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 » Politics & Society
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

Jared Diamond Professor of Physiology, School of Medicine, UCLA

Collapses of Ancient Societies, and their Lessons for Today.
Wed, 09 Oct 2002 | Louis Clark Farnum Lactures

Jonathan Glover King's College

Towards Humanism in Psychiatry: Interpretation
Wed, 12 Feb 2003 |

Lawrence Lessig Stanford Law School

The Creative Commons
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

Ziba Mir Hosseini Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge and at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Islamic Law and Feminism: Opening a Dialogue
Thu, 06 Mar 2003 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

Susan Estrich University of Southern California

Sex and Power: The State of Women in America
Thu, 27 Mar 2003 | Spencer Trask Lectures

Yi Fu Tuan Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin

Place, Art, and Self
Wed, 08 Oct 2003 | J. Edward Farnum Lectures

Amos Oz Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Israel: Peace and War
Mon, 10 Nov 2003 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

Roy Mottahedeh Harvard University

Who are the Leaders of the Iraqi Shi'ites?
Tue, 18 Nov 2003 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

Cesar Pelli Cesar Pelli and Associates

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

Noah Feldman New York University

The Ethics of Nation-Building: What We Owe Iraq
Mon, 26 Apr 2004 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

Alan Wolfe Professor, & Director of The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Boston College

America's Two Visions: The Good and the Great How Conservatives Came to Think Small The Liberal Retreat from Ambition
Tue, 09 Nov 2004 | Spencer Trask Lectures

Robert W. Lucky Telcordia

Broadbanding America: What, Why, and How
Tue, 16 Nov 2004 | Spencer Trask Lectures

Kathleen Sullivan Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Former Dean Stanford University School of Law

The Constitution and Emergency
Wed, 09 Feb 2005 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

Joan Didion Cosponsored by the Spencer Trask Lectures and the Program in the Study of Women and Gender: Symposium on Women Art and Politics in the 20th Century

Keynote Speech: Writing Politics
Fri, 01 Apr 2005 | Spencer Trask Lectures

Chinua Achebe Novelist and Emeritus Professor, Bard College

Insider Perspectives on Afro-Pessimism: Rethinking our Role as Contemporary Self-Critics.
Fri, 15 Apr 2005 | Walter E. Edge Lectures

James Fallows National correspondent Atlantic Monthly

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

Robert E. Rubin Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Director, Citigroup

The Outlook for the Global Economy and the Challenges That Must Be Met
Wed, 19 Oct 2005 | Walter E. Edge 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

Gerald Galloway Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland

In Search of a National Water Policy: Learning from Katrina, Dry Canals, and Pallid Sturgeon
Wed, 01 Mar 2006 | Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture

Marina Mahathir Former president, Malaysian AIDS Council

Fatal Confluences: Islam, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Malaysia.
Tue, 28 Mar 2006 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

David Gross Physicist and string theorist

The Search for a Theory of Fundamental Reality: I. The Theory of Elementary Particles, II. Questions and Speculations, III. The Coming Revolutions
Tue, 25 Apr 2006 | J. Edward Farnum 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

Cass Sunstein Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School

Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an Oxymoron.
Thu, 05 Oct 2006 | Walter E. Edge 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

Ruth Reichl Gourmet Magazine

Watch What You Eat
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 | J. Edward Farnum Lecture

Carlos Eire Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University

A Brusque History of Eternity (NOTE: Three lectures November 6, 7, 8; in McCosh 10)
Tue, 06 Nov 2007 | Spencer Trask Lecture, cosponsored by Princeton University Press

Atul Gawande, M.D. Surgeon, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Writer, The New Yorker

Mediocrity and Its Causes: A Surgeon's Notes on Medical Performance (NOTE: McCosh Hall 10)
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

David Remnick Editor, The New Yorker, and Writer

A Conversation with David Remnick, hosted by Professor of English Michael Wood
Tue, 20 Nov 2007 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

Josh Marshall Founder of Talking Points Memo

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

Marcia Angell Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; former editor-in-chief, New England Journal of Medicine

Reforming Our Health System: Why Neither Candidate Has the Answer
Wed, 17 Sep 2008 | Louis Clark Vanuxem 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

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Justice

The Lighter Side of Life at the U.S. Supreme Court: Customs and Habits that Promote Collegiality Among the Justices. Followed by a Discussion with Princeton University Provost Christopher Eisgruber. NOTE: 4:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Click on speaker's name for ticket information. (webcast)
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 | Walter E. Edge Lecture/Marshall Harlan '20 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

Philippe Descola Professor of Anthropology, College de France; author of The Spears of Twilight: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle

Towards a Monist Anthropology (NOTE: 4:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall 10)
Wed, 05 Nov 2008 | Cosponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Spencer Trask Fund.

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

Walter Isaacson President and CEO, Aspen Institute; biographer (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and His Universe)

Einstein, Franklin, and the Role of Creativity in Today's World (webcast)
Tue, 18 Nov 2008 | Walter E. Edge 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. (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

Ernesto Zedillo Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; former president of Mexico

Latin America: Two Hundred Years of Solitude (webcast)
Thu, 05 Mar 2009 | Walter E. Edge 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.)

Romano Prodi Former president of the European Commision, former prime minister of Italy, currently professor-at-large, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

The Role of Europe in a Multilateral World (webcast)
Thu, 19 Nov 2009 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

Simon Winchester author, The Map That Changed the World and The Professor and The Madman

The Man Who Loved China (webcast)
Thu, 11 Feb 2010 | Spencer Trask Lecture (NOTE: McCosh Hall 10)

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)

Robert J. Shiller Professor of Economics, Yale University

Finance and the Good Society (webcast)
Thu, 14 Oct 2010 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

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

Sheila Bair Chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Some Lessons from the Financial Crisis. (Note: 4:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall 50; simulcast in McCosh 46)
Tue, 29 Mar 2011 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

Justice John Paul Stevens Retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

The Court, the Constitution, and the Justice from Illinois: Justice John Paul Stevens in Conversation with Provost Christopher Eisgruber ( (NOTE: 4:30 p.m. Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. Free ticket required.) (webcast)
Mon, 10 Oct 2011 | Cosponsored by the Walter E. Edge Lecture Fund and the John Marshall Harlan '20 Lecture in Constitutional Adjudication of the Law and Public Affairs Program

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

Carmen Reinhart Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

A Decade of Debt
Thu, 03 May 2012 | Walter E. Edge Lecture

David Brooks Author and New York Times Columnist

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

Michele Flournoy

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 |