2018-19 Director’s Lectures

David Runciman, The Fate of Democracy: Renewal or Decay? 
February 12, 2019

The current crisis of Western democracy has prompted speculation about its possible looming failure, drawing on historical and international comparisons. This lecture argued that these comparisons are often the wrong ones, and that the future of democracy needs to be framed in different terms: the demographic and technological changes of the twenty-first century mean that the twentieth century is a poor guide to our likely fate. Instead, the conventional relationship between political action, institutional continuity and social transformation needs to be reconfigured to make sense of where we are and where we might end up.

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J. M. Coetzee, Growing Up with The Children’s Encyclopedia
October 9, 2018

J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. His novels include Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K., Age of Iron, The Master of Petersburg, Boyhood, Disgrace, Youth, Summertime, and The Childhood of Jesus. He is also the author of many works of literary criticism. Coetzee served as a faculty member of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought from 1998 to 2003 and currently lives in Australia.

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