In this talk, Professor McMahon will discuss debates about equality in the eighteenth century. Seen against the background of the historical longue durée, eighteenth-century conceptions of equality were at once unprecedented and strangely familiar. Re-formulating long-held assumptions about human beings' origin and destiny, the invention of modern equality entailed nothing less than a new form of political myth, which has inspired and deceived us ever since.
Darrin M. McMahon, who is Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College is the author of "Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity" (Oxford University Press, 2001) and "Happiness: A History" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), which has been translated into twelve languages, and was awarded Best Books of the Year honors for 2006 by the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Library Journal, and Slate Magazine. In 2013, McMahon completed a history of the idea of genius and the genius figure, Divine Fury: A History of Genius, published with Basic Books. He is also the editor, with Ryan Hanley, of "The Enlightenment: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies," 5 vols. (Routledge, 2009), with Samuel Moyn, of "Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History" (Oxford University Press, 2014), and with Joyce Chaplin, of "Genealogies of Genius" (Palgrave, 2016). McMahon is also the recipient of several prestigious research fellowships, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2016) and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2010-11).
This event is sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), the Departments of History, Economics, and Political Science, the Kenyon College Community Development Fund (KCCDF), and the Office of the Provost.
Tuesday, March 27 at 4:10pm to 5:30pm
Community Foundation Theater in the Gund Gallery
101 1/2 College Drive, Gambier, Ohio 43022