Conferences and Events


September 11, 2015: Roderick MacFarquhar, on The Rise of Xi Jinping. Roderick MacFarquhar is Williams Professor of History and Political Science at Harvard, a distinguished former Chair of the Government department and before coming to Harvard, a Member of Parliament and a TV journalist. He is the author of China Under Mao, of the trilogy The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s Last Revolution, and he is co-editor of the final two volumes of the Cambridge History of China.

October 16, 2015: Jeffrey Tulis, on The Anti-Federal Appropriation, a consideration of how the Anti-Federal movement opposing the Constitution has now been transformed from the biggest loser in American political history into a viable part of American conservatism today. Jeffrey Tulis is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of the justly famous book The Rhetorical Presidency (1987), the first to note and explain the development of popular rhetoric in the presidency as well as articles and edited volumes on American constitutionalism. His talk comes from his forthcoming book Legacies of Loss in American Politics. He has his PhD from the University of Chicago.


October 23, 2015: Edward Rothstein, on TBA. Edward Rothstein is the cultural critic at the Wall Street Journal, formerly at The New York Times, and has also written for The New York Review of Books. He graduated from Yale in 1973 and has a PhD (1994) from the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. He composes music and has twice received the Deems Taylor award for music criticism, and he is author of Emblems of Mind (1995), exploring the connection between music and physics.

October 30, 2015: Colin Dueck, on his new book The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today. He is also the author of Hard Line: The Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy Since World War II, and Reluctant Crusaders: Power, Culture and Change in American Grand Strategy. Colin Dueck is an Associate Professor in George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. He studied politics at Princeton University, and international relations at Oxford under a Rhodes scholarship. His current research focus is on the relationship between party politics, presidential leadership, American conservatism, and U.S. foreign policy strategies.

November 13, 2015: Peter Wood, on The Idea of Sustainability. Peter Wood is President of the National Association of Scholars. A former professor of anthropology at Boston University, he is the author of A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Today and Diversity: The Invention of a Concept. In addition to his scholarly work, Wood has published many articles in print and online journals, such as Partisan Review and National Review Online, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The lunchtime events described above are scheduled for Room 354 in the CGIS Knafel Building, located at 1737 Cambridge Street in Cambridge.

In addition to these lunchtime seminars, we wish to announce the following:

September 22, 2015: Charles Murray, on his new book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. Charles Murray is a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of famous and influential books, among them Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (with Richard Herrnstein), and most recently, Coming Apart: The State of White America,1960-2010. He is Harvard ’65 and received a PhD in political science from MIT in 1974.

A lecture to be given at 7:30 pm at Science Center B.

October 29, 2015: Diana Schaub, on “Montesquieu’s Legislator: Putting Order in the Laws.” Diana Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a prolific writer of articles and essays and author of two books: Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu’s “Persian Letters,” and, together with Amy and Leon Kass, the editor of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song.

 A lecture to be given at 4 pm, Knafel 401, in the Government Department’s Political Theory Colloquium Series. A light reception offered afterwards.


February 12, 2015.  Alison McQueen, on “Thomas Hobbes:  At the Edge of Promises and Prophecies.” Alison McQueen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford, and in 2014-15 a fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton.  She is a graduate of Guelph University (2003) and has a Ph. D. in Government from Cornell (2012).  Her dissertation is Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times, a study of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Hans Morgenthau.

April 2, 2015.  Robert Goldberg '81, on “Liberal Education and Plato’s Laws.”
Robert Goldberg is a Tutor at St. John’s College (Annapolis). He is a Harvard graduate and received his PhD from the University of Toronto (1990).



November 6, 2014:  William Galston and William Kristol ’73, on the 2014 Election. 

November 20, 2014:  Christopher McClure, on "The Amazing Rhetoric of Thomas Hobbes."



March 13, 2014:  Charles Murray interviewed by William Kristol on his recent book, Coming Apart. 6 pm at the Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, JFK Street.



September 19-20, 2013:  A conference on the 500th anniversary of the writing of Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. See full program here.

September 26, 2013, 4-6 pm, K354:  Jesse Norman, Member of Parliament, on his new, responsibly acclaimed book Edmund Burke: The First Conservative.  

November 7, 2013, 4-6 pm, K401:  Maurizio Viroli, on his new book, Redeeming The Prince: The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece



April 4-5 2013: "Thinking About Politics": A Conference Dedicated to Explaining and Perpetuating the Political Insights of James Q. Wilson. See full program here.



September 20-21, 2012:  A conference on the 25th anniversary of Allan Bloom’s bestseller The Closing of the American Mind.  

November 8, 2012:  William Kristol, William Galston and Michael W. McConnell, with an analysis of the November 6 election.  

November 29, 2012:  Devin Stauffer, on Leo Strauss’s book on Socrates and Aristophanes.  



February 6, 2012:  A conversation with Peter Thiel and Niall Ferguson.  

February 21, 2012:  Christopher Caldwell, on the doubtful survival of Europe. 

March 30, 2012:  Harvey Mansfield’s students and friends, to celebrate his 80th birthday discussing a selection of his writings. Conference schedule and readings.

April 19, 2012: Robert Bartlett, on “Sophistry: How to Make It Work for You.”  

Note: Videos of past events are available on YouTube.