Tuesday, February 09

Security, a Roman Metaphor

Dirk Ippen Lecture 

Security and secure borders preoccupy current public debates. But do we know what security means? Securitas first occurs in Cicero meaning "tranquility," in a strictly psychological sense. A century later the "security of the Roman Empire" had become a political slogan. Recognition of the concept’s origins in the collapse of the Roman Republic helps to clarify its potential for ideological manipulation. Ancient philosophy makes the blessed life, humanity’s highest aspiration, dependent on peace of mind. »

Thursday, February 18

Bending Stone: Adam Kraft and the History of Art’s Appropriation

John P. Birkelund Lecture 

Adam Kraft's sculptures have endured in public places in Nuremberg for over 500 years. They will provide the basis for art historian Corine Schleif's discussion of how art has participated in religious rituals, economic developments, art-historical debates, political decision-making, and military strategies through the centuries. Patrons and sculptors carved themselves into the cityscape, thereby assuming important political and social positions. Early audiences employed the works not only to support public health but to justify pogroms against Jews. »

Thursday, February 25

War, Modernity, and Transformation in Imperial Ethiopia

Ellen Maria Gorrissen Lecture 

Teferi Makonnen’s 1916 rise to power and ascension to the Ethiopian throne, in 1930, as Emperor Haile Selassie, and subsequent confrontation with Italy, in 1935, had dramatic consequences for the country’s future. Filmmaker Yemane Demissie’s forthcoming social-history documentary series, The Quantum Leapers: Ethiopia 1916-1975, undertakes the monumental task of configuring the myriad narratives and reflections culled from more than 300 individual interviews concerning Ethiopia’s twentieth-century experience. »

Monday, February 29

Democracy’s Failure to Perform

Marcus Bierich Lecture in the Humanities 

Democracy has been doing poorly around the world in recent years, argues political scientist Francis Fukuyama. With political breakdown occurring in many regions across the globe, the failure of governments to provide citizens with basic services and the consequences of widespread political corruption have contributed to democracy’s poor performance. »