Please make every effort to attend this brilliant and important talk by Jackson Lears,
tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at NYU (details below).

Jackson Lears
Thursday, April 19
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Pre-lecture wine & cheese reception:
    246 Greene St. (6:00 – 6:45 pm)
  • Lecture:
    Silver building, room # 808 (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
  • RSVP today (only your name & email address is required):

Talk title: The Anti-Imperial Tradition

Description: Critics of the American empire have overlooked a crucial historical resource–a homegrown critique of imperial hubris that stretches from William James, William Jennings Bryan, and Randolph Bourne in the early 20th century to George Kennan and J. William Fulbright in the Vietnam Era. Those critics rejected the messianic abstractions and misplaced metaphors deployed by apologists for American interventions abroad. Anti-imperial language was concrete, specific, and grounded in fundamental American principles: a republican distrust of irresponsible power, a democratic commitment to popular sovereignty. This lecture will reconstruct the anti-imperial tradition and demonstrate its relevance to contemporary foreign policy.

Bio: Jackson Lears was educated at the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, and Yale University, where he received a Ph.D. in American Studies. He is the author of No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1981 and Fables of Abundance: a Cultural History of Advertising in America, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History in 1995. He has written on cultural hegemony in the American Historical Review, on modern art and advertising in American Quarterly, on memory and power in the Journal of American History, and on a variety of topics in cultural history in other scholarly journals. He has also co-edited two collections of essays, The Culture of Consumption and The Power of Culture. His new book, Something for Nothing: Luck in America, was published by Viking Penguin in January 2003.

He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Winterthur Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University. In October 2003 he received the Public Humanities Award from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. He has been a regular contributor to The New Republic, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among other publications. He has taught at Yale University, the University of Missouri, New York University, and Rutgers University, where he is now Board of Governors Professor of History and editor of Raritan: a Quarterly Review.

Free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

Sponsored by: NYU Department of Culture and Communication; Phyllis and Gerald LeBoff

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