First Annual Conference on Public Intellectuals, 23-24 April 2010, Harvard University

Randall Stephens

Next month I'll be taking part in an interesting new conference on public intellectuals. (I've been working on public anti-intellectuals of late, so this should be fun.) The organizers Larry Friedman (Harvard) and Damon Freeman (UPenn) hope to draw interested parties to the conference. All sessions are open to the public.

Here's the summary:

In 1993, literary critic Edward Said defined the ideal intellectual as someone who stood outside circles of power while advancing knowledge and freedom for the wider public in "speaking truth to power." This first annual Conference on Public Intellectuals seeks to deepen and broaden Said's critique by providing an opportunity to scholars who are writing on public intellectuals.

The conference will take place over a period of two days, Friday and Saturday, 23-24 April 2010 at Harvard University. It is free and open to the public. The conference venue is in Room 1305 of William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street on Harvard's campus. Sixteen papers are spread over four sessions: Public Intellectuals as Cultural Icons; Religion, Science, and Tolerance; and Race, Gender, and Protest, Parts One and Two. The conference also features two plenary sessions on Career Reflections. The conference is also working in conjunction with "The Future of American Intellectual History" symposium taking place Friday afternoon, 23 April in the Lower Level Conference Room at Harvard's Busch Hall.

See the full program here.

See this recent post on a conference exploring a related theme: CFP: “Intellectuals and Their Publics”: Third Annual U.S. Intellectual History Conference Sponsored by USIH and the Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York City


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