“The commons,” as both a question and an organizing theme, inaugurates a new initiative of the Princeton Public Lectures Committee called Princeton Talks, a series of short, informal and recorded presentations delivered by university faculty. It is hoped that the format of the talks will help to make them nimble intellectual resources for the community and a forum for enrichment across diverse fields of expertise.
Is there value in invoking “the commons” as a concept or practice? In our present historical moment, questions about what is shared and who belongs converge around a set of ongoing crises: technologies that utilize and control ideas, data and genetic material; ecological destruction and the management of land and resources; conflicts over the spaces and voices that constitute political participation. Can “the commons”—with its multiple histories and applications in fields as diverse as astrophysical sciences, music, religion, archaeology and sociology—serve as an effective definition or critical term or perhaps even as an ideal today?
This year we look forward to inspiring talks by Coleen Murphy, Professor of Molecular Biology; Gáspár Bakos, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences; Leah Boustan, Professor of Economics; Keith Whittington, Professor of Politics; Alan Blinder, Professor of Economics; and Gene Jarrett, Professor of English and Dean of the Faculty.
Universities as Part of our Common HeritageRuntime: 9:12
- Keith E. WhittingtonWilliam Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics
- Leah BoustanProfessor of EconomicsStreets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant SuccessRuntime:11:39Released:Jan 31, 2023
- Gáspár BakosProfessor of Astrophysical SciencesThe Lost Wonders of the Night SkyRuntime:26:20Released:Oct 23, 2022
- Coleen MurphyJames A. Elkins Jr. Professor in the Life Sciences. Professor of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative GenomicsSlowing the Ticking Clock: Quantitating "Quality of Life" with AgeRuntime:17:32Released:Oct 11, 2022
- Sarah RivettProfessor of English and American StudiesFrom Common Land to Raven's Land: Unsettling American OriginsRuntime:11:46Released:Apr 20, 2022
- Frederick WherryTownsend Martin, Class of 1917 Professor of SociologyHow Should We Protect the Dignity of the Indebted?Runtime:14:58Released:Apr 18, 2022
- Professor of HistoryLaura EdwardsClass of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and LibertyProperty Ownership through Practice: How People Made Common Law in 19th-Century United StatesRuntime:13:57Released:Mar 24, 2022