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UVA author, professor Mark Edmundson to present Tocqueville lecture Jan. 30

Mark Edmundson
Author Mark Edmundson, professor of English at the University of Virginia, will deliver the Tocqueville lecture "In Defense of Ideals" Jan. 30.

Mark Edmundson, author and professor of English at the University of Virginia, will speak Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. in Watkins Room of the Trone Student Center on the Furman campus.

His talk, “In Defense of Ideals,” is free and open to the public. The lecture is the third in the five-part Tocqueville Lecture Series, “Love, Friendship and Politics.”

Edmundson is the author of numerous books including “Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals” (Harvard, 2015); “Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game” (Penguin, 2014); “Why Write?”, “Why Teach?”, and “Why Read?” (Bloomsbury, 2004, 2013, 2016); The New York Times notable book of the year, “Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference” (Random House, 2002); and “Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida” (Cambridge, 1995).

His writing has appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, The American Scholar, Harper’s Magazine, and Raritan, where he is also a contributing editor.

Edmundson was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2005-2006 and a National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor from 2004-2007. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale and a bachelor’s from Bennington College (Vermont).

Remaining lectures slated for the Tocqueville Series include:

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m., Johns Hall 101
Mary P. Nichols, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Baylor University
“Friendship in Aristotle’s ‘Ethics’”

Wednesday, April 10, 5 p.m., Watkins Room, Trone Student Center
David Bromwich, Professor of English, Yale University
“Power, Passion, and Mark Antony”

For more information, contact Paige Blankenship in the Furman Department of Politics and International Affairs at 864-294-3547 and Or visit

About the Tocqueville Program
The Tocqueville Program is an intellectual community devoted to seeking clarity about the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life. The program hosts curricular and extracurricular activities designed to help students and faculty to engage seriously with the most powerful arguments behind diverse and competing religious, political and ethical points of view.

The program is named for Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th-century French author, statesman and traveler who developed a “new science of politics” focused on the study of the modern democratic soul. On the contested, partisan questions of his time, Tocqueville “undertook to see, not differently, but further than the parties.” The Tocqueville Program aims to follow his example.

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