Public Lectures Series
Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures are in McCosh 50 and begin at 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Click here to see location.
Lectures Home » Stafford Little Lectures
About This Series

Initially known as the Stafford Little Lectureship on Public Affairs, the fund was “[f]ounded in 1899 with a gift of $10,000 by Henry Stafford Little of the Class of 1844, who suggested that Grover Cleveland, ex-President of the United States, be invited to deliver before the students of the University such lectures as he might be disposed to give from year to year. Mr. Cleveland was the Stafford Little lecturer until his death in 1908.” Between 1954-1955 and 1970-1971, the Committee on Public Lectures expressed an intent to use this fund to address topics in the “general area of the social sciences.”
Lecturers have included Theodore Roosevelt on “National Strength and International Duty” (1917-1918); Albert Einstein on “The Meaning of Relativity” (1920-1921); Henry L. Stimson on “Democracy and Nationalism in Europe” (1933-1934); Arnold Shoenberg on “Twelve-tone music composition” Thurgood Marshall on “The Constitutional Rights of the Negro” (1963-1964); and Gunnar Myrdal on “The Racial Crises in the United States in Historical Perspective” (1969-1970). A lawyer by profession, Little was active in New Jersey politics and was the first president of the New York and Long Branch Railroad Company. According to Dean Andrew West, Princeton “took the place of the wife, home, and children he never had.” He died, greatly mourned, in 1904.

Speakers in this series

Ariel Dorfman Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, Duke University.

Who Are the Real Barbarians? A Latin American Perspective
Tue, 08 Oct 2002 | Stafford Little Lectures

Daniel Libeskind Studio Daniel Libeskind

Building Places from Memories.
Tue, 24 Feb 2004 | Stafford Little Lectures

Cesar Pelli Cesar Pelli and Associates

The Public in Architecture
Wed, 24 Mar 2004 | Stafford Little Lectures

Vera Rubin Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Telling Stories about the Universe
Sat, 04 Dec 2004 | Stafford Little Lectures

James Fallows National correspondent Atlantic Monthly

After Iraq: What's Ahead for America
Tue, 27 Sep 2005 | Stafford Little Lecture

Bob Herbert Op-ed Columnist, the New York Times

The Consequences of Incompetence: The All-Too-Human Costs of Bad Thinking and Poor Decision-making by People in High Places
Tue, 08 Nov 2005 | Stafford Little Lecture

Ian Buruma Professor, Bard College

Is Democracy a Universal Value?
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 | Stafford Little Lecture

Seymour Hersh Author and Journalist, the New Yorker

The War in Iraq: Bush's Democracy and the Real Thing
Wed, 30 Nov 2005 | Stafford Little Lecture

Mark Juergensmeyer Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

God and War: The Odd Appeal of War, Are We at War?, and What Does God Have to Do with It?
Tue, 21 Feb 2006 | Stafford Little Fund and Princeton University Press

Steven Levitt Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

Beyond Freakonomics: New Musings on the Economics of Everyday Life
Wed, 27 Sep 2006 | Stafford Little Lecture

Mark A. Noll Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Race, Religion, and American Politics from Nat Turner to George W. Bush
Tue, 17 Oct 2006 | Stafford Little Lecture

Kenneth T. Jackson Professor of History and the Social Sciences, Columbia University

If All the World Were New Jersey: The Past and Future of the Garden State.
Thu, 09 Nov 2006 | Stafford Little Lecture

Peter Ward Professor of Biology and Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington

The Undesigned Universe
Thu, 11 Jan 2007 | Stafford Little Lecture

Thom Mayne Architect, Morphosis

Work in Progress #131 (NOTE: Friend Center 101)
Thu, 26 Apr 2007 | Stafford Little Lecture

Josh Marshall Founder of Talking Points Memo

The Current Political Scene
Tue, 01 Apr 2008 | Stafford Little Lecture

James Flynn Emeritus Professor of Political Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

What Is intelligence?: Paradoxes Resolved. (NOTE: 7:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10. First of two lectures; second lecture on Thursday, October 9.) (webcast)
Tue, 07 Oct 2008 | Stafford Little Lecture

James Flynn Emeritus Professor of Political Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Black IQ:Environmental Factors (NOTE: 7:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Thu, 09 Oct 2008 | Stafford Little Lecture

Ian Buruma Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College

No Divine Right: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents. Three-lecture series on November 3, 10, and 17. (NOTE: McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Mon, 03 Nov 2008 | Stafford Little Lectures

Ian Buruma Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College

No Divine Right: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents. Three-lecture series on November 3, 10, and 17. (NOTE: McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Mon, 10 Nov 2008 | Stafford Little Lectures

Ian Buruma Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College

No Divine Right: Secularism and Democracy on Three Continents (webcast)
Mon, 17 Nov 2008 | Stafford Little Lectures

Andrew Delbanco Professor of American Studies, Columbia University; author, Melville: His World and Work

Does College Really Matter? The History of Undergraduate Education, Why It's in Trouble, and What to Do About It. (NOTE: Three-lecture series, December 1, 2, and 3. All lectures at 5:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Mon, 01 Dec 2008 | Stafford Little Lectures

Andrew Delbanco Professor of American Studies, Columbia University: author, Melville: His World and Work

Does College Really Matter? The History of Undergraduate Education, Why It's in Trouble, and What to Do About It (webcast)
Tue, 02 Dec 2008 | Stafford Little Lecture

Andrew Delbanco Professor of American Studies, Columbia University; author, Melville: His World and Work

Does College Really Matter? The History of Undergraduate Education, Why It's in Trouble, and What to Do About It (webcast)
Wed, 03 Dec 2008 | Stafford Little Lectures

George Packer Journalist, The New Yorker; author (The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq); playwright (Betrayed: A Play)

The New Liberalism (webcast)
Thu, 05 Feb 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture

Orlando Patterson John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom (Three-lecture series on February 24, 25, 26. Note: McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Tue, 24 Feb 2009 | Stafford Little Lectures

Orlando Patterson John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom Three-lecture series. February 24, 25, 26, 2009. (Note: McCosh Hall 10). (webcast)
Wed, 25 Feb 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture

Orlando Patterson John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom Three-lecture series. February 24, 25, 26, 2009. (Note: McCosh Hall 10) (webcast)
Thu, 26 Feb 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture

Tom Ricks Pentagon reporter, Washington Post

Obama's War: Why We Are Stuck in Iraq (webcast)
Mon, 13 Apr 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture (Note: 8:00 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10)

Steven Johnson Author, The Ghost Map

The Myth of the Echo Chamber: Politics in the Age of the Participatory Web (webcast)
Mon, 21 Sep 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture

Ross Douthat, David Frum, Daniel Larison, Virginia Postrel

The Future of Conservatism (webcast)
Mon, 12 Oct 2009 | Stafford Little Lecture Fund (NOTE: 4:30 p.m.)

Andrew Sullivan Columnist and blogger, The Atlantic Online; senior editor, The New Republic; author, The Conservative Soul

The Politics of Homosexuality (webcast)
Thu, 18 Feb 2010 | Stafford Little Lecture. Cosponsored by the Princeton University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Center.

Matthew Taibbi and Gillian Tett Contributing editor, Rolling Stone, and U.S. managing editor, Financial Times, respectively

The Current State of the Economy (webcast)
Wed, 28 Apr 2010 | Stafford Little Lecture Fund (NOTE: 8 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10)

Marion Nestle and David Kessler, with Ruth Reichl Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University; Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; food writer and author, respectively

The Politics of Food and Health Care (Note: 4:30 p.m.)
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 | Stafford Little Lecture Fund

Jill Lepore David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History, Harvard University

The Quick and the Dead: Matters of Life and Death and the American Body Politic
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 | Stafford Little Lecture

Susan Faludi Author and journalist

9/11 at the Ten-Year Mark: A Decade of Fear and Fantasy
Tue, 18 Oct 2011 | Stafford Little Lecture

Henry Petroski Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor of History, Duke University

Einstein and Steinmetz: Prototypes or Stereotypes of Scientists and Engineers?
Tue, 27 Mar 2012 | Stafford Little Lecture

David Brooks Author and New York Times Columnist

Politics and the Organization Kid
Mon, 26 Nov 2012 | Stafford Little Lecture