Bruce Robbins to Deliver Joff Hanauer Lecture in Western Civilization

Bruce Robbins delivers the Joff Hanauer Lecture in Western Civilization.

At another moment of capitalist crisis, George Orwell wrote: “Under the capitalist system, in order that England may live in comparative comfort, a hundred million Indians must live on the verge of starvation– an evil state of affairs, but you acquiesce in it every time you step into a taxi or eat a plate of strawberries and cream.” In a lecture entitled “The Beneficiary: Cosmopolitanism and Inequality,” Bruce Robbins returns to this challenge to ask, “What do we think of it now?”  Robbins speaks on Thursday, February 2 at 4:00 p.m. in Communications 120, as part of the Joff Hanauer Lectures in Western Civilization series.

Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor of the Humanities in the department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His books include Upward Mobility and the Common Good (2007), Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (1999), and Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (1993). Additionally, he is editor of Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics (1990) and The Phantom Public Sphere (1993), and co-editor (with Pheng Cheah) of Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (1998). He is currently working on a book project entitled Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism From the Viewpoint of Violence.

Jane K. Brown (Germanics), Joff Hanauer Distinguished Professor in Western Civilization and organizer of Robbins’ visit, calls him “one of the most intelligent and balanced voices around in discussion of globalism.” In conjunction with his visit, her students will be reading Feeling Global.

The Joff Hanauer Endowment for Excellence in Western Civilization, which is sponsoring Robbins’ lecture, was established in 2007 through a gift from Seattle businessman and philanthropist Jerry Hanauer, in memory of his son. The endowment supports two professorships and several graduate student fellowships in Western Civilization, as well as a lecture series. Past lecturers in this series include Susannah Gottlieb (English, Northwestern), Adam Potkay (English, William & Mary) and Peter Stearns (History, George Mason University). 

Find out more about the Joff Hanauer Lectures in Western Civilization.