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2016 Hans Maeder Lecture: Recovering Equality in America: A Talk by Danielle Allen

Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall 55 West 13th Street, Room I-202, New York, NY 10011

Thanks to Cold War era politics and rhetoric, Americans came to believe that liberty and equality are opposing ideals. This would come as a shock to the founding generation for whom liberty and equality were mutually reinforcing ideals.

This talk helps us recover our understanding of the relationship between liberty and equality so that we can reclaim the power latent in their connection. In showing the links between liberty and equality, the talk touches on political, social, and economic aspects of equality. 

Danielle Allen is a political philosopher renowned for her ability to connect us to complex ideas about democracy, citizenship, and justice. She is the author of four books: The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), and, most recently, Our Declaration (2014), an exploration of America’s founding document and its continuing relevance in our society—a work that The New York Review of Books called a “tour de force.” 

Allen is Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and a professor in Harvard’s Government Department and Graduate School of Education. She is also chair of the Mellon Foundation Board and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, she worked on President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, contributed to the 2012 UK Labour party’s policy review, founded the Civic Knowledge Project, and was an instructor for the Odyssey Project. She is also a past chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, a former dean of humanities at the University of Chicago, and a former trustee at Princeton University and Amherst College. 

In 2002, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine “the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” 

The talk will be followed by a reception.

Sponsored by The New School for Social Research

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