzzling Case of Huang Kan’s Commentary in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1867) and Qing China (1644-1911)”

Benjamin Elman
Princeton University
November 18, 2016
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.

Contesting American Values

Jonathan Israel
Institute for Advanced Study
October 28, 2016
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.