About the event

This event will take place as scheduled; we look forward to seeing you Friday, Nov 2nd.

To listen to the morning panels, please click here.

What is Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Place in the Western Political Tradition? This conference will commemorate the tercentenary of Rousseau’s birth and the 250th anniversary of two of his most important writings on politics and morals: On the Social Contract and Emile, both originally published in 1762. Internationally renowned scholars from the US and Europe will discuss his enduring stature and legacy through a comparison with other great thinkers including Machiavelli, Montaigne, Moses Mendelssohn, Mary Wollstonecraft, Edmund Burke and Karl Marx. Join us for a series of public talks on the great thinkers, to be followed by a second day of talks at New York University on November 3.

PROGRAM for November 2, 2012:



William P. Kelly (President, Graduate Center, CUNY)

Helena Rosenblatt (Graduate Center, CUNY)


Maurizio Viroli (Princeton), Rousseau and Machiavelli

James Miller (New School), Rousseau and Montaigne

Richard Tuck (Harvard), Rousseau and Hobbes


Bryan Garsten (Yale), Rousseau and Rameau

David Sorkin (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Rousseau and Mendelssohn

12:30-2:00: lunch break


Anthony LaVopa (North Carolina State University), Rousseau and A.L. Thomas

Barbara Taylor (University of East London), Rousseau and Wollstonecraft


Jonathan Israel (Institute for Advanced Study), Rousseau and the philosophes

Benjamin Barber (The Graduate Center), Rousseau and Burke


Jerrold Seigel (NYU), Rousseau and Marx

David Bates (Berkeley), Rousseau and Schmitt

download the Rousseau Tricentennial poster (PDF)

Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Switzerland, Vacheron Constantin, and PhD Program in History