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Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Daniel Rodgers to Lecture on “Age of Fracture”

The Princeton professor is one of the leading historians of American culture and ideas

Princeton Professor Daniel Rodgers will deliver a lecture, titled “Age of Fracture: The Transformation of Ideas and Society in Modern America,” on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m., in the Grand Salon of the French House, home of the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College at LSU. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.

One of the leading historians of American culture and ideas, Rodgers is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University, where he taught for 33 years and chaired his department for eight years. He is the author of four books, which among them have won at least five prizes: “The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850-1920” (Chicago, 1978), “Contested Truths: Keywords in American Politics Since Independence” (Basic, 1987), “Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age” (Harvard, 1998) and “Age of Fracture” (Harvard, 2011), the basis for his talk. 

Rodgers has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the topic of his lecture, Rodgers writes, “‘Fracture’ now seems everywhere in our contemporary United States:  in social relations, partisan politics, growing economic inequalities, and enduring culture ‘wars.’ But the ‘fracture’ of our times began in the realm of ideas, as larger ideas of society, economy, selves, and political culture shattered into smaller, more individualistic ones.  The phenomenon, which occurred on both the political right and the political left, shapes the world we live in. This lecture will tell the story of how that happened and what it means for our present moment.”

While at LSU, in addition to his public lecture, Rodgers will teach a section of HNRS 2000: “Critical Analysis: Why War?”; will meet with undergraduate History majors; and will discuss “Researching Past Thought” with graduate students in history and political science. Co-sponsoring the event are the Ogden Honors College, the Department of History and the Eric Voegelin Institute. 

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program sends distinguished scholars in a variety of academic fields to campuses around the country with the purpose of “contribut[ing] to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.” Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Founded in 1776, its mission is “to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.” LSU’s chapter, installed in 1977, inducts between thirty and seventy upperclassmen each year who are distinguished by the breadth and the excellence of their academic records.

The LSU 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.


Contact Allison Howell
Ogden Honors College


James R. Stoner Jr.
LSU Department of Political Science