Kenan Distinguished Lecture

The annual Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics brings a distinguished speaker to campus to address moral issues of broad social and cultural significance.

The 2014 Kenan Distinguished Lecturer was Teju Cole, author of the PEN/Hemingway Award winning novel Open CityCole is a writer, art historian, photographer, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.

There is no recording or transcript available for the 2014 lecture with Teju Cole. We have published a reflection on the event, as well as collected audience reactions through Storify.


Previous lectures in this series included:

Michael Ignatieff (2013)
The Ethics of Globalization and the Globalization of Ethics

Paul Ekman (2012)
When, Why, and Should We Lie: The Science Behind Lie to Me
Former Professor at University of California, San Francisco

Samuel Bowles (2010)
Machiavelli’s Mistake: Why Good Laws are no Substitute for Good Citizens
Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Professor of Economics at the University of Siena

Ian Buruma (2009)
Eurabia: Truth or Paranoia?
Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College

Fiona Terry (2008)
Doing Good and Doing Harm: The Paradox of Humanitarian Action

Humanitarian Worker
Former Research Director for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Sir Jonathan Sacks (2007)
The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Honorary Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and King’s College London

Stanley Cavell (2006)
Thinking About and Eating Animals: Reflections on Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals
Walter M. Cabot Professor Emeritus of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Harvard University; 1992 MacArthur Fellowship recipient

Jonathan Glover (2004)
The Politics and Psychology of the New World Order
Professor of Ethics, King’s College, University of London
Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics

Martha Minow (2003)
Privatization and the Public Good
Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Harvard University
Senior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows

Thomas Ehrlich (2001)
Moral & Civic Learning
Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Co-Director, Carnegie Project on Promoting Moral and Civic Responsibility

Amartya Sen (1999)
Human Rights and Their Consequences
Master, Trinity College, Cambridge University
1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Robert Bellah (1998)
Is There a Common American Culture? Diversity, Identity, Morality
Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley
United States National Humanities Medal recipient

William Raspberry (1997)
Hypocrisy, the Pre-Ethic
Knight Professor of Journalism, Duke University
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist