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Depending on public-health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for a residential offering are subject to change.  Proof of vaccination is required prior to attendance.

Emmanuel Levinas: Ethics of Democracy

2022 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for Higher Education Faculty
August 1-5, 2022 – 712 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus, Buffalo, New York 

Directors: Richard A. Cohen (Professor, University at Buffalo) & James Mclachlan (Emeritus, Western Carolina University)

A week-long Seminar of intensive text-based examination and discussion of politics and democracy viewed from the perspectives of the ethics of responsibility elaborated by the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995).  Opposing the war and suppression of human-wolves of Hobbesian ‘realpolitik’, on the one hand, and the isolated individualism of the liberalism of Lockean propertied freedom, on the other, Levinas roots the political in the radical imperatives inter-personal obligation and ethical responsibility – for each other and for all others – which is to say, in the quest for social justice.  Such a perspective, binding the political to the ethical, to morality and to justice, makes democracy not one regime among others but the best regime, the ideal of politics.

Cynthia D. Coe, Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Central Washington University
Claire Maria Chambers, Clinical Psychotherapist, Discovery Behavioral Healthcare, Port Townsend, WA
Clayton Grainger Bohnet, PhD,  Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Central Washington University, WA
Dan Mills, PhD, Chattahoochee Technical College, Woodstock, GA
Eric Touya de Marenne, Professor, Department of Languages, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Grant C. Cos, Professor, School of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Yang Xiao, Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Department, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Joseph L. V. Donica, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Bronx Community College, CUNY
Karl Shankar Sen Gupta, PhD, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
Martin Griffin, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Robert John Sheffler Manning, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Quincy University, Quincy, IL
Sara Egge, Claude D. Pottinger Professor of History, Centre College, Danville, KY
Sarah Pessin, Professor of Philosophy & Jewish Thought, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Stephen Jay Stern, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies & Jewish Studies, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA
Todd Hoffman, Professor, Department of English and Foreign Languages, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
Vern Edward Walker, Teacher/Advisor,  Charleston Catholic High School, Charleston, WV

The University at Buffalo

The Department of Jewish Thought

Equal Opportunity Statement: Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024.

The NEH Seminar adheres to principles of civility; please see:

Disclaimer: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.