David Bromwich, Luke Gibbon, Uday Mehta, and Tom Paulin on Edmund Burke

Thursday, February 10, 2005 - Friday, February 11, 2005 The Heyman Center, Common Room


Free and Open to Public

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University Seminar on Political and Social Thought

In a conference co-sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities and the University Seminar on Political and Social Thought, esteemed writers and scholars, Tom Paulin, David Bromwich, Uday Mehta, and Luke Gibbons, among others, come together at the Heyman Center on February 10th and 11th to discuss a figure of extraordinary centrality, Edmund Burke, who was a great philosopher, a great social theorist, and a great political figure wholly unafraid of public participation in the controversies of his time. Burke was of unique and paradoxical importance because with the very same argument he generated a political position that is regarded as highly conservative in European politics (by his critique of the French Revolution) and highly progressive in colonial politics (by his critique of British imperialism). He considered both the French Revolution and the British Empire as forms of massive impertinence against deep existing traditions and communities. Thus, in an age of Empire and of Revolution, he was a figure of paradox that simply had to be addressed. And in our own time, when Empire is emerging in new and revised forms and where corporate intrusion into distant lands once again undermines traditions and communities, his voice emerges as central once again. This conference brings together writers and scholars from Britain and America to consider his importance in the past and to speak to his relevance for the large issues of our own time.


  • David Bromwich

    Sterling Professor of English

    Yale University

  • Tom Paulin

    G. M. Young Lecturer in English Literature

    Hertford College, Oxford

  • Uday Singh Mehta

    Distinguished Professor of Political Science

    The City University of New York

  • Luke Gibbons

    Professor of Irish Literary and Cultural Studies at the School of English

    Maynooth University


By Semester