University of Wisconsin–Madison

Merle Curti Lecture Series

Merle Curti

The annual Merle Curti Lectures commemorate our late colleague Merle Curti, a pioneer in the practice of American intellectual and cultural history, as well as a beloved member of our department for nearly half a century until his death in 1996. The Curti Lectures constitute the centerpiece of the department’s academic year. For almost thirty years, highly distinguished historians have presented new or ongoing research to large audiences, comprised of faculty, students, and members of the larger Madison community. The series takes the form of three public lectures, presented on consecutive days, under an overarching thematic rubric.

Upcoming Lecture Series - Professor Frederick Cooper


  • Wednesday, October 4, 2017
    “Decolonizations, Colonizations, and More Decolonizations, 1776-1994”
  • Thursday, October 5, 2017
    “Locating Citizenship: Empire, Nation, Community”
  • Friday, October 6, 2017
    “Social Rights, Political Rights, and the End of Empire”

All lectures start at 4:00 PM

Pyle Center
702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706

Click to view the event poster (pdf)

Frederick Cooper

Past Lectures

  • David W. Blight – “Writing the Life of Frederick Douglas: Why and Why Now?”
  • Anthony T. Grafton – “Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Early Modern Europe”
  • Professor Michael Cook – “Religion, Politics, and Geopolitics in the Pre-Modern Middle East”
  • Jacquelyn Dowd Hall – “Southern Women On The Left ”
  • Barbara Weinstein – “The Color of Modernity: Racial and Regional Difference in Postcolonial Brazil”
  • Carol Gluck – “Past Obsessions: World War Two in History and Memory
  • Laura Engelstein – “Between Nationalism and Empire: Violence and the Jewish Question in World War I Russia”
  • Thomas Holt – “‘Work, Culture, Liberty’: Contesting Jim Crow at the Turn of the 20th Century”
  • Paul Boyer – “Apocalypse Then, Apocalypse Now: Bible-Prophecy Belief in American Religion, Politics, & Popular Culture”
  • Richard White – “Misunderstanding, Lies, and Deception: An American History”
  • Jonathan Spence – “Courting the End: One Man’s Vision of the Ming Dynasty’s Fall”
  • Lynn Hunt – “The Eighteenth-Century Origins of Human Rights”
  • Francis C. Oakley – “Natural Law, Law of Nature, Natural Rights: Continuity and Discontinuity in the History of Ideas”
  • John Lukacs – “The Way We Live Now: The Profession of History”
  • David A. Hollinger – “Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity”
  • Friedrich Katz – “Nazis and Anti-Nazis in Mexico”
  • Nell Irvin Painter – “Making Beauty”
  • Linda K. Kerber – “The Obligations of Citizenship”
  • Simon Schama – “Landscape and Memory”
  • William Cronon – “Many Wests: The Search for a Common American Past”
  • Bernard Lewis – “The Multiple Anniversaries of 1492”
  • Elizabeth Eisenstein – “Divine Art/Infernal Machine: Western Views of Printing from Gutenberg to McLuhan”
  • Lawrence Levine – “Patterns of American Culture during the Great Depression”
  • Paul Conkin – “Cane Ridge: America’s Pentecost”
  • Keith Thomas – “Distinguished Marks: Visibility and Social Difference in Early Modern England”
  • Peter Brown – “Philosophers and Monks: A Late Antique Option”
  • Lawrence Stone – “Broken Lives: Marital Separation and Divorce in England, 1660-1860”
  • Michael Kammen – “The Spheres of Liberty: Changing Perceptions of Liberty in American Culture”
  • Peter Gay – “Hidden Agendas: On Love and Sex in Three Nineteenth-Century Novels”
  • Bernard Bailyn – “The People of Briti1984 – Bernard Bailyn – “The People of British North America”sh North America”
  • Natalie Z. Davis – “The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France”
  • Gordon A. Craig – “The End of Prussia”
  • James Willard Hurst – “A Legal History of Interest Bargaining in the United States”
  • Benjamin I. Schwartz – “Understanding Other Cultures: Perils and Pitfalls”
  • Carlo M. Cipolla – “Plague, Society and Public Health in the Late Renaissance”
  • John Higham – “Ethnicity in America: A Comparative Approach”
  • Christopher Hill – “Intellectual Consequences of the English Revolution”
  • Lawrence A. Cremin – “Traditions of American Education”