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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

SU professor headlines "Perpetual Peace" lecture at Haverford College Feb. 10

Humanities center director Gregg Lambert lays groundwork for international peace

Feb. 9, 2011, by Rob Enslin

The Perpetual Peace Project—a joint initiative involving The Syracuse University Humanities Center, the Slought Foundation, the European Union National Institutes of Culture, the International Peace Institute, and United Nations University--continues its yearlong slate of activities with a lecture at Haverford College, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The lecture is Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in Sharpless Auditorium (370 Lancaster Ave., Haverford), and is free and open to the public.

Guest speakers are Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and founding director of The SU Humanities Center; Aaron Levy, founding executive director and chief curator of the Slought Foundation; and Martin Rauchbauer, deputy director and head of the Department of Literature, Drama and Debates of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. For more information, call 315-443-7192, or visit

The lecture is sponsored by the Slought Foundation, as well as the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and the John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center, the latter two of which are at Haverford.

“We are thrilled to partner with Harverford College, which is committed to the classical humanities and to contemporary intellectual, artistic, and ethical currents on the public stage,” says Lambert. “We will start the evening by defining international peace, in the traditional sense, and then expand to issues pertaining to intra-state conflicts, global governance, and human security.”

The lecture is followed by a daylong invitation-only workshop, at which Lambert and his colleagues will engage participants in a series of dialogues about international peace. “The objective of the project is not to formulate public policy, but to create conditions in which a peace movement might occur among the project's participating institutions,” he adds. Workshop topics include “non-state actors” on the international scene, new concepts of asymmetric warfare and complex battlefields, post-9/11 security concerns, the fate of international norms governing war and peace, and the prospects for international community and world governance to reduce geopolitical conflict.

The Perpetual Peace Project was inspired by Immanuel Kant’s 18th-century essay “Toward Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch.” To date, the project has commissioned a documentary film and an art exhibition, both presented at Manhattan’s New Museum of Contemporary Art; a daylong symposium at United Nations Plaza; and various workshops and seminars throughout the Northeast. More events are on tap this spring, in addition to a republication of Kant’s landmark work.

“By bringing together experts and students who trace their origins and identities to Kant’s essay, I like to think that the Perpetual Peace Project has, in a sense, already been a success. To be fully successful, however, it must take the form of a sustained dialogue that lasts long after our events are over,” concludes Lambert.

Last fall, the project was an integral part of Syracuse Symposium, whose theme was “Conflict: Peace and War."