Great Conversation Lectures

Past Great Conversation Lectures

Susan Gzesh on Human Rights at Home: The Chicago Police Torture Cases (mp3)

Susan Gzesh is executive director of the Human Rights Program and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago. In addition to teaching, she directs a broad range of activities in the Human Rights Program including an internship program, public events, and a project on human rights curriculum in liberal-arts education funded by the Teagle Foundation. Her publications include America’

Michael Dawson on Blacks In and Out of the Left (Full w QA) (mp3)

Michael C. Dawson is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago and the founding and current director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University. He is a leading expert on African-American political behavior, identity, and public opinion, the political effects of urban poverty, and African-American political ideology. His books include Blacks In and Out of the Left: Past, Present and Future, Reflections on Black Politics in the Early 21st Century, Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics, Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies, and Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics.

John Roemer on Ideology and Inequality in the U.S. (mp3)

October 25, 2013

John Roemer is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Professor of Political Science and Economics at Yale University, and one of the outstanding radical political economists of our time. A Fellow of the Econometric Society, who has also been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, he is a sharp critic of the “Chicago School” of libertarian economics. His research concerns political economy and distributive justice, and his books include: Political Competition, Equality of Opportunity, Theories of Distributive Justice, and Free to Lose.

An Evening with Geoffrey R. Stone (mp3)

April 19, 2012

Geoffrey R. Stone is Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. He has served as dean of the Law School and, from 1993 to 2002, as provost of the University of Chicago. His most recent books are Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark (2007) and War and Liberty: An American Dilemma (2007). Mr. Stone’s Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004) received numerous national awards.

An Evening with Alan Ryan (mp3)

March 29, 2012

A prominent public intellectual who publishes regularly in The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and the TLS, Alan Ryan is one of the world’s leading social and political philosophers. Professor of politics at Princeton University, and formerly warden of New College, Oxford University, and director of the Rothermere American Institute, Ryan is a Fellow of the British Academy and the author of such books as The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill, Property and Political Theory, Russell: A Political Life, John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism, Liberal Anxieties and Liberal Education. He is currently completing a massive work, Thinking About Politics-Since Herodotus.

An Evening with Martha Nussbaum (mp3)

January 6, 2011

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum, a past President of the American Philosophical Association, is the author of many important works, including Frontiers of Justice, Liberty of Conscience, and Not For Profit: Liberal Education and Democratic Citizenship.

An Evening with Earl Shorris (mp3)

October 21, 2010

Earl Shorris

Earl Shorris is the founder of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, the award-winning global program that uses the humanities in antipoverty efforts. A contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, he has received the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Clinton, and the Condecoracion de la Orden del Aguila Azteca. His books include Riches for the Poor: the Clemente Course in the Humanities, The Politics of Heaven: America in Fearful Times, New American Blues: A Journey Through Poverty to Democracy, and Under the Fifth Sun: A Novel of Pancho Villa.

What Capabilities Do We Have? (mp3)

January 14, 2010

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum, a past President of the American Philosophical Association, is the author of many important works, including Frontiers of Justice, Liberty of Conscience, and Not For Profit: Liberal Education and Democratic Citizenship.

When Worlds Collide (mp3)

February 28, 2008

Melvyn J. Shochet

Elaine M. and Samuel D. Kersten, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor in Physical Science, Department of Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College at the University of Chicago

EcoSystem Evolution: Biomimicry of the Built Environment (mp3)

January 31, 2008

Justin Borevitz

Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago

Sociobiology, Evolution, and Religion (mp3)

May 22, 2007

Jerry Coyne

Title: Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago

Religion versus the Greatest Happiness: Bentham and Benthamism Past and Present (mp3)

March 22, 2007

Philip Schofield

Title: Professor, Faculty of Laws
Director of the Bentham Project
University College London

Climate of Concern: Ethical and Religious Responses to Global Warming (mp3)

January 25, 2007

Raymond T. Pierrehumbert

Professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago

Michael Hogue

Assistant Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary in Chicago.