Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser

Your Browser is out of date and is not supported by this website.
Please upgrade to Firefox, Chrome, or Microsoft Edge.


Mar 17-19
Endowed Lecture Series
The sixteenth century saw the rise of several European overseas empires -- Portuguese and Spanish, and then English and Dutch -- as well as the consolidation of more 'traditional' forms of empire like those of the Ottomans and Mughals. These empires had their admirers, who included their paid propagandists and official chroniclers. But they also encountered critics of various sorts, who deployed a variety of distinct arguments. In the Priestley Lectures for 2020, I intend to explore these distinct positions, focusing on some celebrated figures such as Michel de Montaigne, but also on more obscure writers of 'reform tracts' (so called 'arbitristas'). In closing, I will consider how these positions contrasted with later critiques that came from a nationalist standpoint.

Lecture: 4:30pm in UC 140
Reception to follow in UC 240 (on Mar 17 only)
Mar 31
Endowed Lecture Series
In this lecture, Michael Witmore will discuss the origins and development of the design for the Folger Shakespeare Library, which opened its doors in Washington, DC in 1932. Designed by French architect Paul Cret, the Folgers conceived of their library as a living memorial to Shakespeare — one taking the architectural form of “the First Folio illustrated.” Witmore will discuss the early thinking that informed the creation of the library, both as a growing research collection and as an evolving, polemical statement about the importance of history and literature in a thriving liberal democracy.

Lecture: 4:30pm in UC 140
Reception to follow in UC 240 
Apr 6
Don't miss the discussion about Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott 
UC 240 
15 King's College Circle
Apr 10

Good Friday; University closed