About the event

Join James Kloppenberg, Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University, for the 5th Annual John Patrick Diggins Memorial Lecture on “Tragic Irony: Democracy in European and American Thought.” Kloppenberg's political commentaries have been published in newspapers and magazines in the US, Europe, and Japan. He has written about the rise and fall of social democracy in Europe and America; American politics and ideas from the seventeenth century to the present; the American philosophy of pragmatism; European observers of America from Tocqueville through Weber; and the relation between contemporary critical theory and historical writing. He will be speaking on his current work, which includes Tragic Irony: The Rise of Democracy in European and American Thought (forthcoming in 2015 from Oxford University Press); and The American Democratic Tradition: Roger Williams to Barack Obama (under contract with Princeton University Press).

John Patrick Diggins (1935-2009) was Distinguished Professor at the PhD Program in History at the CUNY Graduate Center from 1990 until his death. Among his many books are The Lost Soul of American Politics (1984), The Promise of Pragmatism (1994), Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy (1996) and Why Niebuhr Now? (2011). Diggins and James Kloppenberg were contributors to The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture (1998) edited by Morris Dickstein.

Cosponsored by the PhD Program in History.