George Washington Forum News and Events

GWF Events

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of Intellectual Life

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Zena Hitz (St. John's College)

Zena Hitz (St. John's College)

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Zena Hitz is Tutor at St. Johns College, Annapolis. She earned her PhD in Philosophy from Princeton after doing her undergraduate work at St. John’s College, Annapolis, and after graduate degrees in classics and philosophy at Cambridge and Chicago. Before returning to teach at St. John’s in 2015, she taught philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Auburn and McGill. Her most recent book is Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life (2020), a defense of intellectual activity for its own sake.

China and the World since 1949

February 2021 (TBA)

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Frank Dikötter (University of Hong Kong)

Frank Dikötter (University of Hong Kong)

Frank Dikötter has been Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong since 2006. Before coming to Hong Kong he was Professor of the Modern History of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He graduated with his PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies after doing his undergraduate work at the University of Geneva. He has published a dozen books, including the People’s Trilogy about modern China. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Britain’s most prestigious book award for non-fiction. The second instalment, The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1957, was short-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2014. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976 concludes the trilogy and was short-listed for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize in 2017.

The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Eugene McCarraher (Villanova University)

Eugene McCarraher (Villanova University)

Eugene McCarraher is Professor of Humanities at Villanova Univeristy.  He earned his PhD in history from Rutgers University, and his first book was Christian Critics: Religion and the Impasse in Modern American Social Thought (2000). He contributes regularly to CommonwealThe Hedgehog Review and Raritan and has written for Dissent and The Nation. His most recent book is The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity (2019).

 

The Art of Living

Thursday, 25 March 2021

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn (Syracuse University)

Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn (Syracuse University)

Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn is a Professor of History at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. Her books include Black Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the American Settlement House Movement, 1890-1945 (1993)—which won the Berkshire Prize—and Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution (2001), as well as three edited volumes. Lasch-Quinn’s writing has also appeared widely in both scholarly and prominent public venues, including The New Republic and The Hedgehog Review. Her most recent book is Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living (2020).

The Theology of Liberalism

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Eric Nelson (Harvard University)

Eric Nelson (Harvard University)

Eric Nelson is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he was an undergraduate before earning his PhD at the University of Cambridge. His books include The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding (2014); The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought (2010); and The Greek Tradition in Republican Thought ( 2004). He also edited Hobbes’s translations of the Iliad and Odyssey for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes (2008). His most recent book is The Theology of Liberalism: Political Philosophy and the Justice of God (2019).

Liberal Democracy and the Age of Revolution

12–13 November 2021

8:30 AM-5:30 PM | Baker Center 240/242

Image of Plenary speakers: David Bell (Princeton), Patrick Griffin (Notre Dame), Janet Polasky (New Hampshire) and Helena Rosenblatt (CUNY-Graduate Center)

Plenary speakers: David Bell (Princeton), Patrick Griffin (Notre Dame), Janet Polasky (New Hampshire) and Helena Rosenblatt (CUNY-Graduate Center)

Benjamin Constant famously argued that the great achievement of what we now call the Age of Revolution was “representative government” and that “this form of government, the only one in the shelter of which we could find some freedom and peace today, was totally unknown to the free nations of antiquity.” It has been commonplace ever since to claim that many of the fundamental ideas and institutions that we associate with modern representative democracy emerged from the revolutionary upheavals of the later eighteenth century.

 

This conference and its subsequent volume aim to look afresh at the story of liberal democracy’s origins in the Age of Revolution spanning from the Seven Years’ War to the fall of Napoleon (c. 1760–1815). Did the ideas and institutions of liberal democracy actually emerge during the Age of Revolution? If so, how and why? Were they the product of long-term developments that came to fruition during the revolutionary era? Or were they generated by and amid the conflicts, debates, and upheavals of the period itself? Given that most of the era’s revolutions and uprisings were ultimately either contained or defeated, is it justified to contend that the Age of Revolution witnessed the birth of liberal-democratic ideas and institutions? If not, then what connection is there between the revolutionary turmoil of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and the eventual development of liberal democracy in the West and beyond over the next two centuries?

 

David Bell (Princeton), Patrick Griffin (Notre Dame), Janet Polasky (New Hampshire), and Helena Rosenblatt (CUNY-Graduate Center) will deliver plenary lectures.

Income Inequality

Thursday, 3 December 2020

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Anne Rathbone Bradley (The Fund for American Studies)

Anne Rathbone Bradley (The Fund for American Studies)

Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and the academic director at The Fund for American Studies. Previously, Dr. Bradley served as the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics. In addition to her work with TFAS, she is a professor of economics at The Institute for World Politics at Grove City College. She is a visiting professor at George Mason University and has previously taught at Georgetown University and Charles University in Prague. She is currently an Acton Affiliate scholar and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. She is a lecturer for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education.

American Foreign Policy after the Election

Monday, 30 November 2020

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Jakub Grygiel (Catholic University of America)

Jakub Grygiel (Catholic University of America)

Jakub Grygiel is Professor of Politics at The Catholic University of America and a senior advisor at The Marathon Initiative. In 2017-2018 he was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State. Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and on the faculty of SAIS-Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He graduated from Georgetown Univeristy with a BSFS before earning a PhD and MPA from Princeton. He is the author of Return of the Barbarians (2018), Great Powers and Geopolitical Change (2006), and co-author with Wess Mitchell of The Unquiet Frontier (2016). His writings have appeared in Foreign AffairsThe American InterestSecurity StudiesJournal of Strategic Studies, National Interest, Claremont Review of Books, OrbisCommentaryParameters, as well as several U.S. and foreign newspapers.

This event is co-sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Society Ohio University chapter.

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Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Matthew Crawford (University of Virginia)

Matthew Crawford (University of Virginia)

Matthew Crawford is a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Culture at the University of Virginia. After majoring in physics as an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he earned his PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009) and The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in the Age of Distraction (2015). His latest book is Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road (2020).

Reimagining Capitalism in a World On Fire

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Rebecca M. Henderson (Harvard Business School)

Rebecca M. Henderson (Harvard Business School)

Rebecca M. Henderson is John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard Business School. Before coming to Harvard in 2009, she taught for two decades at the Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated from MIT with a BA in mechanical engineering before earning a PhD in business economics from Harvard. She is one of 25 University Professors at Harvard, a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of both the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is an expert on innovation and organizational change and sits on the boards of Idexx Laboratories and of CERES. Her most recent book is Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire (2020).

Debate: Why Does Racial Inequality Persist?

Thursday, 1 October 2020

7:30 PM | Webinar

Image of Glenn Loury (Brown University) and Adaner Usmani (Harvard University)Image of Glenn Loury (Brown University) and Adaner Usmani (Harvard University)

Glenn Loury (Brown University) and Adaner Usmani (Harvard University)

Glenn Loury is Professor of Economics and Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences at Brown University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a contributing editor at The Boston Review, and was for many years a contributing editor at The New Republic. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He has given the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford, the James A. Moffett ’29 Lectures in Ethics at Princeton, and the DuBois Lectures in African American Studies at Harvard.

 

Adaner Usmani is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Studies at Harvard University. He earned his BA in social studies from Harvard University before earning his PhD in sociology from New York University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute at Brown University. He has written about collective action, democracy and the origins and consequences of American mass incarceration. His scholarly work has appeared in the American Journal of SociologySocial Forces and Socius, and he has also written for Jacobin and sits on the editorial board of Catalyst.