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Anthony Grafton of Princeton University to Speak in “Millennial Classics” Series

Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton, will deliver the second lecture in a series on “Millennial Classics” on Monday, January 30, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the French House at LSU.  Co-sponsored by the Ogden Honors College and the Eric Voegelin Institute, his lecture is titled: “Past Belief: The Fall and Rise of Ecclesiastical History.”  It is free and open to the public.

Professor Grafton’s expertise is in the cultural history of Renaissance Europe, the history of books and readers, the history of scholarship and education in the West from Antiquity to the 19th century, and the history of science from Antiquity to the Renaissance.  He joined the Princeton History Department in 1975 after earning his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) in history from the University of Chicago and spending a year at University College London, where he studied with Arnaldo Momigliano.  Author, coauthor, editor, co-editor, or translator of nineteen books, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (1993), the Balzan Prize for History of Humanities (2002), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2003), and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the British Academy. In 2011 he served as President of the American Historical Association.

“Anthony Grafton is not only the world’s most accomplished historian of early modern scholarship and ideas,” says Boyd Professor of History Suzanne Marchand, a one-time colleague of Professor Grafton’s at Princeton, “he is probably also the world’s best loved humanist.  Not only has he published an extraordinary number of books and essays—many of them dedicated to a wide readership—but he is a devoted and revered teacher and mentor to graduate students and younger scholars.   As someone who deeply understands and carries on the traditions of Herodotus, Alberti, Lorenzo Valla, J. C. Scaliger, Isaac Causabon, and many, many more historians, astronomers, philologists, and even forgers, Tony has taught us all to respect and empathize with those on whose shoulders we stand.   He is the very embodiment of all that is best in the humanities.”

While at LSU, Professor Grafton will also speak to an Honors class, HNRS 2041, “Classical Traditions: The Mediterranean World,” and will lead a faculty seminar on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”  The Millennial Classics Lecture Series explores the challenges and benefits of introducing a new generation of readers to classical texts and to the truly radical experience of encountering great minds by reading their works and learning how to enter a dialogue with them.  Also lecturing in the series this term will be Michael Pakaluk of Catholic University, on March 31.  In addition, the Voegelin Institute is sponsoring student reading groups, providing free books to students who commit to reading and conversation outside of class; to date, two dozen students have taken up the opportunity.

The Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College is a vibrant, diverse and prestigious community located at the heart of LSU.  The Ogden Honors College provides students with a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research, culminating in the Honors Thesis. Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.

The Eric Voegelin Institute, named for one of LSU’s original Boyd Professors and a scholar of international recognition and acclaim, is a humanities and social science research institute devoted to the revitalization of teaching and understanding of the great works of civilization.  The Institute’s principal activities involve research, lectures and conferences, publications, and teaching focused on the ideas and questions that animated Voegelin’s wide-ranging thought.


Allison Howell
Ogden Honors College | (225) 578-0083  |


James R. Stoner, Jr.
Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute
LSU Department of Political Science  |  (225) 578-2538  |