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Levan Annual Distinguished Lecture Series

  • Michael Ignatieff - “In Search of a Global Ethic—Lessons From the Big Cities" (2013-2014)

  • January 21, 2014

    Michael Ignatieff

    Global cities—and Los Angeles is a global city—have vital lessons to teach us about how leaders and ordinary citizens manage to find common ground and shared values over and above all the barriers of race, ethnicity, religion and economic circumstance that come between us. In this talk, Michael Ignatieff will share some of the ethical lessons to be learned when you listen to government leaders, police, citizens and community activists as they negotiate and overcome differences and seek to generate the minimum common agreement we need in order to share the city. Michael Ignatieff served in the Parliament of Canada and was leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He currently holds joint appointments at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is also the Centennial Chair of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs’ “Ethics for a Connected World.” This project examines the ethical values human beings share across all our differences of race, religion, ethnicity, national identity and material wealth.


    Tuesday, January 21, 4 PM | USC University Club at King Stoops Hall | Reception following at 5 PM

    Co-sponsored by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, USC Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, USC Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars

  • Martha Nussbaum - "The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear" (2012-2013)

  • April 11, 2013

    Martha Nussbaum

    Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and Philosophy Department of the University of Chicago. She is an associate in the Classics Department, the Divinity School, and the Political Science Department, a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies and a board member of the Human Rights Program. Her recent publications include Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities(2010), Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (2011), The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age (2012) and Philosophical Interventions: Book Reviews 1985-2011 (2012). She is currently writing Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice, which will be published by Harvard in 2013. Lecture - Thursday, April 11, 5 PM | Doheny Memorial Library 240 | Welcome Reception hosted by the USC Dornsife Departments of Classics, Philosophy, Religion and Political Science 

  • Nikki Giovanni - "Know Thyself" (2011-2012)

  • February 22, 2012

    Nikki GiovanniNikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. As a young poet in the late 1960s, Giovanni gave voice to the passions of the black power movement. Over the past 40 years, her outspoken writing and lecturing have kept her boldly in the intersection of art and politics. One of the most widely read American poets, she prides herself on being a “Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Her focus is on the individual, specifically the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus in the lives of others.

    Over a distinguished career, Giovanni has received the NAACP Image Award for Literature and the Langston Hughes Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters. She has also received some 25 honorary degrees, and been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle, Ladies' Home Journal and Ebony. The prolific author’s recent books include The 100 Best African American Poems, Rosa and Bicycles: Love Poems. She is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Danielle Allen - “ANONYMOUS: Political Discourse and Civility in the Digital Age” (2010-2011)

  • October 13, 2010

    Danielle AllenDanielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: the Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), and Why Plato Wrote (2010).  In 2002 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine "the classicist's careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist's sophisticated and informed engagement." Allen is currently working on books on the Declaration of Independence, citizenship in the digital age, and education and equality. Click here to see the video of Professor Allen's lecture.

  • Anthony Kronman - "What is Education For?" (2009-2010)


  • April 16, 2010

    Anthony KronmanAnthony Kronman is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School. A former Dean of Yale Law School, Professor Kronman is the author of Education's End: Why our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life and teaches in the areas of contracts, bankruptcy, jurisprudence, social theory, and professional responsibility.