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2021-22 Gifford Lecture Series: Professor Susan Neiman – Heroism for a Time of Victims

Introducing our 2021-22 Gifford Lecturer- Professor Susan Neiman. 

Professor Neiman is the Director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia and studied philosophy at Harvard and the Freie Universität Berlin. She has held professorships at Yale and Tel Aviv University. She has published both academic and popular books including Why Grow Up with Penguin, The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant with OUP and Evil in Modern Thought with Princeton University Press.

Her series for our Gifford lectures is entitled Heroism for a Time of Victims. Professor Neiman explains,

‘The desire to shift our focus to victims of history began in demands for justice.   Earlier accounts let victims die a double death:  once in the flesh, once again in memory.  To insist that victims’ stories be part of historical record was just a matter of righting old wrongs.  If victims’ stories have claims on our attention, they have claims on our sympathy, our systems of justice, our bank accounts.  As an alternative to older world-views in which victims are voiceless, it’s a definite step towards progress.’

Her lectures will include deep analysis of well-known figures such as Odysseus, George Eliot and Einstein as she challenges our concepts of power, ownership, and responsibility. All lecturers will be held in Lecture Theatre A, 40 George Square.



Lecture 1. Who needs Heroes?


Monday 2 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm




Lecture 2. Odysseus and his critics: The first modern Hero


Tuesday 3 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm




Lecture 3. Freedom Fighter or Terrorist? John Brown and the American Civil War    


Thursday 5 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm




Lecture 4. George Eliot: Heroes Without Faith


Monday  9 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm


Lecture 5. Albert Einstein: or How to Turn a Hero into a Celebrity


 Tuesday 11 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm


Lecture 6. Paul Robeson: Art in the Service of Heroism


 Thursday 12 May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm


More information here

4 replies to “2021-22 Gifford Lecture Series: Professor Susan Neiman – Heroism for a Time of Victims”

  1. Shyam says:

    Eliot, Einstein and Robeson!! What a combination!! So excited for this event and thank you for organising.

    1. Victoria says:

      We are excited too! Thank you Shyam 🙂

      1. Shyam says:

        Dear Victoria, I wanted to see these lectures live. Is there anyway for me to do so? The website says that the videos will appear after the event. Do you air the talk on Zoom or elsewhere? Many thanks, Shyam.

        1. s1873936 says:

          Hello! Unfortunately the only way to view them live is in person. The video of Lecture 1 is now on the blog and the second will be arriving this afternoon.

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